A study from Q Interactive and Social Media World Forum of more than 2,000 women in November of 2009 found them actively engaging with brands as they dabble in social media gaming. Women are passionate and competitive about (Lil) Green Patches and Happy Aquariums, stocking up on "virtual currency" perhaps more often than they hit the ATM, says the report. The study of U.S. women, of whom 50% play online games according to Pew Internet, offers a picture of this growing group and where brands fit in. According to market research firm Think Equity, the $720 million online social-gaming market is expected to at least double to over $1 billion by 2010.
Matt Wise, President, Q Interactive, said "As brands seek... ways to shake hands with women via social media, the gaming and application marketplace holds tremendous potential... women seek a partner to support their entertainment... "
The study, first and foremost, establishes a picture of the typical woman engaged in social media games and applications:
The study investigated how brands and women intersect during social media gaming and app'ing and found brands are an important partner:
Ian Johnson, Director, Social Media World Forum, observes that "Applications and games are quickly becoming part of everyone's daily lives... by having a presence in the game and app space, brands... (can) reach an influential consumer set... "
A follow up study in February, 2010 from Q Interactive and Engage! Expo reveals insight into the psychology of social media gaming women, the largest demographic of social media users. The study of over 700 women, about 54% of which play daily and 30% weekly, investigates a range of viewpoints around salient social media gaming topics. This is the company's third recent proprietary research study from its "Women's Channel."
Of those surveyed, 42% consider themselves gamers and 7% deem themselves obsessed:
Over two-thirds of those surveyed believe there are stigmas associated with gaming. For those women, the leading stigmas are:
More than half of women surveyed, 54%, fear more games will make gamers pay in the future:
Christopher Sherman, CEO and Founder of the Engage! Expo, reported that "... moms and kids are both wired into social media gaming... however, mom... is actively supervising the time her kids play and what they spend"
Marj Calinog, VP, Business Development, summarizes, saying "We had a frank conversation with women to better understand not only how, when and what they play, but how they approach gaming at work, their self-imposed boundaries for play, their willingness to spend to feed their habit... we found a group completely engaged with play but one with definite 'rules' and opinions as well as concerns about the future. The findings hold great implications and opportunities for developers... and advertisers seeking a meaningful presence in social gaming."