Will Watch Ads For Free Games

real_logo.gifThe vast majority of people — 90 percent, to be precise — will watch ads if it means they get to play games for free, according to a report presented by RealNetworks at the Casual Connect conference in Amsterdam. Almost 90 percent of the 1,500 players that were surveyed through its RealGames network (RealArcade, along with other portals) said they’re willing to watch a video ad that’s shown before a game, and even during play. Perhaps even more relevant, however, is RealNetworks’ corollary claim: Of those ad watchers surveyed, 34 percent reported clicking through or taking other actions to learn more about the advertised product.

One in three is a shockingly impressive click-through rate. Since the press release doesn’t describe the methodology, I’m a bit skeptical. Still, even half that number would be big news.

Up to now, most studies on the effectiveness of in-game advertising have focused on vaguer metrics like brand awareness and recall, so getting hard numbers on more concrete consumer behavior is a big step. Unsurprisingly, the RealPlayer survey captured a typical casual gamer demographic — 81 percent female, 65 percent between 35 and 64 years old. I’m curious to see if different audience groups would yield similar results.

Image Credit: Realarcade.com.