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Sony, Nielsen partnering on in-game ads

PS3 maker working with media monitoring company to better measure effectiveness of advertising efforts within games.


Most forms of advertising have certain numbers associated with them that tell companies how well their messages are reaching consumers. TV shows have ratings, magazines have circulation, and Web sites have hits. But with the market for in-game advertising projected to increase exponentially in the coming years, companies want more independent verification that their expenditure in the field is yielding results.

To that end, Sony Computer Entertainment America and The Nielsen Company this week announced a partnership to establish a measurement system to accurately and transparently assess the performance of in-game ads. As part of the agreement, SCEA will share data regarding network traffic for PS3 games, PlayStation Home, and the PlayStation Network. As for its part of the agreement, Nielsen will work with SCEA on methods to selectively target in-game advertising to specific audiences.

"By marrying SCEA's server-side data traffic with our standard ratings metrics, we will be able to provide advertisers with a much more robust picture of the impact of their game network advertising and of those consumers who are actually playing games, all while preserving consumer privacy," Nielsen Games vice president Jeff Herrmann said in a statement.

The Sony-Nielsen deal comes roughly 14 months after Microsoft bought Massive Inc., one of the biggest in-game advertising companies. Ironically, the deal put Sony in a partnership with its archrival because some massively multiplayer online role-playing games operated by Sony Online Entertainment feature Massive's dynamic in-game ads.

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