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Mobile gaming isn't just for kids or boys any more, according to a new study

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Who are mobile gamers, exactly? It’s a question that has been incessantly asked not just in the gaming industry but also among advertisers looking to reach consumers in this channel. To get a definitive answer, AdColony partnered with consumer insights platform DISQO to survey 1,200 verified mobile users about their mobile gaming behaviors, preferences, and sentiments.

Among these insights is the confirmation that the perception of who mobile gamers are (young, male, unmotivated, etc.) is completely wrong. The research shows a 50/50 split in gender and the ubiquity of mobile games among all age groups, not just young people. The survey shows that even those with significantly higher education and those in the upper echelons of household incomes are engaging with mobile games.

This research couldn’t come at a better time. Mobile gaming has seen a 62% uptick in time-spent since the Covid-19 lockdowns began in March and advertisers are starting to notice. Having a deeper understanding of mobile gaming users and their interests is critical as brands adjust their media plans to account for the massive increase in digital media consumption this year.

The report reveals insights into the types of mobile games consumers turn to the most, why they play, and what they are doing at the same time. The study also explores how mobile gamers fit into the overall landscape of the gaming world by detailing if they self-identify as “gamers” and how they are playing on their consoles and computers.

Highlights from the study include:

  • Nearly one-half (49%) of the American population plays mobile games once or several times a day. Even among prime working-age consumers, females, and highly educated consumers, those numbers stay consistent.
  • 65% of consumers with $250k HHI play mobile games once or several times a day, but only 29% of those in the group self-identify as a “gamer.”
  • When asked for their preference, 9 out of 10 respondents said they would choose to watch an ad to get rewards like in-game currency over paying for the same perk.

This data tells a refreshed story about age and gender of mobile gamers, and is further confirmation that gaming is universal, according to Matt Barash, SVP strategy and business Development, AdColony.

These insights are what advertisers need to feel confident they will reach their target customers within mobile gaming as a distinct channel.

About the Report

The survey was developed by AdColony and DISQO and distributed online to a nationally representative sample of DISQO Audience members within the United States via the Survey Junkie platform, which is wholly owned by DISQO. The survey was taken on both desktop and mobile devices, garnering a total of 1,208 responses over a fourteen-day period in Q2 of 2020. As each respondent was a member of DISQO’s 100% first-party opt-in research audience, responses were verified against fraud and were compiled against known and validated demographic information, enabling a rich, cohorted analysis by age, gender, education level, household income, and more.

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