Decoding the In-Game Audience

Illustration showing a race car moving back and forth on a track, like it would in a video game

The gaming industry has been around for decades, but it’s only recently that brands and agencies have begun to recognize the value of in-game advertising. It’s now possible to reach gaming audiences through ad formats like display and video, and marketers are taking notice.  

There is a benefit to adding in-game advertising to your media mix, and it’s helpful to recognize who this channel will reach and why it’s important to reach them. Having a thorough understanding of who gamers are today will help you create campaigns that deliver the results you’re looking for.

What is Programmatic In-Game Advertising 

Gaming has become a mainstream, social pastime that is now a global phenomenon. With over 3.1 billion gamers worldwide, the gaming industry is now estimated to exceed $300 billion USD. In 2021, gamers spent about 8 hours and 27 minutes each week playing games, with an average session time of 1 hour and 20 minutes. 

In-game advertising enables ads to appear in video games either on mobile, desktop, or console devices. Blended in-game is a subtype of the category where highly viewable, non-clickable ads are seamlessly integrated into the game so they don’t interrupt gameplay. 

The most common formats that are leveraged in a blended in-game ad campaign are display and video. Ads in video games can appear in various ways. For example, on a billboard in a racing game, or on a player’s jersey in a sports game. The best part? In-game ads are organically integrated into the game environment. 

In-Game Ads Reach a Highly Desirable Audience

Gamers are a desirable audience to reach because during gaming sessions, players are highly engaged in gameplay, and are typically not multitasking. This gives a huge advantage to advertisers who want to place their ads in an impactful environment.

It’s a common stereotype that gaming is a niche activity, but this simply isn’t the case. Gaming consoles and mobile phones are now widely adopted, which has made gaming more accessible. It’s now widespread and popular across all demographics and geographies across the globe. 

Understanding the Gaming Audience

Anzu, a global market leader in in-game inventory, published a research study in 2022 titled,  US In-Game Advertising Report. The report uncovers helpful details and insights about the in-game audience. Let’s dive into some important takeaways about the customer profiles of the gaming audience. 


There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to defining the gaming audience in terms of demographics. A 2021 study showed that 55% of gamers identified as male, and 45% identified as female, while most gamers are found across a few generations, between the ages of 25-54 (Source: Anzu, Q4 2021). 

Another study found that those who game more than 10 hours a week have 2x more disposable income than non-gamers. This means that in-game audiences have impactful spending power. It’s clear that gamers are a broad audience that includes a diverse set of demographics. Basically, anyone might be considered a gamer today.


Gamers include users from many diverse consumer purchasing circles. For example, a gamer could easily be a parent, who’s in the market for new technology that might benefit their child at school. A gamer could also be a working professional who is interested in the latest fashion trends. 

It’s important to recognize that gamers are a vast audience of consumers, with multiple interests and different purchase intentions. Be careful not to segment gamers as users who are only interested in gaming.


Gamers are savvy and influential. According to Anzu’s research, 51% of gamers advise others and 47% influence others, especially when it comes to purchasing decisions. Anzu also found that 79% of gamers say socializing and new experiences are important to them, meaning that they value their close relationships and seize new opportunities to try new things. 

Gamers are ahead of the adoption curve, as 46% try to be the first to know about new products and services, such as emerging technology and the latest fashion trends. In a social context, inner circles rely on their gamer peers to give them advice on consumer purchasing decisions. This means there’s a powerful case for brands to influence the gamer audience before these purchasing decisions are made, in the awareness stage.

This audience poses a great opportunity for brands to get in front of users at the top of the funnel who care about new products and services, who recommend products to their diverse inner circles, and influence their purchase decisions. This emerging channel is one to consider for your strategies, and is ready to be tested by digital marketers across the globe through advertising platforms. 

Ready to Get Ahead of the Game? 

In-game advertising provides an opportunity to develop relationships with a growing, influential, and diverse audience. Marketers can leverage this emerging channel to reach engaged, focused users to build brand awareness and loyalty. Adding this channel to your media mix now will help you get ahead of the game as this channel gains prominence. 

Want to run exceptional in-game advertising campaigns? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.

Melysa Chong
Melysa Chong

Product Marketing Manager


Melysa brings 8+ years of advertising expertise, with a rich background in agency, sales, and marketing. Her passion lies in simplifying complex advertising strategies and products through compelling content creation.