Why Gaming Traffic Could Be Key To Scaling Your Non-Gaming App

By Audrey Moore | March 29, 2023

Gaming comes with many stereotypes. Often, gamers are labeled as a monolithic, niche group of teens with little to no purchasing power or influence when it comes to decision-making. Mobile games carry the stereotype of offering spammy or fraudulent user experiences. If you manage a well-known brand outside the gaming industry, these stereotypes probably make you hesitant to advertise to gaming traffic.

Luckily for you, they couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, brands can benefit immensely from advertising to the mobile gaming community. Many gamers are highly engaged, have significant purchasing power, and play in brand-safe environments.

Dramatically Increase Your Audience With Gaming Apps

Gaming apps are prolific. Over 1.5 million gaming apps are available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store combined. According to Business of Apps1, marketers are predicted to spend seven times more on social media ads than on in-app gaming ads. If you fall into this category, it may be time to reconsider your approach.

Of the millions of apps available across the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, approximately 1.5 million—or 20%—are gaming apps. According to Statista2, global user penetration in the mobile gaming industry is expected to hit 29.2% by 2027, with 2.32 billion users worldwide. This is an enormous audience to tap for any brand and can significantly widen your marketing funnel.

So Who Are Mobile Gamers?

As the mobile ad tech industry adapts to new privacy changes, finding high-value users with limited data access can be challenging. Apple’s strict SKAdNetwork (SKAN) policies and the impending release of the Google Privacy Sandbox limit how mobile measurement partners (MMPs) and in-app advertisers analyze down-funnel postbacks. They also stem the flow of key insights that optimize revenue-generating conversions. 

As such, Google’s future discontinuation of third-party cookies on Chrome and Apple’s have heightened awareness around tracking policies (such as ITP 2.3). They also limit crucial data for marketers and make ROAS optimization more difficult. Fortunately, app-to-web offers specific advantages that can help marketers overcome these challenges.

Balancing privacy and data with a first-party tracking pixel

Gaming traffic represents a diverse set of users. Mobile games can be divided into kids games, action games, puzzle games, social casino games, role-playing games (RPG), mid-core games, and many more. Each game caters to a unique set of audiences. By advertising in gaming apps, you can segment and hyper-target your audience while expanding your reach by leaning into specific gaming genres.

Mobile gamers represent all ages, genders, and backgrounds. In late December 2022, Liftoff Accelerate and GameRefinery compiled data on over 200,000 players and over 83,000 different apps to better understand the gamer profile. The data showed that the vast majority of players were over the age of 25, and almost half were women. 

Gaming audiences can also be analyzed by subgenre since different games attract different age and gender segments. For example, 16- to 24-year-olds only make up about 23% of match 3 players, but 25- to 44-year-olds comprise 44% of its players. Similarly, tactical shooter games skew male (74% versus 26%). By incorporating segments into your brand strategy, you can create more personalized content that will better resonate with your target audience.

The Best Audience is an Engaged Audience

Gaming traffic brings another clear benefit—gamers are more likely to engage with your ad. According to Exchange Wire3, 69% of mobile gamers rarely second-screen (in other words, they provide their full attention to the game). A LoopMe4 survey found that 31% of consumers played mobile games more than five times a day.

High engagement makes gamers a prime audience for full-screen ads, rewarded video, and, most notably, playable ads. Playable ads (or interactive ads) prompt users to engage directly with an ad (often achieving a task, playing a level, taking a quiz, etc.). They work well because they provide a fun, interactive experience that keeps the player interested and committed to the game.

Targeting gaming traffic with playable ads in combination with other video ad formats could be a big hit for marketers trying to increase positive brand-interaction opportunities. Nathalie Sutthons, a Manager at Liftoff Creative Studio, notes, “If applied thoughtfully, hybrid formats–a video plus playable, for example–can increase engagement and drive conversions.” We’ve found that over a 30-day period, playable ads delivered 9.5 times higher click-through rates (CTRs) than non-interactive ads and 11 times higher impression-to-install rates (ITIs) than non-interactive ads. You can learn more about playables and how to best utilize them in the 2023 Mobile Ad Creative Index.

Gaming Apps Are Brand Safe

Finally, mobile gaming apps can and do provide brand-safe experiences. Most mobile games are keen to protect their image, brand loyalty, and IP. Some top-grossing games on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store are also highly-protected IPs (think of games like PUBG Mobile and Pokemon Go.) 

Often, game developers are laser-focused on developing a user experience that will increase retention, engagement, and lifetime value (LTV). Unlike social media or streaming platforms, game developers also control 100% of the content featured on their platforms. This decreases the variability of content, assures that content rigidly follows brand-safe guidelines, and reduces the risk of your ad appearing in an inappropriate environment. 

Conversely, social media apps are far more likely to be fraudulent and cause brand safety concerns, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission5. Social media platforms are also not responsible for the content on their platforms. This could lead to your ads appearing next to inappropriate content that harms your brand image. 

In short, marketing to mobile gamers brings many benefits—access to engaged audiences at scale, ways to segment your audience, and more brand-safe environments. If you decide to change up your media mix, consider tapping into gaming traffic. If you’re ready to start capitalizing on gaming traffic with a fraud-free partner, Liftoff Accelerate is here to help.

Contact your Liftoff Accelerate account manager or get started today to unlock increased reach and growth for your brand.


  1. See https://www.businessofapps.com/news/a-fifth-of-mobile-gamers-are-deeply-engaged-when-playing-in-app/
  2. See https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/digital-media/video-games/mobile-games/worldwide
  3. See https://www.exchangewire.com/deep-dive/the-evolution-of-gaming-why-modern-marketers-need-to-embrace-gaming-as-a-channel/
  4. See https://loopme.com/press_releases/survey-from-loopme-reveals-62-of-consumers-play-games-on-their-mobile-devices-with-76-playing-more-than-an-hour-per-day/
  5. See https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/data-visualizations/data-spotlight/2022/01/social-media-gold-mine-scammers-2021