As advertisers start spending more on the "underutilized" video game market, in-game and around-game ad spend will more than double globally by 2016, according to analysts.
In a new report
released this week by DFC Intelligence, analysts are predicting that global ad spend on games will reach $7.2 billion by 2016, up from the $3.1 billion spent in 2010.
North American ad spend in particular is expected to grow rapidly: the estimated $1 billion spent in 2010 is expected to surpass $2 billion by 2014.
According to the company, the growth will occur as advertisers come to realize the potential of games. As the report notes, game advertisement revenue "pales in comparison" to other media.
"Video games have reached beyond adolescent males into a mainstream entertainment medium that touches every segment of the population," said DFC analyst Michael Goodman. "Despite this, advertisers continue to under utilize video games as an advertising vehicle. This is slowly changing as more games go online."
The biggest growth is expected in advertising around games: in other words, methods such as banners as opposed to brand messages on in-game assets. That particular type of advertising, combined with a growing advergame market, is expected to account for around 78 percent of toat $7.2 billion, according to the report.
The full 45-page annual "Advertising and Video Games" report is available here
for a fee.