Google targets ads at gamers who don’t make in-app purchases

Spend money in a game or pay the price by watching ads.

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Jens Schlueter via Getty Images
Jens Schlueter via Getty Images

If you're one of the few mobile gamers who actually spend money on in-app purchases, you might begin to see fewer ads. While developers make most of their money with advertising, in some cases, ads hurt in-app purchases by disrupting the gameplay of cash-flush gamers. Now, Google is using machine learning to only show ads to players who aren't likely to spend money on in-game purchases. This will spare big spenders the interruption.

Released today in Google AdMob, the machine learning tool segments players based on their likelihood to make purchases. Ad units with "smart segmentation" enabled will target non-spenders, people who wouldn't generate revenue otherwise. So, you can spend money in the game or pay the price by watching ads. While this sounds like a good idea, it'll depend on how accurately Google can "predict" gamers' spending.

This is one of several ad updates Google has made recently. Last week, the company started testing shoppable ads in image searches, and a new feature in Google Play lets gamers earn in-app items by watching ads. Google says it will reveal more about its "smart segmentation" feature at its Game Developer Conference in San Francisco next week.

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