Comment & Opinion

Quality and quantity: inside Take-Two studio Socialpoint’s AudioMob partnership

AudioMob looks at why the mobile studio famed for the quality of its games picked audio ads - and what it means for brands

Quality and quantity: inside Take-Two studio Socialpoint’s AudioMob partnership

Will Freeman is content strategist for AudioMob.

Mobile games publisher Socialpoint has developed a global reputation for quality, creativity and reach. Their creations such as Word Life offer engaging experiences, expertly blending premium production quality with an approachability that has attracted a vast audience across numerous demographics. Equally, Socialpoint has seen its games retain customers for significant periods - far longer than is typical in the casual and hypercasual spaces.

For brands and advertisers, there is an immense opportunity to meaningfully connect with swathes of the globe’s three billion highly engaged, receptive gamers that bring striking brand recall. The point about production quality is an important one too: at a fundamental level, a polished, premium-quality game explicitly makes a better vehicle in which to deliver an ad, and all the better if ad format and delivery method also brings a premium experience.

Mobile on point

Following Socialpoint's founding in 2008, video game publishing giant Take-Two Interactive ultimately acquired Socialpoint for at least $250 million in 2017, asserting just how valuable the Barcelona-based studio’s library has become.

The numbers speak to the quality and impact of what Socialpoint has achieved. Socialpoint are valuable to Take-Two because they bring highly polished, deeply entertaining gaming experiences that also bring tremendous success. For context, although Take-Two owns the global cultural phenomenon and iconic game series, Grand Theft Auto, CEO Strauss Zelnick has explicitly highlighted how Socialpoint’s titles have been key to enhancing its financial results.

Following its acquisition and ascension to the top flight of mobile publishers, Socialpoint has now chosen to partner with audio ad outfit AudioMob, which brings expertly crafted, non-intrusive audio-ads to mobile games. That offering is a straightforward one in principle: audio ads are served within a game while a user continues to play. This avoids the jarring, irritating experience familiar to so many mobile gamers, where a video ad blocks them from playing, intruding on their experience of the game, at the expense of retention and monetisation.

“It’s a method that’s currently delivering unrivalled results for brands like Currys, who harnessed the power of audio to secure a 3,650 per cent relative average CTR uplift in a campaign conceived to drive Xbox Series S purchases, during a noisy holiday period,” stated AudioMob account strategist, Luke Taplin-McCallum. “The same campaign also saw a 14-times increase in Xbox Series S purchase intent. The bespoke ad Currys and Xbox produced to harness the format’s potential delivered unrivalled results, while bringing powerful monetisation to the game, all without harming retention. That is essentially what we exist to do.”

Those kinds of CTR lifts are far from unique to that one campaign, and can be seen across the brands and advertisers that have picked to deploy AudioMob’s format.

A word on success

The partnership with AudioMob is about elevating the success of Socialpoint’s games. But beyond that, it will have a material impact on the entire in-game audio advertising space, providing more opportunities for brands to reach players programmatically. Audio ads’ current rise is a key driver in the ongoing and broader renaissance for audio, which is also evident in the remarkable boom podcasts and music streaming are enjoying.

As part of that wider audio renaissance, in-game audio ads provide a key opportunity at a pivotal time for those that make and distribute games, where much of the established ecosystem for revenue generation has shifted, leaving them searching for new opportunities.

AudioMob’s deal with Socialpoint kicks off with Word Life, a puzzler that delivers relaxing crossword-like brain teasers that fit around the user’s busy life. It’s a highly polished creation that delights players while providing just the kind of quality advertisers want as a delivery vehicle for their brands’ reputations. And for Socialpoint, AudioMob appealed because it provides superior ad delivery that matches the quality and elegance of their games.

Martin Schmidt, senior product ad monetisation manager at Socialpoint stated: “As a gaming publisher, we are always looking for three things. First, we want to create a smooth experience between gameplay and advertising. Secondly, we prefer to show our users brand campaigns rather than ads of other games. The majority of advertising demand in the mobile gaming sector is coming from mobile gaming itself.

“Last, but not least, revenue is another important factor. We are looking for new, innovative ways to generate revenue now some of the older methods have become redundant. Audio ads seem to tick all the boxes, and we are pretty excited to go live with AudioMob in our word puzzle game Word Life.”

The proven ability to connect brands with relevant audiences while significantly improving revenues for publishers is explicit. For game developers and publishers, AudioMob’s ads are a complement to the quality of the most polished mobile games there are, backed by the biggest companies in the industry. AudioMob’s format, like all of Socialpoint’s titles, puts player experience first – all while elevating the potential for brands to engage users, and lifting commercial success for developers and publishers. If you want ads that raise revenues while matching the quality of your team's games, audio is the way to go.

Ultimately, in-game audio is a solution with the consumer at its heart, demonstrating value for publisher, player, and advertiser. Its ability to engage users that are inspired to click through or meaningfully and positively recall brands is significant and then some. Brands can lean on the AudioMob team to help them navigate this intimate and high impact space, with the trusted format of audio. regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.