Bidstack, the in-game advertising group, has entered into a £10m trade deal that represents the first-ever major investment from an agency group into in-game advertising.
Bidstack has been trailblazing the in-game ad category since it was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 – becoming the first crowdfunded gaming company to go public. Since its arrival on the open market, Bidstack has signed partnerships with game publishers such as Sports Interactive and Codemasters, ad tech platforms such as The Trade Desk, Xandr and also the recently acquired ad fraud prevention platform Pubguard.
The latest deal represents a significant shift in approach from major advertisers looking to engage with gaming and esports audiences on a larger scale. It is the biggest trade deal of its kind to date, and highlights the growing recognition from major agency groups that reaching an affluent, diverse and growing audience through gaming will be critical in 2020 and beyond.
The gaming industry continues to go from strength to strength with the global market now estimated to be worth USD$148.8bn (£113.6bn) and esports audiences beginning to challenge audiences for traditional sporting events. Gaming is now bigger than the film and music industries combined – and with ad blocking on the rise and traditional ad channels in decline, it is clear to see why brands and advertisers are moving to future proof their media strategies.
Previously businesses such as Massive Inc, Double Fusion and IGA attempted to establish themselves as leaders in in-game advertising, but arrived before online gaming and esports were firmly established, and struggled with a lack of scale. Bidstack, however, has successfully integrated its SDK into leading triple AAA games allowing it to make ads trackable, and available programmatically, guaranteeing advertisers brand safety, greater control and increased scale.
James Draper, CEO of Bidstack said, “This is a huge milestone for us as a business. We have always believed in our technology, our team and our partners and this trade deal is a real show of faith from the advertising industry that we serve. For me, this signals the dawn of a new ad category.
“Brands and advertisers can see how gaming has emerged as an exciting channel in recent years and there is no better endorsement of that view than a multi-million pound trade deal from one of the world’s biggest agency groups.”