What’s Google Doing Courting AdScape?

Posted by awolfe :: Advertising in Video Games


The Wall Street Journal reported it first, then PaidContent.org, and now everybody seems to agree that Google would like to buy AdScape Media, a small in-game advertising company.

But why?

AdScape’s share of the console market is basically non-existent, so Google would essentially be locked out of the deepest platforms for the nest year or so at a minimum.  Even then, they would probably have to buy their way in (which, of course, is never really a problem for Google).  Online and casual gaming opportunities still exist, but there is less money there.

So really, why?

Put simply, for Google to continue its current growth rates it needs to move into new markets. It leads the online search market and dominates the online contextual market, so it is looking for new opportunities to diversify its revenue streams. The move into the in-game market follows Google’s move into newspapers and (maybe) television.

But the real question I have is, "why?".

In-game advertising, while perhaps not very effective, is perceived to be a growth market.  It’s one of those products that you can just imagine some 26-year-old pitching to the CMO of Welcher’s. “Kids today don’t read, they can’t even pay attention to TV any more, the future is digital, blah, blah, blah.” But if Google does buy AdScape and it can incorporate some of its own contextual technology into in-game advertising, that young ad exec might just find himself outside of the equation.  If for no other reason, I really hope Google’s purchase works out, even if in-game advertising doesn’t really work at all.


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