Online Gaming Sites Stickier During May Than Sports And News
Nielsen found that overall, the gender composition of the online game audience is nearly equal. Of the 46 million online game users in May, 51 percent were male and 49 percent were female. Kids ages 2 to 11 made up seven percent of the audience, while teens ages 12 to 17 made up 15 percent of online gamers. Those between the ages of 35 and 49 made up the largest age demographic for online games, with 30 percent or 13.7 million users in May 2004.
Overall, Nielsen//NetRatings reported that the online games category was the stickiest online content category during the month of May, meaning that people spent more time with online games than on sports and news sites. Nielsen said that more than 46 million--or nearly one in three online Americans--visited an online game site during May.
Women appear to favor online gaming destinations that offer a variety of games, particularly card, trivia, puzzle, and arcade games, as well as games for kids. Nielsen//NetRatings found that 20.2 percent of all online gamers at work are women ages 35 to 49, accounting for 2.7 million unique visitors at work. The audience measurement firm estimates that 14 percent of all online gamers at home are women ages 35 to 49, for a total of 5.3 million unique visitors.
"Women are using these gaming sites at work and at home, and it's more likely that they have access to a computer [throughout the day] than teen males," said Kaizad Gotla, Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings.
Visitors in May to Slingo.com, for example, spent four hours and eight minutes on the gaming network versus two hours and 30 minutes on EA.com, the online gaming venue of Electronic Arts. Gotla attributes Slingo's stickiness to the fact that some games on the network are more time-consuming; some involve contests and are available for download to the PC desktop.
Visitors to MSN Games spent about two hours on the site in May, while AOL Games and Jigzone.com attracted visitors for nearly two hours and one-and-a-half hours, respectively.