Good News for Device Retailers: Mobile Gamers Largest Gamer Segment in U.S.

According to Gamer Segmentation 2016, the latest report from The NPD Group, the avid omni gamers segment continues to see an upward trend in growth and is close to surpassing the largest segment – free and mobile gamers. The avid omni gamers segment, up three percentage points from 2014, is closing the gap on the largest gamer segment – free and mobile gamers – which exhibited a decrease of two percentage points.

Avid omni gamers, defined as those who game on an average of five different devices, are more likely to use portables and kid-​oriented systems than the other segments. This segment tends to skew younger, with 34 percent of gamers in this segment being between 2–12 years old. Among all gamers in the U.S., 25 percent fall into the avid omni gamer segment. This translates into 52.6 Million Americans ages 2 and older.

The core console gamers segment, which comprises 12 percent of all U.S. gamers, also increased three percent, while casual gamers increased one percent. The family gamers and social gamers segments each saw a two percentage point decrease from 2014.

The above stat should be encouraging for retailers selling game consoles. In fact, the AudienceSCAN survey found 11% of Americans intend to buy video game systems in the next 12 months.

Preferred Gaming Devices, Time Spent Gaming, and Acquisition

The usage of phones and mobile devices for gaming are at an all-​time high, surpassing both PCs and consoles overall and within several gaming segments. Seventy-​eight percent of gamers use some type of phone or mobile device for gaming, an increase of seven percentage points from 2014. Phone and mobile device usage increased across all segments, with casual gamers experiencing the highest increase (10 percent).

Video Game Console Shoppers want the latest tech for the best price. The AudienceSCAN study revealed 52% of these shoppers went shopping in stores (not online) on Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving), so now is the time to promote the newest gaming devices.

The amount of time spent playing video games in the U.S. continues to rise, with gamers spending an average of 15 hours per week gaming, an increase of 1 percent since 2014. Half of the gamer segments reported an increase in the average hours spent gaming per week. Core console gamers reported the highest increase — up 2 percentage points to 26 percent — and continue to be the segment that plays video games the most. Avid omni gamers and social gamers each had a 1 percentage point increase in average gaming hours.

Reach core console gamers with TV spots. AudienceSCAN research reported 47.2% of Video Game Console Shoppers took action after seeing commercials in the past month.

After seeing a decline in 2014, purchasing of games is up across most segments. Avid omni gamers had the greatest number of consumers purchasing games; 80 percent have made a purchase in the past three months, an 8 percentage point increase from 2014.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.