Understanding the important thing variations between the highest online game advert networks and exchanges


We all know that in-game advertisements can benefit publishers, developers, and advertisers. Each advert networks and exchanges are a helpful a part of programmatic promoting and will help develop your sport or model. 

However what’s the distinction between an alternate and a community?

A video advert community is an organization that connects publishers and advertisers. Google can be an instance of an advert community as a result of it connects each provide and demand. These platforms accumulate stock from publishers and promote it to advertisers. 

An alternate is a platform that enables publishers and advertisers to purchase and promote advert stock from a number of networks. It’s not an middleman. 

Each advert networks and exchanges facilitate the media buying process, however “advert networks are like stockbrokers within the inventory market that show you how to purchase the correct shares in line with your requirement. An advert alternate is just like the inventory alternate itself, permitting you to purchase or promote inventory in an open market.”

Listed below are a number of of the preferred networks and exchanges accessible for each publishers and advertisers. That is the fourth article in our collection on why online game promoting is a large alternative for manufacturers in 2023.


A few of the hottest in-game advertisements are these promoting different video games. In case you have a sport that you just’re trying to promote, a Common App Marketing campaign (UAC) is an effective way to do it. Google’s UACs are a straightforward and standard resolution for manufacturers and sport builders alike. Google claims that their UACs obtain about 140% extra conversions than different marketing campaign sorts. 

When making a UAC, advertisers want to offer movies in each portrait and panorama, finances, goal, location, and languages. Google’s AI will do the remaining and create and take a look at completely different advertisements and placements. 

Google AdMob works with hundreds of thousands of advertisers who pay for house on cellular video games. Advert variations embrace: 

  • Rewarded
  • Native
  • Banners (customary, adaptive and good)
  • Interstitials

You possibly can learn extra about working with Google AdMob to create a marketing campaign here

Inventive specs

A lot of the inventive specs would be the identical as a standard Google Advert marketing campaign, however sizes and kinds could be discovered here


Final yr Microsoft announced they have been buying Activision Blizzard, a frontrunner in sport growth and interactive leisure content material writer. Within the announcement launched in January, Microsoft said that the “acquisition will speed up the expansion in Microsoft’s gaming enterprise throughout cellular, PC, console and cloud and can present constructing blocks for the metaverse.”

If the deal goes by means of, Microsoft will purchase Activision for 68.7 billion (together with web money). This makes Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming firm by income, behind Tencent and Sony. The acquisition consists of iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios like “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” “Name of Responsibility” and “Sweet Crush,” along with international eSports actions by means of Main League Gaming. Understandably, Sony is actively attempting to cease the acquisition. 

This yr Microsoft informed Business Insider that they have been beginning to determine advert tech firms who can create in-game stock for free-to-play video games on Xbox, in addition to advert businesses that would assist place the advertisements.

Xbox at present permits restricted types of promoting. Proper now, advertisers should purchase advertisements on the Xbox dashboard, they usually should purchase in-game advertisements on sure video games, by means of third events Yahoo and Anzu.

The advertisements would seem as billboards, apparel for avatars, shops, attire, and extra. In accordance with Insider Intelligence, a Reddit thread on the favored discussion board r/Video games with over 3,500 upvotes was filled with unfavourable responses to the information. “Billboard advertisements in-game is one factor, however having advertisements interrupt in the midst of the sport would drive me insane,” stated one commenter. Fashionable gaming information website Kotaku’s coverage of the information begins, “Increase your hand in the event you’re excited to see extra advertisements inside your favourite video video games? I don’t see any arms. Nicely, unhealthy information.”

Understanding the important thing variations between the highest online game advert networks and exchanges 19

Activision Blizzard gives each Rewarded video and Rewarded Wealthy Media advert sorts, that are each non-intrusive and permit customers the chance to work together with the content material with out leaving the platform. 

