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Study reveals key insights around player behaviours and the impact of advertising on mobile game audiences

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Zynga Inc., a global leader in interactive entertainment, and the National Research Group (NRG), have revealed the findings of a new ad study illustrating key insights around mobile gaming player behaviors and their in-game advertising preferences.

The quantitative results from this survey highlights key takeaways between Zynga mobile gamers (ZMGs), non-Zynga mobile gamers (NZMGs) and non-mobile gamers (NMGs) across the topics of player behavior, consumer behavior and advertising preferences.

Player behaviour

When asked why ZMGs play games in 2020:

  • 81% play games to escape from reality.
  • 65% play games to feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • 61% say they feel in control when playing games on mobile devices.
  • 3 in 4 say playing mobile games makes them happy.

ZMGs turn to mobile games to unwind in the afternoon and evening:

  • 53% in the afternoon.
  • 59% in the evening.
  • 42% before they went to sleep.

ZMGs are drawn towards gaming and want to feel connected to others in 2020:

  • 58% play games to feel connected to friends and family.
  • 56% currently play games with or against other people.

A prime example of one of Zynga’s most socially-connected games is Words With Friends. For over 10 years, Words With Friends has connected millions of players, keeping them engaged through new in-game features, live services and new experiences that they love.

“Our passionate community of players have built deep, long lasting connections that are truly the foundation of the Words With Friends experience. We’re proud to have helped facilitate these connections through fun entertainment and high-value engagement opportunities that have supported players seeking deeper social gaming experiences,” says Deepthi Menon, Senior Vice President of Words With Friends

Consumer behaviour

ZMGs are highly engaged not only with in-game content but with ads too. ZMGs are more Involved, Interested and Impacted by mobile advertising across mobile games and mobile apps vs. NMGs.

More engaged entertainment consumers:

  • 71% of ZMGs say that in-game ads on mobile are just as or more interesting than the ads they saw on TV.
  • ZMGs show more engagement across all apps – see the report for full breakdown.

Overall, ZMGs are more voracious tech and media consumers than NMGs:

  • They crave escapes across multiple entertainment experiences, such as movie going, social media and mobile apps.
  • ZMGs have more paid subscriptions for entertainment streaming services than NMGs.

ZMGs demonstrate a strong interest in a wide range of consumer goods and services advertised in mobile games.

Advertising impact

ZMGs are open to a variety of ad formats:

  • 2 in 3 like getting in-game rewards in exchange for watching an ad.
  • 32% prefer Playable ads compared to 26% who prefer non-interactive in-game video ads.

Ads are likely to make an imprint on memory, and ‘discovery’ is likely to drive action:

  • 52% of ZMGs say ads in mobile games are memorable vs 30% of NZMGs.
  • 41% of ZMGs look for more info about the product from an ad upon seeing it while playing games.
    • Nearly 1 in 3 ZMGs say they purchased that product.

“Compared to non-mobile gamers, our players were found to be more interested in seeing brand ads and were more likely to take action by researching and purchasing a variety of products and services. The secret recipe for brands to unlock this power is to focus on native ads. Our players are willing to trade attention for rewards, preferring both rewarded video and our custom Playables over other ad experiences,” says Gabrielle Heyman, Head of Global Advertising Sales at Zynga

Conclusion

The findings in this study found that ZMGs are more engaged across various mediums, especially mobile games, and they convey the three ‘i’s’ in their advertising behaviour – Involved, Interested and Impacted (by mobile ads). ZMGs know what they want from in-game advertising experiences and are open to a variety of ad formats. There was a slight skew towards in-game Playable ads as well, largely due to the success of Zynga’s Playable ads in driving engagement.

“It’s important to continue driving services that players find engaging and can help connect millions of people around the world. This study showcases the growth of mobile games and their increasing importance in the hearts and minds of consumers. Brands are following suit, utilizing our unique advertising platform to effectively convey their messages to consumers,” says Scott Koenigsberg, Senior VP, Central Product Management at Zynga.

For more information, please visit: www.zyngaads.com/new-ad-study

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