Bidstack Group (LSE:BIDS), the native in-game advertising group, has announced the results of an independent study which used eye tracking technology to measure and predict visual engagement with advertisements across several of its gaming titles.
The study was carried out by Lumen Research Limited, an attention technology company which has developed eye tracking software. Eye tracking offers a scientific and objective measure of the reality of attention. Instead of asking questions about what people thought they saw, Lumen's technology monitors what they actually looked at.
The study was designed to discover how much attention Bidstack adverts receive during a typical gamer session, to identify the kind of in-game ads that perform best and to compare native in-game advertising to digital browsing norms.
The results were extremely positive for Bidstack, as its ads outperformed online browsing norms across all the titles tested, in some cases by more than double. When gamers who play every day interacted with Bidstack's ads they performed well above industry standards - demonstrating their value as an audience.
James Draper, CEO of Bidstack, commented: "We are thrilled with the outcome of this study which gives us independent proof that our product works in a demonstrable way for our clients.
"The results indicate that our advertising inventory outperforms display advertising in terms of brand recall, when exposed to a gaming audience which is an incredible result for the new industry and vertical we are building. "We are working to create a net new advertising category and, in doing so, media planners across the world will begin to recognise native in-game advertising alongside existing categories such as out of home or online display advertising.
"Bidstack is working through a number of independent viewability, brand safety and verification studies – to showcase the impact of our inventory.
"This study has helped us to understand where the premium placements are in-game and to refine our creative guidelines by game and environment, for example football vs racing games. This continued research is helping us define viewability in our various gaming environments and to evolve our programmatic pricing structure.
The positive results have come at a good time for the business and represent another step forward in our development along with our recent award of a DTSG Brand Safety Seal."
Mike Follett, Managing Director at Lumen Research, said: "We were really excited about the opportunity to work with Bidstack as gaming is a growing media channel with relatively little existing research. As attention specialists, we worked closely with the Bidstack team to understand the nuances of their inventory and grasp how their audience interact with their in-game ads.
"Our bespoke approach involved utilising our proprietary eye tracking software across a diverse demographic sample, with an even gender split and an 18-65+ age range.
"Our objective was to measure in-game attention, identify the ads that performed best and benchmark the results against digital browsing norms. The findings showed consistent engagement rates from participants and that, crucially, for "every day gamers" Bidstack's ads outperformed online browsing norms in all of their titles."
One company featured in the research was publishing group Penguin Random House.
Alice Murphy-Pyle, Senior Marketing Manager, Penguin Random House UK, commented: “We were pleased to see how well our ads performed in the study. We worked with Bidstack to promote three new releases and found it an innovative and eye-catching way to interact with a younger, predominantly male audience. Reaching 20-somethings who might not visit bookshops can be a challenge but gaming offers a fantastic route to engage with a group exactly where they are currently spending their leisure time.”