Updates finalized for IAB intrinsic in-game ad measurement guidelines

The updated guidelines aim at making in-game ad measurement on par with other digital media.

IAB announced the finalization of Intrinsic In-Game Advertising Measurement Guidelines 2.0, a joint effort between the IAB Experience Center, the IAB Tech Lab and the Media Ratings Council.

This project is the first update of its kind to guidelines introduced in 2009. The updates were initially proposed back in June.

Intrinsic in-game ads. The guidelines cover native in-game or in-play ads served “in the game” as part of the gameplay environment.

These guidelines include new standards for ad viewability, measurement, inactivity and even fraud, as they apply to game environments and game play.

Measurement standards. The update includes guidance on ad exposure and viewability, along with terminology that can apply to other digital channels, according to the IAB.

The measurement standards are focused on:

  • Re-examining the 10-second cumulative exposure duration for counting a valid impression including “sight, sound, and motion”, as well as 3D and virtual environments.
  • Incorporating new advertising formats beyond two-dimensional and video as it relates to viewability within in-game environments.
  • Defining in-game measurement terms (impressions, reach / frequency, and engagement) to align with broader cross-channel measurement efforts.

Smart TVs. The updated measurement standards also provide guidance for the delivery of interactive ads on smart TVs.

Why we care. As games evolve and their audience grows (up to 3 billion gamers worldwide), an increasing number of brands are missing out on connecting with customers if they hold out on in-game advertising. The new guidelines and standards are an important step for advertisers, agencies and game publishers who want to include — and measure — in-game ads alongside other digital channels and ad formats.

Not only have game experiences changed over the last decade, but so has the hardware. Smart TVs are an important hub for gamers not overlooked by the new guidelines. This is because gamers can play off of Smart TV apps. And a dynamic, growing number of gamers are playing on consoles plugged into TVs.

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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.