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Opinion: Greystripe continues to drive Mobile in-game advertising

March 24, 2009

Greystripe has been a key innovator and trend setter in the mobile gaming industry for several years now, and 2009 is proving indifferent as they have accessed capital  to invest in linking mobile ads to online ads. As reported by Mobiad News, Greystripe is keen to continue building mobile as an advertising channel, and ensuring it is integrated cohesively with the alternative ‘traditional’ digital channels such as online ads.

Greystripe’s vision is that mobile advertising should be available to be bought alongside online advertising – agencies should be able to simply “click to add the mobile channel”. This would make it easier for brands and agencies to fund mobile advertising from existing online budgets rather than having to set up special mobile budgets.

As highlighted in the article by Mobiad, it will be interesting to see how Greystripe will allow brands to employ the mobile channel, and the range of functionality and personalisation utilised. Greystripe recognised the benefit of incentivising mobile downloads at an early stage, and we will have to wait and see if they will encourage the brands that advertise through the channel to provide further incentives for their users.

I believe there is a real opportunity for free mobile games downloads to make an impact in 2009, especially with the impending influx of application stores due to arrive. With such a huge amount of repetitive content in apps stores, consumers will begin to opt for the best value for money application/game. Therefore Greystripe has the chance to begin developing some great content and further build on their 160 million odd downloads to date. Much of this success depends on ensuring the quality of the content is sufficient to give the consumer good reason to download their application over any other, including paid for apps. This must also be accompanied by the ability to personalise or include more relevant ads in the games they provide. Some big obstacles, but nothing Greystripe can’t handle!

If you fancy a further read, heres the extract from my dissertation relevant to Greystripe. This was written in March 2008 and therefore is a little out of date, but hopefully can give you a full insight into the Greystripe project.

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3.3.2 Case Study – Greystripe changes the Games Downloads Model

Most consumers need entertainment when they are in a restricted environment, such as travelling on the train, sat in a café on their lunch break, even whilst they are at work. The handheld console industry has taken a significant step towards filling this void by creating small yet powerful consoles with a wide variety of games available to a broad age range. The main problem here is that these consoles are not ‘slip in your pocket’ size, and are in fact just extra luggage to carry around with you. Gaming on mobile phones therefore, has the potential nose ahead in the race for the consumer’s entertainment gratification. The mobile games download industry has proved immensely successful all over the world, with “17 million consumers downloading games in the USA in 2006” (Mitchell 2007). By providing the consumer with a vast selection of games, providers are able to supply to even the most niche markets. Advertising in connection with games downloads however, has usually proved unsuccessful, with consumers unwilling to download games that are flooded with advertisements they are required to pay for. Finding a model to benefit all parties has been few and far between, however in 2006, a games development company, Greystripe, found a potential answer. They set up Gamejump.com, which provided hundreds of mobile game titles from around 70 publishers at no cost to the consumer. “All the titles are free for consumers to download and play, with publishers and Greystripe making money by serving up advertisements prior to each game session, as well as in-between levels and at other moments” (Davis 2007). After their first 12 months of operation, the results were extremely positive, with “14 millions downloads made from its main online portal gamejump.com, as well as other white label Greystripe sites” (Davis 2007). It is clear that when content for mobile is made available for free, consumers are more than likely to tolerate advertising that interrupts game play, as this is a sacrifice they are making in order to improve their handset. The high success rate as demonstrated by Gamejump.com means that by adjusting business models to accommodate advertising, games developers are more likely to reach a broader audience and achieve a higher rate of downloads.

3.3.3 Summary

Games however, are just a small part of a vast download landscape that allows the mobile owner to improve the quality of their handset, as well as personalise it to suit their tastes. Ringtones, screensavers, backgrounds, text alerts and music have all established themselves within the market place, and are satisfying current consumer demand, however the future of mobile means that soon consumers will want a broader range of content. The cost to manufacturers and providers to produce this content will be extensive, which will in turn create the opportunity for advertisers to participate and allow providers to administer the content to the consumers for minimal cost. For mobile advertising to be a success, all sectors of the industry must strive to provide the consumer with the broadest range of quality content, as well as work together to ensure that all parties can benefit from its application.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2009 4:38 am

    Greystripe is bleeding money. Seems like MobileRated.com and Hovr.com are eating their lunch.

    • carlmartin1987 permalink*
      March 25, 2009 8:44 am

      Ok Julie, seeing as you clearly work for Mobile Rated, can you give us an idea of how Mobile Rated is ‘eating Greystripe’s lunch’?

      This could prove to be worthy of a bigger article…

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