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BizReport : Research archives : March 23, 2007

Player-per-copy metric required for in-game advertising

The videogame industry, today’s fastest growing entertainment business, has a desirable demographic that is notoriously hard to reach, and offers advertisers unique opportunities for exposure. But what might be needed to boost marketing spend on this channel?

by Helen Leggatt

What’s needed is a credible measurement solution. The current measurement of reach, based on retail sales, is short-sighted and one-dimensional, and could be undervaluing the medium. Gamers frequently share videogames, resell used titles, rent from libraries and stores and participate in social setups, all of which considerably increase the reach of a single videogame purchase.

A new report from Gameasure, a division of Interpret, a digital media research company, found that the potential audience figures for some videogames had been underestimated by more than 100 percent. The report measured actual reach, frequency and demographic audience for over 80 videogame titles and illustrated how reach goes well beyond reported retail sales figures.

The Gameasure report contains examples of how retail sales are misrepresentative of a game’s actual number of players. For instance, the popular war-game “Call of Duty 3” sold 2 million units, yet has been played by 9 million gamers. Similarly, “Madden NFL 2007” sold 6 million units and been played by 14 million.

Some print publications manage the measurement of “sharing” a single purchase by providing a “readers-per-copy” metric, to provide a truer picture of just how many people will eventually see an ad. Online, this metric would apply to product placement ads, which are static, as most dynamic, internet-fed, in-game ads are already bought on a “cost-per-impression” basis.

Tags: advertising metrics, demographics, Gameasure, in-game advertising, Interpret, measurement

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