IAB releases proposed standards for in-game ads

The in-game advertising community are coming together to develop common standards and metrics.

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau has released proposed Intrinsic In-Game Measurement guidelines for public discussion. The proposed metrics address issues like viewability, measurement and fraud for ads that appear in the gameplay environment.

“As more companies enter the gaming ecosystem, it’s critical that IAB and IAB Tech Lab gather the industry to help establish uniform standards needed to create consistency across the in-game advertising marketplace,” said the IAB in a release.

What the proposals are intended to do. Among the intended benefits of the guidelines are:

  • Establishing viewability standards for in-game ads, including screen size, resolution, angle and lighting.
  • Creating standards for tracking impression measurement, display ad viewability and invalid traffic.
  • Re-examining the 10-second cumulative exposure duration for counting a valid impression.

The project is a collaboration between IAB Experience Center, the IAB Tech Lab and the Media Rating Council, alongside in-game ad companies, brands, and agencies.

Why we care. The potential of gaming as a marketing channel is vast with an estimated global audience of over 3 billion gamers — much larger, for example, than the CTV audience. “Gaming represents a huge opportunity for marketers,” said Zoe Soon, VP, IAB Experience Center, in a release. “With 227 million gamers in the US, and over three billion globally by the end of this year, it’s a major entertainment channel, especially for Gen Z, the next generation of household decision-makers and spenders.”


These are early days, so there’s an incentive for the in-game ad ecosystem to agree to standard terminology and valid metrics. In-game advertising is a channel with its own special requirements. For example, click-thru ads that take the gamer out of the game environment provide a bad user experience; and although an ad may be viewable, advertisers will also want to know whether it’s capturing the attention of someone busy slaying aliens.

Finally, there’s tantalizing potential future rewards. Brands and agencies that excel at in-game advertising are going to be perfectly positioned to market in the metaverse.

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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