Google while continuing to expand its advertising network has entered the video game market, with the purchase of AdScape Media, a company that specializes in video game advertising.
Advertising in games is relatively new, but has the potential to reach a huge audience. A recent Nielsen Entertainment study found that men aged 18 to 34 are spending more time playing video games (12.5 hours on average per week) and less time watching television (9.8 hours per week).
Google will now be competing against Microsoft, who has a rare advertising advantage over Google, because of the success of the Xbox 360 gaming console and a long list of gaming titles.
Michael Goodman, a program manager at research firm Yankee Group Research had this to say,
“Google would be playing catch-up against some significant entrenched providers, the biggest challenge for them is they might see themselves closed out of the Xbox as a platform to serve ads to.”
Google has been exploring advertising options outside of search by moving into print and radio. Google’s greatest success has been in contextual advertising. They’re yet to establish a dominant position in display advertising, which is the current method for in-game advertising. Time will tell whether Google succeeds in gaming as it has in search advertising.