Inventive specs

Inventive specs for Activision Blizzard cellular advertisements could be discovered right here:

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For esports, the specs are as follows:

0iWxdesfAmW VZY ZOrCaflOHbt3ik1nm4zQg4fVywYRZ6fskm9hS6JcYACoMvbE8vOEdcUko3m05IhtB UFCV7I GIKr16yaLYIEU0PcLADCOs5MfMAoK1pmv3Sj7j1dO0qaaQjA9ly460t4vBL2N8

Unity advertisements

Unity advertisements is an advertisements monetization software program for cellular video games. It supplies publishers and advertisers instruments and analytics to drive income by means of cellular gaming apps.  They declare to have a various advert provide, superior focusing on instruments, insightful analytics, and a self-serving dashboard to assist handle campaigns. 

Amongst these instruments is an Viewers Pinpointer that makes use of machine studying to search out gamers more than likely to have worth. It makes use of dynamic pricing to permit advertisers to bid extra for predicted higher-value customers. 

Unity advertisements teamed up with Snap in 2020 to increase the attain of its advert provide. They’ve additionally agreed to merge with supposed malware developer ironSource after a proposal by cellular tech firm AppLovin was rejected this week.

Inventive specs

The inventive specs for advertisements inside the Unity platform differ for movies and finish card placements. Movies must be 30 seconds or much less, in 16:9 or 9:16 pixel ratios, and be lower than 100MB in dimension. The total spec necessities could be discovered here

1 PDP Web Monetization Earn More For Your Games
Understanding the important thing variations between the highest online game advert networks and exchanges 20


Tel Aviv-based Anzu.io is the most recent ad-tech gaming platform that integrates digital advertisements instantly into gameplay, with out disrupting the person expertise. Anzu.io additionally measures the advert’s effectiveness with real-time analytics. Anzu claims “Intrusive advertisements interrupt gameplay and injury the participant expertise. Anzu works with advertisers, builders, and avid gamers to supply in-game advert experiences that complement the gameplay making it extra reasonable.”

Anzu integrates advertisements in varied codecs corresponding to blended (non-interruptive), related (tailor-made messaging), and reasonable (real-world campaigns). Examples of those are billboards, sports activities stadiums, attire, meals, and extra. The platform can combine into PC, cellular, console, and Roblox platforms.

Earlier this yr NBCUniversal partnered with Anzu to carry in-game advertisements to its gross sales roster. Till then, the infrastructure didn’t exist to carry native advertisements to avid gamers at scale. “Our benefit is know-how and provide. And their benefit is demand,” stated Anzu co-founder and CEO Itamar Benedy. “Everyone seems to be speaking concerning the impending metaverse, and we’re beginning to see it emerge from a number of completely different angles. Nevertheless, if you wish to see it in motion proper now, you simply have to look to at this time’s hottest gaming platforms, that are internet hosting digital live shows and movie screenings. This funding will additional broaden our in-game promoting resolution, serving to much more advertisers perceive the place their model matches in, and the way they navigate these immersive, digitally-connected areas.”

Sport builders would work with Anzu to position advertisements into their current video games. The precise placements can be decided by each side with a purpose to maximise impressions with “minimal impression to the gameplay expertise.”

Anzu’s stock can run throughout sport titles, publishers, genres, gadgets, and platforms, in addition to geographies and codecs together with video, show, and customized interactive advertisements which are sale and privacy-compliant. 

AdExchanger experiences Anzu has constructed advert infrastructure in video games on cellular, PC, consoles and within the metaverse; titles embrace Roblox, Ubisoft’s Trackmania and Saber Interactive’s Dakar Desert Rally. The corporate can also be a licensed in-game promoting accomplice for Microsoft’s Xbox, and its options are suitable with Unreal Engine, some of the extensively used game-development engines.

As a result of folks spend a lot time taking part in video video games, in-game advertisements are top-of-the-line methods to achieve them. Sport builders work with Anzu to program advertisements into their current video games. Anzu and builders work collectively to find out the most effective advert placements to maximise impressions with little to no interruption of the gameplay expertise. 

