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Why in-game audio is a 'must play' for advertisers


Ad Tech Audio and Voice Gaming
Ad Tech Audio and Voice Gaming Mobile and In-App

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Odeeo's Rohan Premnath looks at the rise of in-game audio ad formats, what sets them apart from other channels for audio advertising, and why brands should consider adding in-game audio advertising to their overall media mix (here's a hint: it's all about scale!)

In game audio ads


Mobile gaming is fast becoming the go-to medium for brands and agencies looking to deliver incremental reach and create unique experiences that capture user attention.

But mobile gaming has always been around. In 1994, Tetris was launched as the world's first ever game available on a mobile device, and in 1997 mobile gaming gained traction through the launch of Snake on Nokia devices. And in 2001, the seminal arcade game Space Invaders was launched on mobile.

Mobile gaming: a history

As mobile technology advanced, so did mobile gaming. With apple launching their touchscreen iPhone in 2007, the world of mobile gaming changed completely, with the world's largest publisher such as Gameloft and EA creating the first versions of the games we love today, along with the explosion of mobile gaming studios launching the now worlds’ favourite mobile games such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush.

As of today, mobile gaming accounts for 11% of time spent on mobile devices, with over 3bn people around the world regularly playing games on their mobile device. Suffice to say, mobile gaming reaches a significantly larger and more diverse audience than it’s known for.

But similar to digital audio, there is still a significant gap between time spent and ad spend. Digital audio generates 31% of total media consumption, but only 9% of ad spend, whilst mobile gaming gets 11% of time spent on mobile phones, but only 4% of ad spend.

Now a number of new platforms are entering the space to support brands in utilising gaming as an effective marketing channel, delivering improved tools and services and educating the industry on the potential of the medium.

Audio & mobile gaming

Audio has played a key role in mobile gaming since the medium first became popularised. From in-game sound effects to soundtracks, music and mobile gaming have been defining pop culture for decades. Through in-game audio brands are now able to further enhance the gamer audio experience, through sonic branding and digital audio advertising.

In-game audio is designed not only to open up the mobile gaming audience to brand advertising and give brands a new opportunity to reach their audience, but delivers an improved gamer experience through its non-disruptive nature, serving during gameplay. This allows brands to tap into moments of ‘active listening’ - unique high engagement through hands, eyes and ears being on-device at the time of the audio ad being served. Unlike streaming or podcasts, where digital audio is primarily screen-less, in-game audio delivers a 100% viewable audio opportunity. And to sweeten the deal, in-game audio is built to accept standard digital audio creatives, making testing the medium simple. 

Whilst SDK-built in-game audio formats deliver a premium digital audio experience, it also opens up the highly scaled, diverse and premium audience to brand advertising. And this is a known audience, the same that streams music and listens to podcasts. In fact, 47% of gamers listen to podcasts every month, and 29% listen daily, compared to the average of 32% and 15%, respectively. The key difference? The scale.

The role of in-game audio

In-game audio ads play a distinct role within the audio ecosystem. More than just another format, in-game audio ads deliver distinct value for advertisers.

Given its massive scale, mobile gaming provides advertisers with incremental reach beyond what they can achieve through channels like streaming music, podcasts, and even social media. Recent research finds that 21% of mobile gamers aren’t effectively reached by ads on social media. Additionally, gaming reaches a broad audience across demographics, with 55% of mobile gamers being female.

In-Game Audio provides awareness-oriented advertisers with higher engagement and measurability than other formats, especially SDK-delivered ads that can incorporate the Open Measurement SDK and therefore track viewability and audibility through accredited 3rd party measurement platforms. Case studies from multiple providers have shown meaningful brand lift and recall improvement when advertisers include in-game audio in their plans.

Thanks to the “lean forward” nature of mobile gaming, In-game audio ads also provide performance advertisers with higher ROAS than many other formats. Mobile gamers have their eyes on the game for the entirety of these ads (as they are served during gameplay), which results in meaningfully higher CTR’s and cost-effective outcomes for brands.

Why in-game audio is a “must play” for advertisers

Perhaps most importantly for brands and agencies, getting started with in-game audio ads is easy. As long as advertisers already have 30 second (or shorter) creative, they can buy mobile in-game placements through major programmatic platforms or on a managed service basis from most SDK networks.

In addition, thanks to Apple and Google’s store age ratings, consumer protections, and the SDK providers’ ability to approve or block specific titles, advertisers can ensure they are aligning their campaigns with brand safe and brand suitable content.

As the digital advertising ecosystem moves beyond cookies and into a world of AI-generated content, gaming remains a safe and positive ecosystem where brands can reach premium audiences at scale when they’re receptive to ad messages.

By Rohan Premnath, Commercial Director


Odeeo is the first programmatic in-game audio advertising platform, enabling game developers to monetize their games through innovative non-interruptive audio ad formats which improves the user experience. Odeeo's solution provides audio advertisers a unique way to interact with engaging mobile game users at scale within an entirely new environment, using an innovative audio based ad format.

Posted on: Monday 8 April 2024