Average time spent playing the new augmented reality game is an unbelievable 43 minutes and 23 seconds, leaving marketers’ mouths watering for opportunities to get in on the action.
Time is money, and Pokémon GO is sitting on a treasure trove of green Poké dollars.
As of last week, users of the Niantic-created game spent an average of 43 minutes and 23 seconds a day playing, more time than users spend on Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, and Messenger – an insane statistic, which virtually enables the creators to start printing money, should they decide to open the game for marketing opportunities. Consider also that Nintendo, who owns the trademark rights to the Pokémon franchise, has exploded in market value to reach $7.5 billion.
Meanwhile, the user base is exponentially growing with over 60 percent of those who have downloaded the app in the US using it daily, a metric that puts the app on par with Twitter.
Opportunities to monetize the game have never been more alluring as one of the central focuses is for players to travel around the real world hunting virtual Pokémon through their cellphones. Imagine the possibilities: business-sponsored Pokémon hunts. Sponsored Pokémon. Paying to boost a business as a PokéStop, which is currently pre-determined by the developer in a non-pay-for-play model.
Some brands are already jumping on the Pokemon bandwagon by using game inspired social media posts to relate to users and join the conversation. For example, KFC has done some convenient product placement, showing someone playing the game and holding a bucket of chicken. ME Bank posted a picture of a Pokémon character on top of one of its ATM machines with the message; “When you have to withdraw some cash, but first have to catch a Meowth.” The list goes on, which is a strong indicator of brands’ interest in spending marketing dollars with the app.
In an interview with gameindustry.biz, Niantic product manager Brandon Badger talked about branded locations as a marketing revenue driver in another augmented reality game the company produced called Ingress:
“I think that, we hope to end up with a model where, potentially there could be a cost-per-visit type model where large brands and small brands, as well, could sponsor different elements of the game, with the end of interacting with players and really tapping into that enthusiasm of players,” he told the publication in 2014.
Meanwhile, Pokémon representatives have declined to comment on whether they will offer any in-game sponsorship opportunities for brands.
The game does have some monetizing features already whereby gamers can buy items in the store to help you lure Pokémon. Though the game is free to download and play, Fabien Pierre-Nicolas, VP-marketing communications of Pokémon GO told the New York Times the game delivers $1 million in daily net revenue.