GameRefinery’s new data enrichment solution aims to overcome mobile game ad targeting issues in a post-IDFA world

New API-based approach to contextual targeting doesn’t rely on Apple’s IDFA or Google’s AAI, instead utilises over 700 contextual data points to match publishers with advertisers, giving ad platforms a massive boost to their ad-targeting capabilities

Helsinki, Finland, September 2, 2020 –  Mobile games analytics specialist GameRefinery has unveiled a new contextual ad targeting solution for mobile games which doesn’t rely on the kind of tracking used by Apple’s IDFA (IDentifier For Advertising) that is currently causing uncertainty in the mobile advertising industry. GameRefinery’s data enrichment offering provides ad networks and advertisers with contextual metadata for games and automated ad creative analysis. Games metadata uses information from hundreds of thousands of mobile games and millions of individual data points to build a detailed contextual picture of a gamer’s likely preferences. Whereas the GameRefinery’s Ad creative analysis allows advertisers to tag and support creative work with data-driven insights on how their ad creatives match those preferences. GameRefinery is already working with global ad networks to provide better targeting options for their mobile game advertisers using this new approach.

GameRefinery uses machine learning to record the genre, features, demographics, player motivations, visuals, colours and more from games on the Apple and Google app stores. It’s taken the GameRefinery team five years and over 10,000 manual analyses to build this unique and proprietary training data set for its AI machine learning model which now automatically extracts over 700 contextual data points from any game it analyses. This data can then be used to place adverts in mobile games that are the most likely to be of relevance – or affinity – to the ad campaign’s audience. 

For example, with conventional ad targeting, a fan of strategy games is likely to see advertising for similar games in the same genre or category. But GameRefinery’s data enrichment builds a deeper picture of other games in different genres and categories which have a strong affinity with the game to be promoted, allowing for less obvious connections between games to be made.

GameRefinery believes that targeting based on affinity is the key to finding higher quality players. Firstly, its research has shown that high-affinity scores correlate with better user retention; a good indicator of users who go on to become paying players. Second, using affinity to target an ad campaign towards higher quality players means that publishers will see a better return on their ad spend. This benefits both the ad network and the publisher, as less waste means more budget, which can be channelled towards those high-affinity games that will generate the best response. 

“The mobile advertising industry has become so reliant on data that announcements like Apple’s decision to depreciate IDFA tracking have huge repercussions – but we must remember that the vast majority of consumers make choices based on their affinity to a given product, which means there is a personal and emotional element to their preferences,” said Markus Råmark, CEO of GameRefinery. “The launch of our data enrichment APIs couldn’t come at a better time in light of these industry changes. It helps take the guesswork and uncertainty out of planning an ad campaign, and offers a solution for advertisers looking for a way to target ads without relying on companies like Apple and Google continuing to allow conventional user tracking.” 

Ad networks and publishers can harness GameRefinery’s data enrichment data via four APIs covering genre, game features, player motivations and art style and visuals. Once connected, Gamerefinery’s machine learning models use a combination of visual recognition and natural language processing to accurately and automatically tag every game on the advertising platform’s database with a genre. Then, using a three-level Category/Genre/ Sub-genre hierarchy, the system can offer accurate insights for all individual game types currently found in the market. 

From an ad network’s perspective, “GameRefinery has enabled AdColony to leverage granular app-specific data and optimise results for our partners without compromising the privacy of mobile users,” said Andrzej Dzius, CTO at AdColony. 

More information on Data Enrichment is available on GameRefinery’s website

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About GameRefinery

Based in Finland, GameRefinery is the leading provider of feature-level data in the mobile games market, with an ever-growing database covering hundreds of thousands of games. GameRefinery’s customers include leading mobile games companies such as Zynga, SquareEnix, King and Funplus. The GameRefinery platform uses unique algorithms and a team of expert analysts to help developers, investors and publishers delve into the very building blocks of mobile games to uncover the drivers behind success, to understand why games are successful and how to achieve the same from pre-production to LiveOps.