Startup Redefines In-Game Monetization with Ability to Connect Games to Brands and Brands to Gamers in a Relevant, Non-Disruptive Way
Game Developers Conference 2011
SAN FRANCISCO – Tap Me, Inc. unveiled the industry’s first in-game, mobile advertising platform. The company’s namesake platform breaks new ground as it addresses a fundamental problem inherent in current advertising solutions that brands and advertisers have until now used to reach consumers in-game. Tap Me is introducing a new standard to in-game monetization — built with the gamer in mind and designed to play to the natural strength of the game medium. The Tap Me platform enables brands to engage with gamers in a way that adds value to their experience as they are playing the game — rather than taking them out of it.
Games are highly-active, participatory entertainment platforms, and existing advertising solutions were never designed to work well with this medium. Current advertising solutions are interruptive, out of context, and ineffective; they also occupy valuable screen space, are prone to accidental clicks, or inject offers that require players to shift experiences outside of the game.
“Tap Me’s platform is the first, targeted and relevant approach to mobile media I’ve seen. It considers the developer, user and brand advertiser in a way never done before. In a nutshell, it’s nothing short of utter genius,” noted Mills™ of ustwo, a digital design and app development studio.
Beginning today, Tap Me has opened up the beta to their iOS integration library and its web-based management tools to a select group of game platforms. Tap Me welcomes iPhone and iPad app developers to visit http://tap.me/wp/how-it-works, sign-up and download its integration library for iOS and support documentation to get started. The company also has plans to extend support to other mobile platforms such as Android to follow shortly.
Spurring Huge Spikes in User Engagement Rates
Tap Me’s current testing shows engagement rates of players choosing sponsored power-ups as high as 20%, and in certain games above 50%. These engagement rates while early are unprecedented, particularly in comparison to traditional banner ad click-through rates that typically linger below 1%.
“One of Tap Me’s unique strengths is that we are a team of mobile game developers, which gives us an innate understanding of game design and development fundamentals. We set about to create a first-of-a-kind ad platform that takes advantage of the natural attributes of games, with the goal of maximizing the contextual opportunities for advertisers to participate in this exploding medium,” noted Joshua Hernandez, co-founder and CEO of Tap Me. “Importantly, our platform enables developers to monetize the vast majority of gamers who do not engage in other game monetization methods.”
Currently, there are nearly 300 million gamers worldwide; mobile users spend more time on their mobile devices playing games and social networking (47%) than they do making phone calls and sending messages (32%).
For Game Developers:
- Tap Me’s platform enables developers to add their games, categorize content, create sponsored leader boards and obtain performance metrics.
- Game developers can freely meta-tag and classify game content, such as for “endurance” or “speed,” so that advertisers can sponsor relevant content.
- Tap Me creates new real estate for advertising that can be used along side other ad platforms, such as iAd or AdMob, or integrated into virtual goods or currency systems.
- The company provides both a turnkey solution for developers to drop into their games as well as an API that allows for custom GUI integration.
- Tap Me provides a new level of user-selected, long-term engagement.
- Advertisers can be included alongside achievements in a game. The notion of an achievement is always a positive moment in the game for a player, so that any advertiser can attach a brand to an “achievement” earned by the player.
- Advertisers can buy audiences in aggregate across Tap Me’s network based on key attributes instead of per individual game title.
- Advertisers can also engage gamers in-context and, adding value to a game, awarding progress or integrating social media. Using Tap Me’s Player Messaging system, sponsors and developers can communicate with players in a non-intrusive manner. For example, sponsors can send a message to a player’s in-box, encouraging the player to “get 5 of their friends to retweet a message to earn 1,000 points.”
- The Tap Me platform adds value to the game in the form of fun advantages, incentives, and content.
- Players get to choose which participating sponsors they want to involve in their game play. For example, a player can choose to get more endurance or speed from, say, Nike or Gatorade, two companies that could hypothetically associate their brands by sponsoring these meta-tagged attributes in games.
Commented Andreas Vasen, CEO of Machineworks NorthWest, an academy-nominated (AIAS) mobile publisher and developer, “TapMe is one of those obviously brilliant ideas that stare you in the face and nobody sees it.”
About Tap Me
Based in Chicago, IL, Tap Me is a new startup focused on reinventing the in-game advertising space with the introduction of the industry’s first in-game advertising platform. Founded in 2009, Tap Me is channeling the founding team’s game development roots and experience in advertising and game design to build and offer a set of products that will disrupt how advertising has traditionally been applied both in video games and in mobile game apps. For more information, interested parties may visit http://tap.me.