Why a gaming company would want to own an ad network


Zynga bought Chartboost for $250 million, then Take-Two bought Zynga for almost $13 billion. What’s going on here, and why are gaming companies buying ad networks, and ad networks like AppLovin and ironSource buying gaming companies?

I chatting with Zynga’s chief product officer and Chartboost’s CEO to dig into why we’re seeing this in mobile in a TechFirst podcast. Then I cross-posted the audio to my client Singular’s podcast, and wrote about why gaming companies want ad networks, and what they get from it.

There are three key things:

  1. control
  2. data
  3. monetization efficiencies

But then I wrote in depth about what’s happening here. From my post on Singular’s blog:

Imagine that some huge proportion of your business success relied on factors largely out of your control.

Wouldn’t you do whatever you could to get as much control over as many of those factors as you could?


Now you know one of the key reasons why a gaming company like Zynga wanted to buy an ad network like Chartboost. Another two: maximizing first-party data and maximizing revenue share of every ad dollar spent on Zynga (and now Take-Two) properties.

I had the opportunity recently to chat with Zynga’s chief product officer Scott Koenigsberg and Chartboost CEO Rich Izzo on my TechFirst podcast, and just cross-posted the conversation to Growth Masterminds, Singular’s growth marketing-focused podcast. One of the very clear take-aways: a key driver of mobile adtech acquisition is gaining more control over your own destiny as a mobile publishing company.

And, of course, being able to increase monetization efficiency via vertical integration.

Read the full story here …