Home entertainment and mobile gaming soared post-pandemic, and marketers and advertisers are intent on reaching audiences spending increasing amounts of time with video games and OTT services.
In this regularly updated stats roundup, we will include figures on gaming, in-game advertising, TV and OTT consumption and advertising, and much more.
US consumer spend on video games increased 27% in 2020
In a series of tweets, Executive Director at the NPD Group, Mat Piscatella, shared some fascinating insight into US consumer spending on the video games industry throughout 2020, based on full-year data collected by the company.
Total spend on video game content across PC, console, mobile, portable, cloud and VR platforms in the region reached $56.9 billion, growing by 27% year-on-year.
In December alone, $7.7 billion was spent on such games, up 25% compared to the same month in 2019, while spend on hardware grew to $1.35 billion (+38%), no doubt boosted by the release of the new Xbox and Playstation consoles in November.
The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in 2020, as evidenced by the huge rise in demand seen throughout the spring and summer months when many looked to distract themselves from life in lockdown. According to analysis, the annual dollar sales of the Switch were only outstripped by the launch of the Nintendo Wii in 2008. The PlayStation 5 came in second place for dollar sales in 2020, but its predecessor beat it in unit sales.
By now, we all know that 2020 has accelerated industry performance across many sectors, and the gaming industry is no exception. The growth in both consumer spend and engagement across video game platforms can only be a good thing for marketers looking to branch out into, or expand, their advertising efforts in game and at sponsored eSports events.
81% of US and UK-based media buyers want to increase in-game advertising spend into 2022
Game On For Advertisers – an October 2021 report from in-play advertising platform Admix – has found 81% of media buyers want to increase their in-game advertising spend over the next 12 months. This is, in part, thanks to a renewed interest from advertisers in the power of gaming as part of the marketing mix. Added to that is the huge uptake in the hobby from consumers throughout the pandemic. By the end of the year, three billon active gamers, globally, could spend up to $176 billion on games.
The survey of more than 400 media buyers from the US and UK also shows there are plenty who do not have the budget to advertise in the next year, but are including it in their long-term plans – 93% say they intend to run in-game ads by 2025. However, one-fifth of respondents stated the key reason they would be hesitant to purchase in-game advertising space is a lack of understanding around the process and execution.
This wariness and confusion translates more strongly Photo Editing Servicesamong US clients, 23% of whom have directly resisted spending on the ad format versus just 9% of those in the UK. Similarly, 52% of UK media buyers’ clients are requesting that money be spent on in-game marketing compared to 33% in the US.
As interest in video game advertising continues, it opens up even more possibilities for marketers looking to promote their brands within the vertical. The availability of programmatic options, third-party verification for in-game advertising performance and an increase in in-game inventory have all been cited as the biggest causes of growth in the category.