Top In-App Brand Advertising Stats & Predictions for 2024

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Let’s start with an overview of the state of in-app brand advertising – specifically within gaming apps:

  • $352.7 billion. That’s the projected spending in the in-app advertising market worldwide for 2024 (a 12% increase from 2023 projections).
  • In 2022, 70% of the total ad spend ($116 billion) was directed towards mobile games.
  • In 2025, the global gaming market is projected to reach an annual $286.8 billion market value.
  • The projected average of in-app ad spending per MIU in 2024 is $64.83.
  • 79% of in-app marketers in APAC report they attribute brand awareness improvement to in-app ads; with 66% seeing increased ROI.

This sets the stage for the rising significance of in-app advertising in brand marketing strategies. Major brands are strategically embracing in-app advertising for their branding campaigns.

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Source: Statista


Backed by data-driven insights, our research delves into the rationale behind this strategic shift, uncovering the complexities of in-app brand advertising in this dynamic and profitable landscape.

So, what’s next for brand advertisers in an in-app-centric world? We’ve gathered the key stats and trends to answer it all:


What Is In-App Advertising?

In-app advertising is the strategic placement of paid advertisements within mobile applications. This dynamic form of digital marketing allows app owners to monetize their platforms by selling ad space to advertisers. By showcasing ads to a targeted and engaged audience, advertisers can effectively raise brand awareness and connect with potential customers. The in-app advertising landscape offers various formats, such as banner ads, video ads, and native ads, each tailored to specific marketing goals.

Benefits of In-App Brand Advertising for Awareness and Recall

The key advantages we’ve identified are audience engagement, brand safety, and targeting accuracy.

    1. Audience Engagement: 
      • Mobile users (US) dedicate 88% of their usage time to apps. These users, who have made the effort to install an app, are already invested and engaged.
      • In-app ads are super effective, with over 150% higher conversion rates than mobile web ads. Plus, the clickthrough rate of in-app ads is more than 2x that of mobile web ads—0.56% compared to just 0.23%.
      • In-app ads dominate customer conversion with a 3x higher CR than web mobile ads (and a 4x advantage in customer retention rate).
    2. Brand safety: Most apps are category-specific and lack any user-generated content. minimizing the risk of ads appearing in inappropriate environments.
    3. Targeting accuracy: User consent during installations allows apps to gather user data for contextual targeting, including app subcategories, time of day, ad preferences (via social network connection), and other factors.

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The Evolution of In-App Brand Advertising

The landscape of in-app advertising is undergoing significant shifts driven by technological advancements, changes in consumer behavior, and the evolving digital ecosystem. These changes are reshaping how businesses connect with their audiences, especially within the immersive domain of gaming apps. 

These are key developments specifically facilitate effective in-app brand marketing strategies for advertisers:

Programmatic Precision

Real-time optimization is the secret sauce of data-driven decision-making. In the world of programmatic advertising, in-app ad placements and bidding strategies are constantly being monitored. When an in-app ad falls short or doesn’t hit the mark, the system automatically intervenes, adjusting exposure, refining targeting, or reallocating resources to higher-performing placements or formats.

In a landscape where consumer behavior shifts rapidly, This real-time approach is a strategic imperative for brands aiming to stay ahead, adapt swiftly to market shifts, foster deeper connections, and maximize every dollar for impact.

Curated Audience Packages

In an era where precision is paramount, advertisers can now strategically select the apps they wish to place their ads. This curated approach allows for a more targeted and tailored advertising strategy, ensuring brands reach audiences that align with their objectives. Our industry research indicates that this trend is gaining momentum, providing advertisers with a nuanced approach to in-app brand marketing.

Curation is an in-app strategy that goes beyond selection; it involves expertly shaping the inventory to maximize its appeal and effectiveness for advertisers. Curators categorize and bundle based on parameters like audience demographics, content relevance, and behavioral patterns. This meticulous process ensures a more cohesive and targeted advertising approach. Brand advertisers enjoy higher engagement rates, improved campaign performance, and a more efficient allocation of their advertising budget.

This strategy is all the more powerful when implemented in-app, thanks to contextual targeting and strategically allocating budgets to selected apps that match their audiences’ interests (e.g. a curated list of sports-related apps to promote a new shaving razor blade).

Immersive Experiences

For any brand today, settling for mere “visibility” is like vanishing into thin air. In the fierce battle for attention, immersion is the secret weapon. In-app ad formats break through traditional limits, delivering users captivating brand experiences—particularly within gaming apps. It’s more than just strategic ad placements; it’s about crafting unforgettable moments. Ads that take app users on an immersive journey into brand values can leave a lasting impression that ensures brand recognition.

Strategic Partnerships

Collaborations with tech-driven platforms have become imperative. Beyond ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations, these partnerships foster trust by prioritizing user privacy. In a rapidly changing industry, strategic alliances enable brands not only to adapt but also to differentiate themselves through ethical and transparent data practices.

