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30 September

Gaming and music and apps…oh my! There’s a brave new world taking shape across the programmatic landscape, and it comes in a host of new platforms and channels for advertisers to explore. But not before gearing up for the journey. So plug in. Power up. And get ready…to play.

Social media on the decline

Smart devices have become a regular part of daily life, with the average person spending at least four hours on their phone per day and more than 65% of Americans using multiple installed apps in that time. Because of this, many brands have turned to in-app ads to reach more consumers.

Whether it be visual, audio or right at your fingertips, the latest frontiers of programmatic advertising all have one thing in common: immersive experience. Gaming platforms, music streaming providers and messaging apps have confidently entered the programmatic playing field, and they’re showing no signs of backing down.

But why now? If music streaming, messaging apps and gaming platforms have been around for all these years then why are they only semi recently being added to the programmatic playlist of ad channels? Two words: Social. Media.

Not because social media has been touting their programmatic potential. But because social media use has been on the decline, and therefore, become somewhat of a dry well for programmatic marketers. But what does any good marketer do when the water runs dry? They find another well.

And with the untapped potential of these newest programmatic channels, our newfound well might end up being more of an oasis in the desert. Why, you ask? Let’s dig a little deeper into these fresh programmatic frontiers so you can see for yourself.


Dig a little deeper

Connecting with customers in today’s digital world means keeping up with the latest communication trends. People are spending less and less time on social media platforms like Facebook, yet more and more time online engaged in other activities, like gaming, streaming and messaging.

With consumers spending less time on social media, programmatic advertising has been forced to adapt as well, giving rise to new opportunities, the newest of which, come in three distinct platforms: gaming, streaming and messaging. Go ahead and grab a shovel. We’re about to dig in.

  • Online Gaming

    Gaming has become a larger category than both music and cinema markets combined, and it’s predicted that 59% of the global video game market will be app-based by 2021. So there’s a goldmine of potential in the future of programmatic advertising within the gaming ecosystem. And gamer demographics have changed quite a bit in recent years. In fact, 72% of gamers are over the age of 18, with the average player being a 34-year-old parent and 45% of the overall gaming community is composed of women. As things like esports and competitive video gameplay continue to grow in popularity, the phenomenon of millions of fans watching other players stream their gaming sessions online only serves to keep such in-app gaming ads on the rise for the sake of additional exposure. There are plenty of advertising opportunities still to be mined in the gaming industry, no doubt.

  • Streaming Audio

    The use of connected devices, particularly smart speakers, has driven a rapid increase in user consumption of audio advertising. Music streaming platforms, like Spotify and Pandora, are almost exclusively consumed through mobile devices. In the US, 96.9% of total monthly usage minutes are spent listening to music through device apps. And according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), in 2019 the US audio ad spend grew by 30% bringing in more than $1.2b in revenue, while listener traffic increased to nearly 191.6 million! Clearly, there’s great potential in investing in audio ad formats.

  • Messaging Apps

    Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Snapchat are now 20% more popular than social networks, offering advertisers a huge (and mostly overlooked) potential to reach customers. Over 1.6 billion people currently use WhatsApp and another 1.3 billion use Facebook Messenger. These numbers will only continue to grow. With messenger apps delivering high engagement rates and usage across all demographics, the advertising opportunity waiting within messaging apps is unparalleled in today’s market.

As things like cloud gaming and the ability to stream via 5G continue to grow in popularity and accessibility, the programmatic advertising opportunities within the gaming, messaging and audio streaming markets will continue to increase as well. So right now is the time to ‘get in the game,’ as they say.

The future of programmatic potential

With cord-cutting becoming all the rage in recent years, reaching audiences who consume content through streaming services has become somewhat tricky. But the landscape of gaming, music streaming and messaging apps provide marketers with a new highway of connectivity to tap into. Advertisers who act quickly to adjust to such trends will be set up for success in these highly-engaged environments overflowing with potential conversions.

As the mobile advertising continues to grow, programmatic advertising is the strongest choice for marketers. The adaptability and quick redirection of programmatic ad platforms offers marketers a safe and effective highway to deliver their ads. No matter where the frontier/game takes you, programmatic is ready–not just to play–but to win.

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