What’s PlayerDwellTime and why does it matter?

Apr 12, 2023

Attention gets talked about a lot in advertising, but currently there isn’t a common understanding of what it actually means and how to best measure it. Here, our COO Joanne Lacey looks at how things are shaping up in the attention economy and shares the latest benchmark data from AdInMo on PlayerDwellTime.

These days it’s hard to resist saying ‘pay attention to attention’. Certainly, the advertising industry is zeroing in on attention metrics in the quest to improve cross-media measurement, transparency and optimize media buying. 

Unsurprisingly, 91% of UK marketeers think the trend towards attention measurement is important, with benefits clear across the campaign cycle from planning to in-flight optimization and of course post-campaign analysis.  Indeed, attention measurement specialists are already leaping ahead to discuss the carbon cost of attention and how less ad clutter and wastage will enable a more sustainable media economy. 

But there’s a few mountains to climb before then, as an excellent article from Adweek’s Olivia Morley highlights deep-diving into the agency perspective and how competing business objectives complicate efforts to standardize measurement KPIs and the landgrab in the attention-tracking space.

 So, what does this mean for gaming?

  • Games are lean-forward entertainment with mobile player sessions averaging between 5 – 20 minutes per day

  • The weighted average PlayerDwellTime benchmarks at 7.3 minutes per player

  • Context and attention must be combined to understand attention & engagement values and ROAS

IAB UK defines attention as: A consumer looking at or listening to an ad at the time they were exposed to it. A typical base measure for attention is time, and attention measures can be used in different media contexts such as video or audio.

In its Attention Measurement Definition Matrix measurement methodologies include proxies derived from engagement. In a gaming environment this essentially means how long an ad was viewable during gameplay.

AdInMo’s latest InGamePlay SDK measures PlayerDwellTime to establish the baseline for attention measurement and our recently published benchmark report looks at intrinsic time-in-view trends for in-game advertising across different gaming categories and countries.

Measured in minutes per player per day the weighted average across all mobile games monetizing with in-game advertising was 7.3 minutes. The study found PlayerDwellTime increases for mid-core game genres such as racing and real-world games as expected, but that the more snackable hyper-casual games also deliver solid results.

The benchmarks are useful for developers as well as advertisers who constantly strive to balance ad monetization with player experience. Understanding attention and the value thereof helps to further optimize the brand impact and player engagement.  

Last year, the IAB US and MRC launched the Intrinsic In-Game Advertising Guidelines to establish common measurement for viewability. This month, it launches its Attention Task Force. 

As you would expect from an industry body it focuses on standardization of both common language and measurement relating to attention. It is also good to see from day one the goal to ‘establish a clear, consistent definition of attention and develop a set of metrics that measure attention in different contexts and situations’.  

Context and attention must be combined to really understand attention & engagement values and a better understanding of ROAS.  Games are lean-forward entertainment and with player sessions averaging between 5 – 20 minutes per day, mobile in-game advertising is well placed to deliver greater brand impact backed by robust attention and engagement measurement. 

Download AdInMo’s latest benchmark reporting on measuring in-game advertising.

Joanne Lacey



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