GamesBeat

Playnomics uses deep analytics to help game publishers pitch ads to the right players (exclusive)

Playnomics wants to unite predictive marketing and data science for games. It advanced that cause today with the launch of PlayRM Revenue, a new product add-on that lets game developers monetize players effectively and allows brands to engage audiences in a meaningful way.

The mobile, browser, and social platform uses Playnomic’s proprietary algorithms to divide an audience of gamers into segments. Then it lets publishers maximize earnings, sort of like how airlines sell seats for different prices.

Playnomics is also announcing a partnership with social ad network Aditive, which will let game publishers use PlayRM Revenue to tap Aditive’s high-quality brand campaigns. If Aditive can serve the right ads to the players that Playnomics identifies as wanting those ads, then those ads will be more effective and the publishers will reap more money as a result. Chethan Ramachandran, chief executive of San Francisco-based Playnomics, said in an interview with GamesBeat that this method gives publishers the power of dynamically targeting players.

“We’re extending our product in a meaningful way,” Ramachandran said. “We know who is valuable, and we know which players aren’t monetizing. We need to change the economics of how these games work.”

To players, it might sound like an evil monetization scheme. But if publishers can more effectively monetize all of their free-to-play gamers, rather than just 2 percent of players that buy virtual goods, then the game creators will make more money and be able to create better games for players. Playnomics provides the tools. It’s up to the publishers to use them correctly.

Other monetization companies can target players too. But Ramachandran said, “We can figure out that, if you act like this and respond to certain game mechanics, you may respond well to a certain kind of advertising.” In other words, Playnomics predicts player behavior.

The problem is that too many players go un-monetized, while publishers ceaselessly pursue loyal big spenders, known as whales, to spend more and more money. With PlayRM Revenue, publishers can protect their best players and only show third-party ads to the players who need to be monetized.

The new module is a natural extension of the PlayRM platform launched last year. That platform uses analytics (see image below) to retain players and reach new users. PlayRM Revenue goes one step further and helps sort the users. The targeting changes as the data about the audience changes over the lifetime of a game. That’s why the calculations have to be dynamic, Ramachandran said.

“Aditive works with leading brands that understand success in online advertising means requires going beyond run-of-the-mill formats and targeting,” said Todd Parsons from Aditive. “PlayRM Revenue provides us with a highly engaged in-game audience to launch social executions — but more importantly, PlayRM adds a layer of intelligence about each player we choose to target that can’t be found elsewhere.”

Ramachandran said the technology can implemented easily. And creating a marketing campaign becomes a matter of dragging and dropping coupons or ads into a campaign creator. Playnomics can dish out a variety of ads, such as pop-ups, banners, interstitials, and push notifications.

The core of the Playnomics product is data science. Founded in 2009, Playnomics wants to be the global leader in quantifying play behavior. It won the 2010 VentureBeat “Who’s Got Game” competition for best game startups. The company’s clients now reach more than 100 million unique players across dozens of titles.

Playnomics’ investors are FirstMark Capital, Vanedge Capital, XSeed Capital, MetamorphicVentures, Accelerator Ventures, and TriplePoint Capital. Playnomics has 20 employees.

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