More than two-thirds of U.S. connected TV (CTV) owners play video games, and gamers are bigger streaming subscribers and free, ad-supported streaming (FAST) services viewers than CTV owners as a whole.
That’s according to a survey by LG Ad Solutions of more than 700 U.S. adults with a CTV who play games via a video game console, conducted online in March.
Gamers subscribe to the major subscription streaming services at a higher rate than CTV owners as a whole, and are less likely not to have any streaming subscriptions.
Science- and tech-focused Discovery+ is the streaming app with the highest penetration among gamers. Apple TV+, Peacock and Paramount+ also over-index among gamers. Interestingly, they are less likely to subscribe to giants Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of gamers spend at least two hours a week watching free streaming apps, versus 51% of CTV owners as a whole. More than a third watch two to five hours a week, versus 27% of CTV owners as a whole. And only 37% watch less than two hours a week, compared to 50% of CTV owners as a whole.
Gamers have a particularly strong preference for seeing ads relevant to their interests, with 80% expressing that desire versus 73% of CTV owners overall. Similarly, they are more likely to prefer seeing ads that are relevant to the streaming content they are watching (76%) than the average CTV user (63%).
Fully 79% of those age 30 to 44 are console gamers, followed by those 18 to 29 (74%) and 45 to 60 (63%), and those over 60 (32%). Fifty-eight percent of women are console gamers, one in five play every day, and 67% play for more than four hours per week. Nearly two-thirds of female gamers (61%) prefer streaming free video content with ads, and 45% pay more attention to ads while streaming compared to ads on cable/satellite TV.
Although 64% of gamers said they typically use video game consoles to play games (slightly fewer than the 71% who said the same about mobile), only about 23% use gaming consoles to stream video. Instead, 55% stream through their smart TV apps.
When it comes to discovering new games, gamers cite friends and family most (51%), followed by social media (48%) and online video ads (44%), but TV/streaming ads are also important sources, at 42%. Only 16% of gamers use the TV home screen for game recommendations — possibly an under-used resource, given its first impression possibilities when turning on the TV.
Gamers are more apt to multitask than CTV owners as a whole, with 53% playing games and 50% shopping while streaming.
Other insights about gamers:
*One quarter play games on a daily basis, with the average gaming session lasting between 30 minutes and two hours. On average, 30% of gamers play four to seven hours per week.
*Gaming is a social activity: 40% of gamers with children play with their kids one to three times a week and two in five gamers frequently or always play via local co-op on the same console in the same room.
Karlene, if one takes those claimed weekly viewing time figures in the first table and assigns weights to each frequency group---at about the mid point of the scale, plus a reasonable estimate for the 10+ hour segment---it works out to about half an hour per day for all CTV "owners" for the FAST services and roughly 5-6 minutes more for those who profess to be gamers. In other words it's a pretty small difference.
Also, I noted the finding that 45% of female CTV gamers who pay more attention to streaming commercials than those on traditional TV. However TVision keeps reporting---bsed on webcam observations---that the two forms of TV are just about equal in average commercial attentiveness ---with traditional TV having a slight lead.
The problem with many of these articles/studies, is they do not define what a "gamer" is. Most young adults do not consider themselves gamers - they watch TV, go to movies, play video games, play sports with friends - it's just a part of their regular entertainment mix. Additionally, many studies throw people who play games on their cell phones into the "gamer" bucket. The issue is playing Words with Friends or Candy Crush on your cell phone does not = gamer.
Finally, if marketers want to reach young adults, then get involved in the games and activities and gaming-specific events they participate in. Trying to target gamers through TV channels is a lot of wasted effort when you can have a more direct touchpoint and message through the channels we know we can reach them through.