App Data Privacy Regulations

The emergence of app data privacy rules comes at a crucial juncture for brand advertisers. Partnering with tech-driven platforms is crucial – not just to check the compliance box but also to distinguish themselves. By embracing ethical data practices and transparency, Recent developments in app data privacy regulations—including updates to IDFA and the expansion of SKAN—alongside evolving cookie policies, mark a significant shift in how advertisers and publishers operate.

IDFA Changes and Their Impact on In-App Ads

Apple’s modification to IDFA, requiring user consent for tracking, has significantly altered the approach to personalized advertising. Advertisers must now rely more on first-party data and contextual advertising strategies to reach their target audiences effectively. This change emphasizes the importance of developing creative, engaging content that resonates with users’ current interests and behaviors, without relying on extensive historical data.

SKANdNetwork Expansion

With the SKAN framework, Apple offers an alternative attribution model that respects user privacy while providing advertisers with campaign performance insights. Advertisers and developers need to adapt their measurement strategies to this aggregated data model, focusing on optimizing campaign structures and ad creatives to better gauge performance under these new constraints.

Cookie Policy Updates

The gradual phasing out of third-party cookies in browsers like Google Chrome has prompted advertisers to explore new methods of tracking and targeting. This includes a heightened focus on server-to-server tracking solutions, unified IDs, and leveraging data management platforms (DMPs) to maintain audience targeting capabilities and measurement accuracy.

Privacy-First Advertising for Brand Campaigns

In response to these regulatory changes, there’s a growing trend towards privacy-first advertising. Brands are investing in technology and partnerships that prioritize user privacy, such as tech-driven platforms that offer robust compliance features, and adopting transparent data practices to build trust with a privacy-conscious audience.

For brand campaigns, where relationship and affinity are key, these regulatory updates necessitate a fine balance between personalization with privacy. This can be achieved by leveraging the contextual and behavioral signals derived from the app environment to deliver interest-relevant and timely ads. It also calls for an exploration of new ad formats and channels that offer immersive experiences without relying heavily on personal data.

It’s important to note that embracing ethical data practices and investing in privacy-centric ad technologies will not only ensure compliance but also enhance brand reputation in the eyes of consumers. It’s an opportunity for brands to thrive in the eyes of a privacy-conscious audience.


Best Practices for In-app Brand Advertising

The first step to acing any advertising strategy is understanding the metrics worth measuring. When optimizing in-app brand campaigns you must be strategic in the way awareness stats are measured, while also paying attention to more performance-oriented metrics. These metrics will help you measure the true influence of your campaigns and brand impact:

  1. Impressions: Since awareness is key, tracking the number of times your ads are displayed is crucial for assessing how many potential viewers have been exposed to your brand.
  2. Reach: Measure the number of unique viewers. It’ll help evaluate the campaign’s ability to expand brand exposure to a wider audience.
  3. Viewability and completion rate: Evaluate how often your video ads are viewed and how many viewers watch them to completion. High viewability and completion rates indicate strong engagement with your branding content.
  4. Inventory quality: Your brand reputation and performance highly depend on the placements it gets. A high-quality inventory of apps ensures that your brand’s message is displayed in a contextually relevant and brand-safe environment.
  5. Scalability: Evaluate your supply partner’s ability to scale branding campaigns across various channels, platforms, or regions to reach a broader and more diverse audience while maintaining consistent branding standards. When it comes to brand advertising, it’s a delicate balance of reach and quality.

Now that we’ve established metrics and KPIs, let’s talk about the best ad formats for brand ads:

  1. Video ads: Highly effective for building brand awareness and engagement. They allow for storytelling, capturing the audience’s attention effectively.
  2. Native advertising: Blends seamlessly with the content on the platform, providing a non-disruptive and more engaging experience for users. It’s an optimal way for advertisers to associate their brand with relevant content.
  3. Display ads: Though used mostly for performance, display ads, can effectively convey brand messages and visuals to a broad audience. Strategically placed display ads can be a powerful addition to multi-format brand campaigns. 
  4. Audio ads: Audio ads, particularly within podcasts and streaming services, have the power to reach niche audiences in their highest intent stage. This is ideal for brands with a granular definition of their target audience’s demographics and interests.
  5. Rich media ads: Inviting audiences to actively engage with polls, quizzes, and other immersive experiences creates a two-way dialogue between the brand and the user. This triggers a more emotional response and gives viewers an active role in the brand narrative.

Blending these ad formats is instrumental in maintaining a consistent brand presence across channels, be it on mobile apps, the web, streaming platforms, or DOOH. Every facet of the campaign seamlessly integrates, reinforcing your brand identity and enveloping viewers in its unique narrative.


In-App Brand Advertising Predictions for 2024: A BRAVE Outlook

1. Hyper-Personalization Will Take Center Stage

According to industry data, hyper-personalized ads have shown a 30% increase in user engagement, emphasizing the significance of tailored content.

