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Comscore & Spiketrap deal aims for more privacy-focused ad targeting in games

The partnership leverages AI to create new audience segments, which could enable cookieless, privacy-centric ad targeting

Media planning and buying platform Comscore has partnered with conversion and audience analytics firm Spiketrap to expand Comscore’s contextual ad targeting solution for gaming.

The move is designed to help marketers reach their target gaming audiences using behavioral and contextual data via relatively privacy-centric means – a top priority for many marketers with the demise of the third-party cookie fast approaching. Here’s what gaming marketers need to know.

What the partnership entails

  • The partnership will build on Comscore’s existing Predictive Audiences tool, which leverages audience behaviors and contextual data to enable advertisers to serve targeted ads to gamers without employing third-party cookies.

  • Spiketrap has leveraged its proprietary Clair AI technology, which uses real-time natural language processing and analyzes gaming and entertainment data to provide in-depth contextual understanding of audiences.

  • Combining this information with its gaming insights – particularly into popular first-person shooter (FPS) games, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) and battle royale games – Spiketrap and Comscore are introducing new highly specified gaming-focused audience segments into Comscore’s Predictive Audiences tool.

  • “The future of predictive modeling for contextual advertising rests in our ability to deeply understand audiences in the moment and at scale,” said Spiketrap’s founder and chief executive officer Kieran Seán Fitzpatrick.

  • The new audiences are part of Comscore Activation suite, a collection of tools meant to help advertisers connect with their target audiences using gender and age demographics, TV and OTT viewership data and consumer behavioral data including purchase history, location and financial information.

  • Comscore’s deal with Spiketrap is the latest development in the company’s broader efforts to develop marketing solutions for gaming-focused advertisers. In March, Comscore teamed with Twitch to develop an audience measurement solution for livestreamed gaming and esports.

  • The new audience segments will roll out across various platforms in the next few weeks.

Why it matters to marketers

  • Via Comscore’s Predictive Audiences, advertisers will be able to connect with new audience segments across a range of demand-side platforms – through the programmatic ecosystem with which they’re already familiar.

  • The move advances the ongoing and well-documented industry-wide shift toward contextual advertising – an approach that marketers are increasingly leaning on to track, target and communicate with audiences in a privacy-centric way. “With cookie deprecation fast approaching and gaming advertising going mainstream, advertisers really need better mechanisms to reach gaming audiences in a cookie-free manner at scale,” said Rachel Gantz, Comscore’s general manager of activation.

  • Spiketrap’s Fitzpatrick also emphasized the role of AI in enabling the privacy-centric future of advertising. “Every day, people publicly express their opinions and enthusiasm across a wide range of online platforms. By applying sophisticated AI to identify the trends and insights present in those unstructured conversations, advertisers can refine both ad creative and ad targeting to resonate at the right moments while naturally protecting and respecting individual user privacy.”

  • The deal could also help advertisers maximize their impact in the flourishing and fast-growing world of gaming. A new eMarketer report projects that by year’s end, there will be 177.7 million monthly gamers in the US – representing more than half of the US population. Globally, the gaming and esports category could create $190bn in industry revenue this year, per Newzoo data. It’s clear that the marketers who make the right moves in gaming and esports stand to gain a valuable piece of gaming’s growing pie.

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