Monday, December 3, 2007

Mobile Gaming - Coming to Town?

Today I had the pleasure of discovering Greystripe and it's mobile network opportunities with Jenny Burlington, Senior Manager, Business Development.

What it is
Based in San Francisco, Greystripe is the world’s first ad supported mobile gaming network. They are effectively driving mass consumer adoption of mobile games and applications while providing advertisers with a unique platform to reach highly engaged users.

Working on open network carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile and Bell Mobility, the AdWRAP network delivers full screen images, videos, and scrolling banners and dynamically delivers them into mobile games and applications. The patent-pending AdWRAP technology automatically adds the AdWRAP advertising client to mobile games and applications.

Greystripe reaches millions of mobile game players through its portal. Their licensed games and ad content are also distributed worldwide through 30+ partners around the world. Social networking sites that offer downloadable content distribute the Greystripe product to their users.

Current targeting capabilities include country, carrier and game. Keeping in line with adoption rates, the most popular approach to date is through run of network advertising making this vehicle highly appropriate for global brands and commerce enabled sites like eBay.

Ease of entry to Mobile Advertising – Greystripe is an end-to-end solution providing marketers with an advertising network as well as creative services to translate ads effectively across the mobile platform. Greystripe has also managed to penetrate the mature mobile markets through their network making it easier to extend reach with one solution.

Rich Content – The downloadable games are developed by top tier developers creating rich user experiences (worth putting up with ads).

High Response Rates – In the mature markets click though rates reach between 10-15% levels while the US sees average click through rates of 4-7%). The ads are full screen providing full brand exposure/association.

Recent IDC numbers show revenue from sales of mobile games in the US rising from $600 million in 2005 to $1.5 billion in 2008. Mobile advertising is projected by analysts to be a $10 billion market by 2009.

The ad-supported model while in its infancy appears to be working. GameJump reaches millions of mobile game players in over 150 countries. There are currently over 1,000 applications available for download.

Time will tell whether micro-payment models will push through the advertising for users that may prefer quicker access to the content. The ads appear in two prior to games launching on the mobile device. The quality of the ads will most likely play a major role in the effectiveness of the medium.

Another challenge will most likely be the proliferation of television content on handsets and the ad opportunities they will bring. eMarketer forecasts that there will be 100 million worldwide users of paid or sponsored mobile broadcast video services by the end of 2009.

As for the local opportunities, Greystripe has not fully explored the ability to target at the localized level. This could be a critical mass issue. There may be some interesting opportunities with their ad serving technology however to provide dynamically targeted ads when applicable.

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