MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes has announced PreShow Interactive, a mobile app that is the “world’s first attention exchange platform”. It will allow users to convert their time viewing advertisements into in-game virtual currency.
Having secured $3 million in seed funding, the app plans to launch this summer to players on all console and PC platforms and promises rewards for over 20,000 games, including VR titles. No game names have been released ahead of the launch, but official graphics for the new service includes titles like Fortnite, Assassins Creed Valhalla, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
Spikes has promised that the service will allow users to engage with branded content in a way that doesn’t interrupt their playing experience. He went into more detail on this with TechCrunch and explained exactly how the app would work and why its systems aren’t being integrated into the games themselves.
The current plans is to launch a new PreShow Interactive app this summer, where viewers can connect their in-game accounts and identify how much virtual currency they want to earn. Then they watch a package of ads and PreShow will automatically transfer the currency to their account — in other words, it’s buying the currency for them.
Users will have to download a separate app to watch the ads and get the benefits, but Spikes said this is actually better than trying to integrate advertising or branded content into the game itself, which can be a slow process for the developer and the advertiser, while also being distracting for the players.
The facial recognition technology that the app is built on allows it to detect when the viewer is looking at their phone screen, stopping the ads if they look away. This is certainly an interesting way to force people into actually engaging with ads and not simply hitting play and then spend their time doing something else.
No video will be recorded, and no personally identifiable data is shared, but aggregated and anonymized data can be shared with their partners. This means the accumulated data offers advertisers a unique insight into the behaviour of certain groups of people.
Initially funded through Kickstarter, focusing on using its technology to provide free movie tickets, the ongoing pandemic has shifted the company’s focus from the struggling movie business to the thriving gaming market. Spikes hopes to eventually bring the ad-focused idea to streaming and video on demand as well.
PreShow Interactive launches this summer, and you can sign up for early access now.
Are you interested in getting currency for your favourite games by watching ads, or is the facial recognition technology putting you off this venture? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
(Video credit: Roadtrip Nation)