Microtransaction provider Live Gamer is branching out into online ad sales following its acquisitions of New York-based video game ad network gamerDNA Media, and in-game engagement ad platform BrandPort. The new business unit, which officially launched today, is dubbed Live Gamer Media.
With the addition of BrandPort's ad platform - which has now been re-branded Ad Elements - the company hopes to help publishers and developers extract revenue from non paying gamers, while monetizing those users more inclined to dig into their pockets with its existing micropayment solutions.
Existing Live Gamer clients include major gaming brands such as EA and Sony Online Entertainment, and its technology also powers the Facebook Credits online currency.
According to Live Gamer president and co-founder Andrew Schneider, only 5 to15 percent of casual gamers pay for in-game content, effectively leaving 85 percent of audiences un-monetized. The Ad Elements product essentially allows gamers to earn rewards or virtual goods in return for watching and engaging with video-based ads.
"Users are willing and very receptive to the idea that they have to engage with advertising in order to get a reward. We're seeing click-through rates of over five percent, and advertisers only pay if a whole ad is viewed," Schneider said.
The concept of rewards-based online advertising is not a new one, but casual gaming audiences continue to grow exponentially, presenting a significant opportunity for advertisers. Live Gamer hopes its existing relationships with the gaming community will help drive adoption of its media offerings, and enable it to extract more revenue from that growing market. "We see a huge gap between gaming usage and the amount of dollars flowing into the platform." Schneider said."
Meanwhile, gamerDNA Media will be rebranded as GamerDNA, and represents a more straightforward ad network play. According to Live Gamer, its syndicate of gamer-focused partner sites reaches over 48 million unique monthly users, and reaches a "true gamer" demographic with its range of display, video, and rich-media formats.
Prior to the acquisition, gamerDNA Media served clients including Blizzard, Best Buy, KFC, Wal-Mart, and Namco.
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March 19, 2014