Anzu’s stock consists of video games, publishers, genres, gadgets, and platforms together with video, show, and customized interactive. The corporate additionally partnered with Roblox and simply prolonged its partnership with Ubisoft. 

Anzu advert codecs embrace:

  • Blended show
  • Blended video
  • Customized advertisements

Inventive specs

Inventive specs for in-game advertisements aren’t available on the Anzu.io web site, however final month they partnered with Integral Advert Science (IAS) to assist them “compete with extra established types of media.” In sport promoting has been in comparison with the Wild West surroundings with regards to coping with quite a few builders, platforms, inventive specs, and extra so as to create an advert marketing campaign. 

The Partnership is an try at transparency for show and cellular codecs in cellular gaming. “By partnering with Anzu, we now ship in-game measurement and transparency for advertisers inside gaming environments. This integration units the platform for high quality requirements inside ad-supported gaming and permits advertisers to higher perceive and management the standard of their media on Anzu.” says Tom Sharma, chief product officer of IAS.

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ironSource is one other firm that develops know-how for app monetization. They not too long ago merged with Unity after Unity rejected a proposal from AppLovin. ironSource claims to be one of many advert networks with the best CPM for publishers, which drives many to its platform. Their advert codecs vary from:

  • Playable advertisements
  • Rewarded video
  • Offerwall
  • Interstitial

The ironSource advert community could be built-in in each the Android and iOS software program growth equipment (SDK). The platform can be utilized for each monetization and promoting and makes use of machine studying to accumulate “high-quality customers” who keep engaged and play for a very long time. In addition they say that customers who’re acquired by means of interactive advertisements have a 35% greater retention charge. 

ironSource has been criticized prior to now for creating promoting malware. That troubled historical past is elevating some pink flags for traders and builders. In 2010 ironSources first product was known as InstallCore. It had roughly 100 million month-to-month installations by 2012. Finally, Microsoft’s Home windows Defender, Malwarebytes, and different anti-malware apps began flagging InstallCore as malware. 

ironSource didn’t discontinue InstallCore till 2020, only one yr earlier than going public. Nevertheless, the injury was finished and lots of builders nonetheless affiliate it with the controversial software program. When the merger with Unity was introduced, builders and even laid off Unity workers took to social media to complain that they need to have simply mounted their very own advert platform as an alternative. They fearful that Unity would then set up malware into sport growth engines. Unity responded by citing that InstallCore wasn’t part of ironSource any longer, and that they solely develop merchandise for cellular and app builders, not desktop functions. 

Inventive specs

The inventive specs for ironSource advertisements differ with placement and could be discovered here


AppLovin is an alternate platform that allows publishers and businesses to achieve cellular app customers utilizing machine studying and predictive algorithms. They declare to have the ability to join consumers to 60,000 cellular apps on 1.5 billion gadgets globally. 

Their platform helps advertisements in varied codecs corresponding to:

  • Video
  • Rewarded video
  • Playable
  • Native
  • Wealthy media
  • Show 

SparkLabs is AppLovin’s in-house crew of designers, builders, and avid gamers who assist create advertisements. Their technique consists of understanding how the design and artistic parts affect and encourage folks to take motion. This consists of:

  • Making it simple for gamers to interact
  • Utilizing trending mechanics and seasonal content material
  • Creating advertisements that really feel native
  • Take into account testing dwell footage
  • Preserving the advertisements related
  • Getting impressed by actions outdoors the trade

Inventive specs

The inventive specs for AppLovin advertisements aren’t available on-line, however in the event you’re taken with making a marketing campaign, you’ll be able to join here

Whereas this isn’t a whole checklist of advert networks and exchanges accessible to builders and advertisers, these are the preferred, widest used, and have probably the most alternative for development because the online game trade continues to rise.  

In the event you’re taken with promoting your model in a online game, step one is to analysis which platform your target market makes use of, and the most effective codecs that can assist you get in entrance of as many customers as doable.  

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