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Video ads coming to Play Store, along with playable ads in games

If you hate ads, we have some bad news for you.

Published onMarch 15, 2018

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  • Google is testing out autoplay video ads in the gaming section of the Google Play Store.
  • The ads are only a beta test, but it’s hard to imagine Google not eventually rolling it out to everyone.
  • Additionally, playable in-game ads will start appearing in free-to-play games.

If you’re searching for a new game to play in the Google Play Store, Google has an ad it would like to show you. Soon, video ads will appear in your search results in the gaming section of the official Android app store. Right now, the service is only in a beta test that will run over the next few months, but it would be hard to fathom Google not eventually rolling out video ads to the main platform.

Google gives an example of how the new video ads will work in the GIF below. As users scroll through the game section of the Google Play Store, a carousel titled “Game Trailers for You” shows up. Thankfully, for now anyway, it doesn’t appear the ads autoplay (hallelujah). (Update: Following the publication of this article, Google reached out to confirm that “video ads in Google Play will definitely not be autoplay”). Check it out:

Google is also testing out playable ads within games. Let’s say you’re playing a free-to-play RPG game, and you get interrupted with an ad. Usually, you would have to watch a video of some sort before moving on to the next part of the game, but now you’ll actually be able to play another game within the ad. This will help expose new games of similar styles and genres to the players who already play those types of games.

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According to Google, in-game video ads are used in 45 percent of the 1,000 top-earning apps. This new development of playable ads will hopefully make it even easier for game developers to make money with free-to-play games.

Finally, Google announced that app installs initiated through ads doubled from May of last year. In May 2017, there were 5 billion app installs resulting from ads, while now there are 10 billion. So if you ever complain about all the ads in games and on the Play Store, unfortunately, they apparently work.

Google will present more information about gaming, ads, and the Google Play Store at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco next week.

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