e4m-GroupM ESP Report: Indian online gaming landscape, a lucrative market for advertisers

exchange4media and GroupM ESP on Friday released the ‘India Online Gaming Report’ at the e4m GameOn summit. The report focuses on the current landscape of online gaming in India and how brands can leverage this billion-dollar industry for marketing and brand recognition.

The report was unveiled by Vinit Karnik, Head – Sports, Esports and Entertainment, GroupM South Asia, during the summit.


The Indian online gaming industry is estimated to grow to more than Rs 15,000 crore in 2023, representing a CAGR of nearly 22%. As gaming becomes more mainstream, the brands are finding new ways to grab customers’ attention.

With an estimated 40 crore gaming users, the report noted that India has become a lucrative market for advertisers and brands today. From crypto to FMCG, most industries are leveraging this opportunity. Some of the giants of the online gaming sector include Nazara, Nodwin, Jetsynthesys and Octro.

As per the report, Dream11, Mobile Premier League, Play games 24*7 (RummyCircle), Gameskraft (RummyCulture), and BGMI, are some of the key advertisers of the segment. Digital channels are primarily driving the advertising in the e-gaming industry. This involves ad campaigns to attract new users and more downloads.

Further, Midcore and Hardcore games use a mix of both digital, and offline channels to reach their audience. The business strategy not only focuses on acquisition but retention as well. When it comes to real money gaming or game of chance, companies use offline media and sponsorships heavily to promote usage, the report says.

The report has also highlighted that it is important for brands to understand their target audience and make a connection with the users. “For instance, casual and real money games have a broader range of target audiences as they rely on downloads and acquisition, while core games are more focused on retention and building long-lasting relationships.”

According to the report, performance marketing can be a useful tool if done right. “The ROI-based strategies can be aptly used for gaming as it is a repetitive and engaging activity, for all the segments. Whether brands use this as a mode of advertising, building an engaged community, or simply for brand awareness, ultimately this is an opportunity that cannot be ignored for long. No matter the nature of your business, gaming has something to offer for every niche industry, given that you use it right.”

The advertising revenue streaming for gaming platforms has four models – In-App Advertising, Product/Brand Integration, Rewarded Ads, and Advergaming. In the case of in-app advertising, users are required to watch ads. The formats include banner ads, pop-up ads and video ads. The revenue is based on CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per mile). Product/Brand Integration is used in sports-based games such as racing and FIFA with billboards.

Rewarded ads provide incentives to the user such as virtual currency. Advergaming are custom-built games developed by a brand aimed at brand recognition.

The report also highlighted that advertisers can reach their target audience in multiple ways, including Ad Networks (In-Game Inventory), Communities, Tournaments, Team Associations, Influencers, and In-Game Integrations.

With esports influencers becoming immensely popular, the report states that gaming influencers can efficiently reach the relevant target audience. “YouTube reported about five of the top ten creators in India were gaming creators in 2021. Live streaming on the platform is one of the most followed trends,” the report said.

The report also noted that the popularity and recognition the influencers hold is unmatched. “It is not news that influencers have proved to be the face of brand marketing, and gaming is not an exception to this rule. The audience sits for hours looking at their favourite influencers, thinks about the impact this can have for the brands and advertisers.”

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e4m-GroupM ESP Report: Indian online gaming landscape, a lucrative market for advertisers


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