Henry Degnin, digital account manager at Generation Media, examines how mobile and online properties kept the TV advertising market afloat last year
2014 was a progressive year for the games and consoles TV advertising market with TV ad pressure rising 16 per cent (in terms of individual TV viewer ratings) year-on-year. There are multiple reasons for this, and we have analysed some of the core drivers behind this growth.
Interestingly, there were actually fewer games and consoles TV campaigns in 2014 (146 versus 160 in 2013), which initially appears to contradict the overall growth pattern.
What can be discerned from these two contrasting pieces of information is that advertisers were willing to back individual campaigns more heavily than in previous years.
This could be a result of deflationary pricing, or even a reaction for the need to prioritise cut-through in a crowded market.
This resulted in the average campaign achieving 25 individual TV viewer ratings (TVRs) more than in 2013 (179 versus 154 individual TVRs).
Looking at month-on-month growth, just three months were down year-on-year versus 2013 in terms of total TVRs (individuals); February, November and December.
The launch of PS4 and Xbox One at the end of 2013 is likely the biggest precursor for this discrepancy in year-on-year growth across the 2014 pre-Christmas period; Microsoft and Sony occupied 30 per cent of the market across November and December 2013 compared to 22 per cent in 2014.
Although not as reliant on Q4 as 2013, 2014 saw a surge in the significance of mobile/online gaming properties in the games and consoles TV ad market.
Mobile/online properties made up 37 per cent of the games and consoles TV ad market in 2014, compared to 14 per cent in 2013.
This growth is best illustrated by King.com.
The TV campaign behind the original incarnation of the ever-popular Candy Crush Saga was 787 per cent larger than in 2013, whilst Farm Heroes Saga achieved nearly 3,000 individual TVRs during 2014.
So much is the contribution of mobile/online properties to games and consoles TV advertising that the market would have declined 15 per cent down year-on-year if these properties were removed.
Traditional boxed games and hardware occupied eight of the Top 10 games and consoles TV ad campaigns in 2013, compared to last year's 50:50 split.
2014 also revealed an even greater focus on TV advertising in this fast-emerging sector of the games and consoles market.
Mobile/online properties occupied such a share of the spoils that the market would have actually been down year-on-year without the investment of advertisers such as King.
With the potentially lower-cost strategy of prioritising frequency over large scale, higher-rating spots, it would not be surprising to see 2015's Top 10 occupied even further by these new and emerging properties.