Measuring & Metrics: the Online Gaming Audience, Edward Hunter, Comscore
(these are just rough notes, not a liveblog transcript).
Gamers used to be 18-24 males, now there are online gamers in every demographic. Exponential increase in spend for advertising to reach the gamer. 9 out of ten calls to ComScore are about ads.
Metrics asked for:
– reach and frequency
– genre prefs by demographic
– market size
– demographics: ideal targets for a game
– exposure targets — how many did you reach, what is the kind & level of engagement? What actions do they take? (Do they interact with the ad or just see it there but focus more on the game?)
Females playing online games, ages 9-14 (US only)
35+ females playing games (US only)
2008: 23M (21% rise in the last year)
A lot of these coming from the Wii, console space…
What we are seeing is displacement from other media — TV. Gaming is now one of the only channels to reach the 18-24 male now.
Does gaming taper off as we get older?
55+ males gaming has gone from 3.9M to 5.3M in the last year in the US
Audience growth in online gamers inc casual & MMO
2008: 305M, 29% growth, 68M new gamers
Console is a bit of walled garden, so likely misreported here.
Gamer we used to know; 18-34, resistant to advertising, tech savvy
Today, still tech savvy though not as much, but all genders and all ages, used to advertising, consuming less traditional media
You can reach a gamer though the same channels you can reach anyone today. Nintendo didn’t market to a niche.
The demographics with the biggest growth are the unexpected ones. They are not Gen X or Gen Y, you cannot reach them with skateboards and Mtn Dew.
Why to measure: market sizing, audience profiling, marketing reach.
A widget game on two different sorts of websites — say iVilliage vs a Viacom property, you are going to get gameplay that has nothing to do with the demo targeting of the game and everything to do with where it is placed. The attitudes change as the demos do. The games with the highest satisfaction are marketed across trad media channels to broad demographics.
Geography; 44% central, 38% atlantic, 27% pacific.
37M light gamers, 2.4 engagement
22.2M medium, 10 eng
14M heavy gamers, 31.6
women prefer puzzle, card, accade
men arcade, card, strategy
Behaviors change. The 18-34 demo has changed. The 14-17 matured and has brought in new attitudes, less resistant to ads, softer gamers. New gamers have entered the demo too, and they act like unexposed new gamers, less hardcore. Some move to age 35+… you aren’t necessarily seeing a lot of new 18-34 gamers, but you are seeing new influx from below, and you are seeing the old mode move older, so the composition of the demos is changing.
Many different sorts of online games. Gamepkay crosses genres sometimes. You cannot reach and understand “online gamers” — it’s too big a target, like trying to sell cars to humans.
online 57 hrs a month, 24% of that is gaming
uses IM, gaming sites
trends to 18-24 male
MMO, FPS, RTS
36 hrs a month, 1% of that is gaming
uses more trad entertainment and retail content
trends female 25-30
puzzle, card, strategy
The split is 20%/30%/50% of total audience, so it’s purely based on hours.
The tail here is very long, hard to look at light gamers because the audience is so large.
There is significant overlap between demographics across the groups, but the devil is in the details. examples:
Light gamers rank #1 in visits to retail computer hardware sites — heavy gamers come in last & rank it #4 after books!
Light gamers have the highest consumption of music entertainment online (music downloaded). Heavy gamers rank #2, medium gamers come in third… after TV and kids entertainment.
Home in first by intensity of gameplay then by demographic target. Document age, gender, demo, income, intenet connection (lots of folks still on modems), pc vs console, behaviors (subs, widgets, etc), and lifestyle and other questions.
Marketing – find out where this audience hangs out online. Lifestyle, habitsm and hobbies, travel, electronics and media purchasing, trad media consumption… honing in on other behaviors = competitive advantage.
If you put a gaming ad on a gaming site, people are in content reading mode, and tend to ignore it. You hit the consumer when they are on a site that matches the dmeo but when they are in a browsing mode.
When Blizzard announced 10m, our #s had them at 9.8m. Build your games to be measured. Don’t go radio silent, make traditional Internet calls. Signal user actions, such as ad exposure, session start or stop, significant actions… bundle as many metrics as possible.
slides available: http://www.comscore.com/request/gamers.asp