One of the most fun, rewarding but also challenging parts of my postdoctoral research project has been to gain a deeper understanding of app advertising. Specifically, I wanted to understand why the “acquisition” of players for free-to-play games is so important, how the digital advertising industry is structured, and how app advertising works. It turned out to be quite a hard nut to crack. The digital advertising landscape changes incredibly fast and is also very opaque. If you ask any industry insider a simple question (for example: what does your company do, exactly?), you’ll get surprisingly vague answers. The technological dimension of “targeting players”, of how Facebook gathers and uses data, and how games are structured in such a way to retain players, is not that easy to explain. I did try in a book chapter for the edited volume “Explorations in Critical Studies of Advertising” published by Routledge.
This is the full reference:
Nieborg, David B. 2017. “App Advertising: The Rise of the Player Commodity.” In Explorations in Critical Studies of Advertising, edited by Jay F. Hamilton, Robert Bodle & Ezequiel Korin. New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 28-41.
If you want a full copy of the chapter, please do send me an email! You can also download a PDF of the “pre-print” copy that does not have page numbers here.