Blog Gaming apps hop on board as CTV growth c...

Gaming apps hop on board as CTV growth continues

Since the days of arcade games, digital gaming has become increasingly mobile. From Super Mario on your Game Boy in the back of the family car to Snake on your Nokia during your lunch break at work, gaming began to replace reading as the default method of passing time on the go. The introduction of the smartphone then truly skyrocketed the popularity of mobile games. Now, the next big leap forward in gaming is poised to take a side step from mobile apps to apps on the big screen: Connected TV (CTV).

The gaming shake-up of CTV

This shift from small, mobile screens back to the big screen is largely due to an expedited growth of CTV adoption during the pandemic. By 2020, over 70% of people in the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, and Finland already had access to a smart TV in their household. Now, 80% of U.S. households have purchased a smart TV and over 50% of households worldwide are predicted to own one by 2026. Throughout the pandemic, a greater number of TVs were upgraded to accommodate binge-watching TV shows and playing games to pass the time while people spent a great deal of their time at home.

As CTV ownership continues to grow, new forms of CTV content are challenging streaming apps for their highly coveted number one category position. Now, gaming is Apple TV’s fourth-largest category with over 1,300 free and 1,200 paid games; Amazon Fire TV’s third-largest category with over 740 free and 490 paid games; and Roku’s third-largest category with over 250 free and 110 paid games.

Already, the games available across CTV platforms cover a vast number of verticals and categories, spanning single and multi-player gameplay.

Gamified ads on CTV

As users transform from passive to engaged with their TV screens, even CTV ads are becoming gamified. Innovative marketers have worked within the realm of existing CTV ad formats to create eye-spy, “catch the QR code”, drinkable, and trivia ads.

To accommodate this move to gamification, marketers, advertisers, and developers in the CTV space are innovating in the ad formats they're leveraging to make use of incredibly interactive options. For example, Brightline offers in-stream interactions where viewers can simultaneously watch an ad or live stream while scrolling through relevant products or playing a game; TheViewPoint offers carousel and ad selector formats that open up a wealth of opportunities for gamified ads; CNN offers a one-click reveal format that’s perfect for the likes of trivia gamification.

It’s clear that the future of gaming will incorporate CTV. This is absolutely a space app developers—and mobile game developers—should be exploring and taking the lead in. For now, read up on evolving CTV ad formats and in-game advertising strategies to get ahead of the competition.

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