AdSense for Games: Could RIAs be next?

AdSense for Games: Could RIAs be next?

Summary: Google today announced a public beta for AdSense for Games. What’s unique about it is that it’s primarily targeted at Flash games with partners like Mochi Media, Konami, Heavy Games and others.

TOPICS: Mobility, Google

Google today announced a public beta for AdSense for Games. What’s unique about it is that it’s primarily targeted at Flash games with partners like Mochi Media, Konami, Heavy Games and others. This is significant for a number of reasons. First, because the online casual game market is growing quickly. According to Google’s blog post 25% of internet users play games every week. But perhaps more importantly this is really the first time that AdSense has been incorporated into Flash. Google has built in hooks that allow content creators to show contextual advertising at the beginning, the end, or in between levels.

Using AdSense inside of RIAs has been all but impossible until now. Scribd had a hack that allowed them to show AdSense inside of their Flash-based iPaper but beyond that there haven’t been a lot of good examples of using AdSense inside of RIAs. In fact advertising inside of rich Internet applications is something that continues to be difficult to do based on the current web model. Matthew Johnson from blist has some good thoughts on this.

My hope is that AdSense for Games can be a driver for helping bring together Google’s advertising platform into the new real-time RIA experiences on the web. It continues to amaze me that a platform like Flash which is so much a part of advertising on the web has yet to really find away to incorporate that advertising in its applications.

Topics: Mobility, Google

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  • Where do they cook up these numbers?

    25% of internet users play games. Okay, does that mean they play the little cutesy web games, or the massive online games like WoW, or multiplayer PC games, or any kind of game at all? Does it count online casino players?

    I don't know of anyone over the age of eight that plays any kind of Flash or Java-based game. I guess that means Google and the ad companies are once again targeting underage users, to sell them junk food, dangerous toys, rap music and gutter fashions.

    Good job, Google.

    (At least I don't have to worry about it; since I keep Flash+Java+ads filtered off all of my PCs. Thank God for Firefox and NoScript!)
    terry flores
    • RE: Where do they cook up these numbers?

      I think those were the in-browser Flash games and it was 25% play those games at least once per week. I could see that being realistic. Think of how many tech folks played (or still play) Desktop Tower Defense.

      • Are people playing at work?

        I guess this is something I just don't get. At work, I probably spend an hour or so on the Web, keeping myself up-to-date on techie news (like this), doing research, ordering parts, getting support. I don't play games, in part because everybody in our company signs an access agreement that specifically says they don't use our internet access to play games, fantasy football, gamble, watch porn, or anything else that isn't work-related. We fire people occasionally when the logs show they have been violating the agreement.

        I know many firms are not as strict; while almost any company will fire you for watching porn, many "look the other way" when employees use their work-time and resources to do Facebook, eBay and sports stuff. But play games? Even if it was poor usage of company resources, it's an even worse reflection of the person's work attitude.

        An apocryphal note: during the bust, supposedly some high-level manager at Cisco created a "Solitaire" list; people who had been observed playing Solitaire on their PCs. They were the first ones to go in layoffs, the reasoning being that if they had time to play games, they weren't needed. Something to think about given the current economic situation!
        terry flores
  • RE: AdSense for Games: Could RIAs be next?

    Google does have solutions for general RIAs, sort of. They're just a lot easier to use if you're using a SWF video player. :) Both AdSense for Video and In-Stream are solutions that a lot of video publishers are using, and they could conceivably be used in a more general manner.

    I've been doing a lot in the advertising world lately, Ryan, so if you ever want to hear more about it, feel free to ping me!