In the evolving landscape, personalization is not just a feature; it’s the essence of effective advertising. BRAVE predicts a surge in hyper-personalization, where in-app ads become tailored to individual user preferences. This shift goes beyond demographics, ensuring that each interaction is uniquely crafted to resonate with the user on a personal level.

The rise of hyper-personalization signifies a paradigm shift in how advertisers approach engagement. Advertisers can learn from this trend by recognizing that consumers now demand tailored, individualized experiences. This not only enhances brand loyalty but also sets a precedent for the industry to move towards more customized advertising strategies.

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2. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Will Redefine User Engagement

As AR and VR technologies evolve, the prophetic vision of “Ready Player One” inches closer to reality, urging brand advertisers to proactively harness these advancements. AR and VR have made such a leap in the past four years that advertisers can now display products in a genuinely immersive manner through simulations, fostering deeper emotional bonds with customers. This approach transforms brand narratives and values into firsthand experiences that stay etched in the user’s mind.

As we look ahead, the global VR advertising market is anticipated to generate a substantial revenue of $174 million in 2024. This surge is fueled by brands exploring AR and VR options for product demonstrations, virtual tryouts, and innovative shopping experiences. The line between digital and physical experiences will continue to blur, offering brands unprecedented opportunities to engage with users in their daily lives. Personalization will reach new heights, with AI tailoring experiences not just to user segments, but to individual preferences and behaviors, making every interaction uniquely impactful.

Integrating AR and VR ads into games must be like aligning the keys to the OASIS (and if you haven’t watched “Ready Player One,” now’s the time). Ads should not just be dropped into the virtual world; they need to be part of the narrative, enhancing the adventure without yanking players back to reality. This careful pairing ensures that users remain engaged and entertained, rather than feeling like they’ve hit a commercial break in their quest. It’s all about keeping the game immersive and the experience seamless, avoiding the alienation of the player base.

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Advertisers can tap into this trend by offering VR tours, creating AR apps for at-home product visualization, developing interactive installations, crafting AR-powered games, and providing VR simulations for services like financial consultations. The data-driven insights suggest that these technologies are not just enhancing engagement but fundamentally altering how users interact with brands within gaming apps. As AR and VR redefine the boundaries of possibility, the era of in-app advertising is poised for a data-driven, immersive revolution.

3. Focus on Programmatic Guaranteed and PMP Deals

In 2024, advertising teams are expected to prioritize value over sheer volume when it comes to in-app advertising. This means a strategic shift from low-quality inventory like Made For Advertising (MFA) sites and the exploration for high-quality placements, beyond the open marketplace. Programmatic guaranteed and Private Marketplace (PMP) deals offer a prime opportunity to ensure that advertisements are positioned within quality content environments.

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This prediction underscores a broader industry trend toward creating more meaningful connections with audiences. By concentrating efforts on securing high-quality placements, advertisers not only stand to elevate the performance of their campaigns but also contribute to a more positive brand recall.

4. Contextual Storytelling Through Gamification

The convergence of storytelling and gamification will be a prominent trend in in-app brand advertising. Advertisers will increasingly craft narrative-driven campaigns that unfold through interactive game elements within apps. Users will become active participants in the brand story, making choices that influence the storyline. This trend not only captures user attention but also creates memorable brand narratives that resonate long after the interaction, blending entertainment and brand messaging seamlessly.

The fusion of storytelling and gamification sets the stage for a more engaging and interactive advertising landscape. Advertisers can learn that contextual storytelling fosters a deeper connection with users, turning them into active participants rather than passive observers. This trend signifies a shift towards more immersive and participatory brand experiences.

5. Sustainable and Purpose-Driven Campaigns

The rise of sustainable and purpose-driven campaigns reflects a growing awareness among consumers. Advertisers can learn that aligning with societal values is not just ethical but also good for business. This trend underscores the industry’s responsibility to move towards more socially conscious advertising strategies.

Branding campaigns focus on long-term engagement, fostering brand loyalty and a strong, consistent consumer base. This approach can reduce the need for frequent, resource-intensive advertising spends. In contrast, performance ads aim for immediate sales, requiring continual investment to maintain effectiveness.

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We anticipate an upswing in brands incorporating sustainability values into their in-app advertising strategies, aligning with causes that resonate with the conscious users. Brands that authentically integrate sustainability into their conduct and messaging will not only contribute to positive societal change but also enhance their brand image and appeal.


In Conclusion

Our experience working closely with demand partners and conducting extensive industry research has led us to the insights you just read. The game has evolved, and sharing knowledge within our industry is the path to continued success across the digital advertising ecosystem. Though we focused on predictions, we firmly believe that successful advertising isn’t just about trends; it has been and always will be about crafting meaningful connections.

As we wrap up, remember that this guide isn’t just a one-off read. We’re committed to keeping it fresh and relevant, constantly updating it. Keep this article bookmarked and let it serve as your compass in the right direction towards building brand experiences that resonate and build relationships.

Now armed with these insights, it’s time to strategize your approach, embracing hyper-personalization, and exploring technological solutions. If you want to dive deeper or ask questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the BRAVE team.