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What advertisers can gain from the surging mobile gaming user base in India

With a 250-million user base, mobile gaming has been a lure for marketers who well understand its reach. Rohit Sharma, CEO of POKKT, a platform that creates ad campaigns that are integrated into mobile games with a reward mechanism for gamers, tells how brands can gain instant gratification from such a module

Poised for stellar growth in upcoming years, India’s mobile gaming apps market has been getting a lot of attention from brands and marketers as it continues to grow at breakneck speed. As India is well positioned to be the next major gaming market globally, it is a crucial time for advertisers to garner maximum benefits.

POKKT has successfully been delivering numerous campaigns for leading advertisers such as HUL, P&G, CocaCola, Google and Amazon by integrating their campaigns into mobile games with a reward mechanism for gamers, and that has made marketers understand the advantage of in-app games.

Rohit Sharma

“There is a huge increase of casual mobile gamers in India, which has grown from almost 100 million to almost 250 million in the last two to three years. Time spent is almost 60 minutes per person per day on gaming, which is being consumed by people of all age groups across geographies. From an advertising point of view, rewarded video ads as a platform is only available in the gaming ecosystem. Unlike any other platform such as OTT or TV, gaming provides the maximum engagement because by itself gaming is a very highly engaging platform. That is why even the advertising consumed within the platform is highly engaging for the user and there is a much larger impact and engagement for a brand,” Rohit Sharma, CEO of POKKT, said in an interaction with

Discussing the benefits of advertising within mobile games, he said the adtech platform has seen strong growth over the years due to these factors along with its very strong data and programmatic capabilities, technology and audience data that it has built. Launched in 2013 and with offices in 10 countries, the platform is today profitable and cash-positive with an average 60% y-o-y growth.

Being the largest player in the region when it comes to advertising within mobile games, the platform ensures that the ad campaigns shown to gamers are relevant to them. When a user watches ad videos, he is being rewarded with some points within the game.

“Gaming content is very similar to television content. All games made by developers and publishers are very contextual and keep the audience in mind. Every game in itself is categorised, as in who (male/female/kid/youngsters) plays what. And with the information of 500 million unique users on our platform, we have built our own data management platform. With data about our audiences and their demographics, we are able to accurately target them with content,” Sharma said.

The platform has an inhouse team that creates a lot of gamification and mini-games for brands. It creates ads that are more gaming-led and engaging.

Talking about the business model, he said, “95% of mobile games today globally are premium. Which means a user can install the game for free, but within the game they need to go for in-app purchase, or buy some coins to go to the next level. Every time the user is given the option of in-app purchase, he/she is also given an option to either purchase or watch a video ad. And that is when such reward points offered by us become useful, and users end up watching the ads.”

Asked how such rewards lead to a better engagement for any brand and attract new users, he said unlike watching any ad on TV or on YouTube, the platform rewards users for watching an ad. For consumers, it is the brand giving them the reward, which is a very positive rub-off. They remember the name of the brand, which is instant gratification.

Sharing how in the upcoming years the adtech space will see a shift, where buying will move from media to audiences, he said it will disproportionately move to programmatic and third-party measurement tools, which will provide better measurement to all the advertisers and marketers.

“Brands today want certain KPIs such as viewability, completion rate, brand safety, in-target. Currently, these are not very utilised and thus have a huge opportunity. As time evolves, it will only become better for the marketer in terms of better reach,” he said.

Talking about their upcoming plans, Sharma said it works with more than 1,000 game publishers all across the world and more than 300 brand advertisers across all markets, and it aims to increase the number. With its recent launch in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, its growth plan is to be a stronger player in India and Southeast Asia.

“We aim to invest much more behind data and technology to build very robust product and data capability. With an objective to expand into mature market, we also want to increase our performance business,” he said.

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