Rewarded Video Ads for Gamers
Over a decade ago, as an executive at WildTangent (a pioneering games platform company), I helped create BrandBoostTM, an advertising platform that provided brand marketers with the opportunity to reward gamers with complimentary gameplay and virtual items in return for brand engagement. It was the first of what became known as “watch to earn” ad products in the business, migrating to social games, massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) and virtual worlds to become the foundation for the booming mobile game ad business of today.
Now it’s time for advertising in video games to take another evolutionary leap forward.
Our new division is called PlayerWON®. It’s the first engagement and monetization platform for free-to-play (F2P) PC and console games that provides players with opportunities to earn valuable in-game rewards in exchange for choosing to watch short, sponsored videos during downtime.
And just as our parent company Simulmedia began reimagining TV for marketers, brands and agencies back in 2008, we’re now doing the same for video games, which we see as well on the way to becoming the dominant tech platformin our society and the world.
Emphasis on choosing. As Simulmedia’s CEO and founder Dave Morgan has said, “The introduction of advertising into these massive and fast-emerging media platforms will require managing a delicate balance centered on a single, simple and unbreakable precept: The gamer is in charge.”
To that end, with PlayerWON, gamers will decide whether they want to see brand videos or not. And if they do opt in and watch the video to completion, they’ll earn immediate and long-term rewards to use in the game (rewarded video ads).
We didn’t design PlayerWON like this just because we love games (though we do), but because it’s what gamers themselves told us they wanted. We conducted extensive surveys of players of the most popular F2P games and found an overwhelming desire (77%) by gamers to have an option to earn free in-game content in exchange for watching 15- or 30-second advertisements.
And unlike the “watch and earn” ads that become standard in mobile F2P games, PlayerWON will deliver TV-quality brand advertisements – premium, fully immersive creative, as opposed to the app-install style ads that are typical in the mobile space.
But not only do gamers benefit from PlayerWON, it’s also a win for the game developers trying to keep them satisfied.
After all, with the massive proliferation and popularity of game titles, developers are competing for gamers’ time and attention more than ever before. By giving their players increased choices for how to “pay” for all the game content they’re creating, PlayerWON helps developers make the games more engaging for their fan base, deepening loyalty and reducing churn all while creating a new revenue stream for themselves.
Plus, given the fact that the majority of F2P players on PCs and consoles never spend any money in the live service area of those games, we’re providing a way for developers and publishers to help their loyal players get access to all the additional content that’s being created, while maintaining their games’ economics.
PlayerWON is already available in several PC and console games, and we’re happy to report that the metrics for actual player sentiment engagement and retention for viewers of rewarded video advertisements are nothing short of spectacular.
Having spent over two decades as a leader in this industry, I’m actually amazed that the PlayerWON model didn’t take off sooner. All of us at PlayerWON are thrilled that the network of games adopting our platform is expanding even as you read this.
Indeed, we expect our model to become the de facto new standard for console, PC and cross-platform games in the next 12 to 24 months.
Ready? Game on.
Want to learn more? Contact me at Linkedin.com/in/DavidCMadden.
Find out how PlayerWON can bring TV advertising budgets to games in your portfolio.