Are Mobile Games the Next Big Platform for Advertisements?
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The online industry in India received a major boost due to the telecom revolution.It shrank the marketplace and brought brands & services to the consumers on a click. The smart phone moved beyond the definition of a mobile handset, to one of the most important gadgets that now controls all aspects of one’s personal, social and professional life.
With more than a billion mobile subscribers, India has over 220 million active smart phone users and this number is estimated to reach around 700 million by 2020. At present, nearly 78% of the total internet users in India have access to the internet on their mobile phones.The phenomenal growth in the smart phone user base has led to enhanced internet connectivity across the nation, raising the potential opportunities for the e-commerce industry in the country.
India has the second largest population, next only to China, with nearly 65% of the growing population below the age of 35 years. The youth dominated population and the growing internet & mobile phone penetration has had a great impact on the mobile gaming industry in India.
In the last one decade or so, the mobile gaming industry has evolved from the simple snakes or card games to the high involvement interactive games available for users across all age bands on the smart phones. With 65% men - 35% women participation ratio and an average of 7 hours spent monthly (Men 8.5 hrs/month & Women 6 hrs/month), it is the youth (25 - 34) that has the high playing percentage of nearly 35% amongst other age bands.Research has indicated that nearly 85% of all gamers are below the average age of 44 years.
If we look at the numbers, the mobile gaming market size in India is estimated to cross $571 million in revenues by 2016, with a year-on-year growth of 132.2 per cent.
So are Marketers looking at this high involvement platform for brand promotions?
The online advertising spends for the current fiscal are estimated at Rs. 7300 crore, accounting for nearly 12.7% of all ad spending in 2016, expanding at the fastest pace of 47.5% compared to other mediums.
On the other hand, advertising on mobile gaming platforms is in its nascent stages in India. Many of the mobile gaming platforms are now being tested by e-commerce companies for promotions, mostly through banner display advertisements - the conventional model of brand recall rather than brand engagement.
Mobile gaming as an advertising platform offer marketers direct consumer connects, as the usage is personal and more experiential, compared to pure selling on other mediums. A huge opportunity for consumer–brand engagement is waiting to be explored, as this platform offers multiple seamless options for incentivized / non-incentivized promotional possibilities, along with Native and Display advertising models. Marketers are now gauging the huge similarities between app downloads and online search, as both are based on user preferences and interests levels.
Over the years, there has been a slight shift in this belief and brands are slowly realizing the importance of mobile gaming platforms and if the numbers move as predicted, the mobile gaming platform could become one of the most creatively designed, promotional platformsfor the future.