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5 things you should know about gaming

Rumbi Pfende
5 things you should know about gaming Rumbi Pfende
Despite the burgeoning popularity of gaming in the last couple of years, the number of misconceptions surrounding this highly compelling medium amongst marketers is still vast. Indeed, many still see gaming as an irrelevant channel within the marketing mix and underestimate its power and reach. The second ever authoritative analysis on the UK gaming market (Newzoo Research) expels some of these misguided and stereotypical myths. Here, we share some key eye-openers to make you think of gaming in a totally different light.

1. If Facebook were to take gaming off its platform, its user numbers (and therefore profits) would shrink by a massive 33 per cent (a whopping third)

As it stands, over 900m people use Facebook on a frequent basis. In addition to networking and the sharing of photographs, the 3rd most popular activity by its users is gaming. User groups and communities engage in challenging themselves and each other in this fast-paced and thrilling activity, which is offered to them through a vast array of online gaming experiences. The true fact is that if Facebook were to eliminate gaming as an activity on its platform, the shrinkage would equate to a colossal one third of users -- a loss of 300m people in one fell swoop. This is equivalent to wiping out the entire population of the USA! Ironic, considering Facebook was conceived in Massachusetts.

2. Over half of all casual gamers are ABC1s with 77 per cent over 25 years of age

How many times do we groan at the sight of multi-coloured balls and grinning women interrupting our favourite TV programme, only to find it is advertising the 'fun' and money-earning 'potential' of online Bingo? Unfortunately, some marketers, who still live in the dark ages, equate the concept of casual gaming to the image of the bored housewife-Bingo brigade. However, consider this -- gaming is currently the FASTEST growing advertising medium and is enjoyed by over 50 per cent of the lucrative ABC1 socio-demographic. Additionally, this is a mature and savvy audience with three quarters over the age of 25, a segment which has the highest disposable income with the highest propensity to engage with advertising messaging. This unfortunate 'snob value' held by some areas of the media and marketing community means that they are simply missing a rather big trick. Their loss….!

3. Average time spent on gaming is now 7.1 hours per week -- that's nearly a whole working day!

While many erroneously think that gaming is used as a 'filler' to relieve boredom throughout the day, it is interesting to note that the average gamer consciously spends nearly a whole working day per week in this activity. They are in a very receptive mode, in a 'me time' zone, where they are not disturbed by any external disruptions or 'white noise'. If you think that your working day is long -- then think of the millions who spend this time each week gaming!

4. People spend more time on casual gaming than they do reading print or listening to the radio -- combined

Whilst both publishing and broadcast media are struggling heavily with ad sales revenue, in stark contrast, gaming is enjoying a steady growth in revenues. This is hardly surprising, considering that gaming has overtaken peoples' media habits of reading print and listening to the radio. Accountability of ad spend per user is now much lower in traditional media than in the new channels such as gaming. It is high time that media planners and brand managers evolved with the times if they are to really benefit from their budget ROI.

5. Gaming is the foremost catalyst in driving technological advances among mobile devices today

We are all aware of the demand for next-generation mobile devices with higher and higher resolutions, pixels and definitions. Mobile hardware manufacturers are in constant competition to come up with the next 'big thing'. With gaming being one of the foremost activities on mobile devices, the clarity, speed and acuity needed to simulate the perfect gaming environment is what ensures the bar is constantly raised. Remember those games such as 'Snakes'? Hilarious to think they were revolutionary a few years ago? Compared to Angry Birds, how times have changed!

Rumbi Pfende is the UK county manager at Gamehouse


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