TV Advertising Gaming Digital Marketing

How Smart TV is helping brand marketers to effectively reach a gaming audience

Samsung Ads


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January 31, 2023 | 5 min read

The gaming industry is huge

It’s the largest sector in the entertainment market (bigger than Hollywood and the music industry combined) and was valued at $195.65bn in 2021. It has billions of active customers.

It’s an interest which also embraces a diverse range of demographics. But it hasn’t always been easy for advertisers to reach these passionate audiences. However, insights from Samsung Ads reveal how a changing streaming landscape and Smart TV adoption is allowing advertisers to get closer to and engage with gamers.

Consumers’ habits shifted in general during the global pandemic as they looked for at-home entertainment. Many people turned to gaming as a means of escape during lockdown, driving a surge in popularity. Improved next-generation console sales (which include Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and PS5) and sustained Smart TV sales also accelerated growth in the gaming universe.

Samsung Ads’ research paper, the Gaming Trends Report, documents consumers’ gaming habits across EU5 markets - these include Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the UK. The report identified a marked growth in the total gaming universe size across Samsung TVs. There were 5.4 million active Samsung gaming TVs in EU5 in 2022 compared to 4.8 million the previous year.

This growth is predicted to continue in 2023 with Samsung continuously investing in improving the Smart TV gaming capabilities and screen quality for gamers. Case-and-point, Samsung announced the release of the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 Gaming Monitor at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The Gaming Trends Report dives into the contrasting viewing behaviours between gamers and non-gamers and delivers insights on how to leverage smart TVs to effectively target gaming audiences outside of gaming environments.

Samsung-connected next generation consoles enjoy more gameplay

Average gaming hours per Samsung TV fell slightly (3%) post-pandemic, as life returned to normal. Total amount of gaming hours on Samsung TVs remains strong, however, at 576m hours in Q1 2022.

Old-generation consoles remain the most popular device associated with Samsung TVs, accounting for almost 80% of connected consoles. But the migration to next-generation consoles has steadily progressed.

Next-generation console sales have spiked over the past two years. The number of active next-gen devices rose by 2.6x in Q1 2022 versus the same period in 2021. The average time spent playing next-gen consoles per day in Q1 2022 was 2 hours 12 minutes - old-generation consoles didn’t exceed 1 hour.

Gamers have a propensity to purchase premium food and beverages

Total screen time is part of what makes gaming audiences a valuable market. EU5 gamers’ average screen time in Q1 2022 was 45% more than non-gamers - this amounts to 125 hours more.

And gamers’ spending power cannot be discounted. 73% of gamers acknowledged they'd be willing to spend more on premium food and beverage products, whilst 56% of gamers trust companies and brands - versus 47% of non-gamers.

Gamers score high for video-on-demand ad consumption

Linear remains a powerful tool within television advertising. But gamers, who are regularly designated as ‘early adopters’ of new tech trends, prefer streaming content. EU5 gamers spent, on average, almost 195 hours in streaming environments on Samsung TVs in Q1 2022 - 66 hours more than non-gamers.

And they are increasingly open to ads. 56% *of EU5 TV users consider viewing ads on Smart TVs as a fair exchange in return for free content. This shift in behavior is most apparent amongst gaming audiences. Gamers’ average advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) consumption is 41% higher than non-gamers.

Brands can tap into ad-funded services to further their reach within the gaming community. AVOD accounted for 34% of EU5 gamers’ total VOD consumption in Q1 2022 - this equates to 61 hours per quarter per device. Only streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) services achieved more.

YouTube has long been the go-to for consumers searching for AVOD services. Samsung TV Plus, Rakuten and Pluto have all emerged as challengers in a new category - free ad-supported streaming (FAST). And extensive content catalogues featuring curated, quality TV programming is fueling their rise to prominence.

On Samsung’s own free ad-supported TV (FAST) service Samsung TV Plus gamers typically favored three genres in Q1 2022 - entertainment, documentaries and news. With EU5 gamers 10% more likely to regularly watch Samsung TV Plus compared to non-gamers, the streaming service offers brand marketers unique opportunities to connect with this demographic.

Make sure gamers are integrated into the media plan

Increased Smart TV penetration in modern households is allowing brand marketers to diversify their advertising strategies and get closer to ‘hard-to-reach’ audiences, such as gamers.

VOD services are experiencing long-term growth and Samsung TV Plus can be a pivotal piece in putting together an omnichannel media plan optimized for incremental reach. Advertisers can capitalize on Samsung Ads’ first-party data to communicate seamlessly with gaming audiences. Samsung can uniquely target households with active connected gaming consoles. This ensures optimum reach, which is made all-the-more important with ad budgets becoming increasingly tighter.

By Daniel Trevett, head of strategic accounts, Samsung Ads.

TV Advertising Gaming Digital Marketing


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