Nearly 2 in 5 American gamers made a purchase because of an in-game ad

YouGov
May 26, 2021, 12:35 PM UTC

While some may view in-game ads in mobile games as invasive or bothersome, 37% of mobile gamers say such marketing has influenced them to buy something, a new YouGov survey for The Drum shows. 

What’s more, nearly a quarter (23%) of these gamers – those who have played a gamer either on an Android or Apple device in the last three months – have purchased a product or service several times thanks to in-game marketing.  

Of those who made a purchase, men and women were split evenly, and the most likely group to buy are 30-to-35-year-olds (56% said they made a purchase). Conversely, the older demographic consumers  reject in-game purchases - 79% of 65-to-70-year-olds said they never made a purchase, and the same goes for 75% of 75-to-80-year-olds and 74% of 60-to-65-year-olds. 

While these ads may not convert all gamers, our data shows many users are at least remembering the brands for which they’ve seen ads. Nearly two in five (39%) mobile gamers indicated they remember ads they’ve seen on mobile games very or fairly well, with the 30-to-35-year-old demographic ranking highest again. 

Understanding the transaction, half (51%) of mobile gamers prefer to watch ads in exchange for playing mobile games for free, compared to 19% of those who would rather make an in-app payment to play. A quarter (26%) say neither, they don’t want to pay and they don’t want to watch ads. 

“In-game advertising, especially on mobile, continues to be a severely undertapped ad medium relative to the time and money investment we see from gamers,” says Nicole Pike, YouGov’s global sector head of esports and gaming. “The positive association between in-game ads and a free gaming experience makes the integration a natural and value-added experience for mobile gamers.” 

Still, it’s undeniable that many just want to get back to the action. When an ad comes up, half (49%) of players attempt to exit the ad, with less than a third (29%) watching the entire ad. The gender split of ad viewers was even, with the 35-to-40-year-old demographic most likely to watch an ad (39%). All told, for many marketers in-game ads just might be a smart play after all. 

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Methodology: YouGov polled 1,200 US adults online on May 19 between 1:44 p.m. ET and 4:17 p.m. ET. The survey was carried out through YouGov Direct. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity. Results are nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is 4% for the overall sample.

Image: Getty