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Bidstack sees rising demand for in-game advertising

As coronavirus is disrupting the media and ad industry buyers are seeking digital alternatives for their brands, said chief executive James Draper

BidStack Group PLC - Bidstack sees rising demand for in-game advertising

Bidstack Group PLC (LON:BIDS) chief executive James Draper had highlighted higher demand from ad agencies for the group's services amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as the company posted its 2019 results.

The demand increase comes at the same time as the native video game advertising firm also continues to make progress on the supply side, for example, with its recently announced involvement with Codemasters PLC (LON:CDM) which via a virtual eSports version of the Formula One tour has seen significant prominence.

“COVID-19 disruption to the advertising industry, particularly in the out of home and live sports segments, is leading media buyers to seek digital alternatives for their brands,” Draper said in a statement accompanying the 2019 numbers.

“Our technology enables them to do that and we are working closely with agency groups to help them test, report and activate larger campaigns across our growing portfolio of titles through this period.

“We are confident that we are approaching this balance in the right way which will lead to material revenues in the second half of 2020," he added.

READ: Bidstack highlights ‘impressive’ performance of in-game ads

Financial results for 2019, meanwhile, reflected Bidstack’s prior strategic decision to focus on significant technology development work. It reported turnover for the year of £140,000 (2018: £316,00) and a loss before tax of £5.3mln (2018: £1.2mln).

During the year, the company acquired the Pubguard business to protect its gaming inventory and enhance its software development kit, it also inked a strategic partnership with Dentsu Aegis Network, and entered into a number of industry tie-ups.

The group also secured exclusive rights for advertising in key game titles including Codemasters DiRT Rally 2 and Grid titles, along with Sports Interactive's Football Manager 2020. An agreement with Epic Games will see Bidstacks technology being available for games using the Unreal Games Engine.

Importantly, it noted, work with the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has meant that programmatic advertisers will be able to use "in-game advertising" on a self-serve basis in the same way they currently access display and video inventory.

"In 2019 we have completed significant development work to ensure Bidstack and our partners are able to make the most out of the significant opportunities that lie ahead,” Draper continued.

“New console launches, the continued evolution of cloud computing and the phenomenal growth in e-sports all provide strong tailwinds and are clear indicators of a healthy, vibrant market. We remain absolutely focused on our mission to become one of the world's foremost advertising network for games, as we pioneer a new category of 'native in-game' advertising.

“The company continues with its strategy of prioritising investment, in order to build a strong foundation on which to grow and to create value for our shareholders,” the chief executive concluded.

Quick facts: BidStack Group PLC

Price: 4.6 GBX

LSE:BIDS
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Market Cap: £17.82 m
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