Commentary

Not Just Playing Around: Why Brands Should Take Mobile Gaming Inventory More Seriously

The global mobile gaming market is expected to generate $23.9 billion by 2016, yet misconceptions about mobile gamers abound. Many marketers assume mobile gamers are mostly male, mostly kids, or mostly nerds who live in their parents’ basement. But the data tells a different story.

Let’s delve into the truth behind 4 big myths about mobile gaming:

Myth 1: Mobile gamers are all men.

Mobile gamers in western countries are actually 48% women. Some popular apps skew more female than average: a recent survey found that 59 percent of Candy Crush players are women.

Myth 2: Mobile gamers are all kids.

Actually – they’re more likely to be parents – or even grandparents. 48% of moms say they play mobile games. 38% of Candy Crush users have at least one child, and 32% of those users play games with their kids. Moreover, the population of older gamers is significant and growing fast. 29% of mobile gamers are over 50 and the number of Americans over 50 playing mobile games grew 148% from 2012 to 2013.

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Myth 3: Gamers are nerdy shut-ins.

Some 62% of all gamers say they play with others, either online or in-person. 32 percent play with other family members. And not only do mobile gamers play with friends, they also are channels for viral growth: 40% of Candy Crush players use recommendations from family and friends to choose new games to play.

Myth 4: Mobile gamers don’t have money to spend.

Last year, the worldwide mobile gaming market was worth a whopping $16 billion. That year, mobile gamers in the U.S. spent $26.10 each on their favorite games. This fast-moving market is expected to grow even more this year.

It’s time for brands to abandon their misconceptions about mobile gamers and to grasp the opportunity to engage with consumers in the games they love. Brands that overlook gaming inventory — particularly tablet inventory — are missing out on a significant audience at a time when it’s engaged and spending. Smart marketers will think beyond the 4 big myths about gaming audiences and embrace the opportunity mobile gaming inventory presents.

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