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Mobile Monday: Zynga’s Record-Breaking Revenue, On-Device AI’s Effect on Ad Tech

Posted May 6, 2019

Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic across the tech world and has recently made news in mobile. This week we’ll delve into on-device mobile AI technology and how it could affect games and ad tech. We’ll also look at Zynga’s strong Q1 numbers and how mobile advertising played a part. Read all the details in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Zynga’s Revenue Soars
Venture Beat reported that gaming company Zynga started the year strong with revenue growth of 27% totaling $265 million for Q1. The primary contributor to this success was mobile revenue which was $246 million, a substantial percentage (93%) of revenue. With an increase of 35%, this marks the highest mobile revenue and bookings quarter in its 12-year history. The games that contributed to this growth included Merge Dragons and Empires & Puzzles, titles from studios acquired last year, along with Words With Friends and CSR2.

The quarter also saw the Zynga’s highest Q1 advertising revenue and bookings. Ad revenue accounted for $65 million which up by 45% year-over-year. In addition, ad bookings totaled $65 million, a 44% increase year-over-year. Zynga is confident that advertising will grow in the low double-digits over time.

In-app advertising was a major factor in Zynga’s Q1 overall earnings. The company reported its highest first-quarter mobile advertising revenue with $63 million, up 48% year-over-year. Additionally, mobile advertising bookings earned $63 million, a 46% increase year-over-year.

Zynga projects revenue of $280 million for the second quarter, a considerable jump from last year. New games are expected to be launched in the second half of 2019. With these numbers and new titles, the company could be on track for the strongest annual earnings since 2012.

What Can On-device AI Offer Ad Tech?
TheGamingEconomy recently analyzed the development of artificial intelligence for gaming and what it could bring to ad tech. Qualcomm recently entered a partnership with smartphone manufacturer Vivo and gaming industry giant Tencent to work on “Project Imagination.” The initiative will use Qualcomm’s AI engine for mobile gaming to develop more immersive experiences for players.

Mobile devices and games are currently using remote and cloud-based AI. Project Imagination’s goal is to drive forward the development of on-device mobile AI for games. They believe housing the AI on individual smartphones rather than in the cloud will result in more stable, faster mobile gaming experiences.

How is ad tech affected by this initiative? Notable advancements in on-device mobile AI could also lead to a more personalized ad experience for consumers. Better-targeted ads with highly customized content could be delivered in the format, frequency and time frame that best suits the individual. Furthermore, the AI could process customer insights more rapidly and precisely if it’s housed directly on the hardware.

The impact of on-device mobile AI will take time to be fully realized, but it shows tremendous potential. On-device AI technology could not only improve mobile game development and player experiences, but it could also improve advertising strategies resulting in higher revenue.

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