How to Target the Parents Who Make Up 42% of Power Gamers

BY Rachel Cagle
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Fullscreen, a global leader in social-​first entertainment experiences serving creators, brands, and consumers, today unveiled a new study highlighting the changing demographics of gamers over the past decade. The most comprehensive study of its kind that looked at gamers' viewing, playing, and spending habits, the "Modern Gamer Study," found that nearly half of all power gamers — those who play 10+ hours a week on PC or console — are parents (42%), while women now make up 33 percent.

Featuring research conducted by Magid on behalf of Fullscreen, the study compared the demographics, spending, and viewing habits of power gamers and non-​gamers alike. The results show that gamers are extremely influential within their networks and communities, have considerable spending power, and are early adopters of digital and live video. Some key findings include:

  • Power gamers are more active on social media with 52% believing they have a strong influence over the purchasing decisions of their family and friends (vs. only 35% of non-gamers)
  • They're more likely to share new products and trends within their networks (62% vs. 39%)
  • 48% (vs. 29% of non-​gamers) enjoy talking about brands on social media
  • Their discretionary income is more than twice that of non-​gamers ($488 vs. $210).

According to AudienceSCAN, Video Gamers are active on Facebook (83.9%), YouTube (70.1%), Twitter (44.7%) and Instagram (43.8%), and they're 47% more likely than other adults to consider advertisements on social media useful to them. They're also 40% more likely than other adults to share a good experience on social media. Last year, 23.4% of this audience was driven to action by information on social media that wasn't even an advertisement.

"Gaming has become a favorite American pastime, and our study identified active gamers across demographics — regardless of age, occupation, ethnicity, and income level," said Mary Murcko, SVP Partnerships and Revenue at Fullscreen. "One of the most surprising findings is the sharp rise in adults who play, including the many parents who say they are big gamers. Power gamers also yield greater social and purchase power than their non-​gaming counterparts, having an outsized influence on their friends' and family's purchasing decisions in nearly every category, from travel to gadgets."

The study found there is no one-​size-​fits-​all approach to describe a gamer. The advancement of gaming devices and options has fueled growth among a variety of audience segments:

  • The gaming community is more diverse than ever; women now account for 33% of power gamers, Hispanics 19%, and African Americans 14%
  • 40% are college graduates and 68% are employed
  • Gamers have aspirational life goals and are more likely than non-​gamers to want to own a home (75% vs. 65%) and are slightly more likely to want to have children (60% vs. 56%)

"As a gamer, it's heartening to see a study that recognizes and represents who I work and interact with on a daily basis; we're diverse, have interests outside of gaming and like to share what we enjoy with people we know, both in person and online," said Ashley Jenkins, creator of Rooster Teeth (the entertainment and media company behind some of the biggest online series in history)'s "The Know" and founding member of the Frag Dolls. "This is helpful insight for brands so they can meet gamers where they are — on video and social. Given gamers' influence and tendency to be natural brand evangelists, brands should invest in learning about gamers, including their habits and other relevant details, like spending, sharing, and viewing preferences."

This diverse group of individuals has a few similarities when it comes to advertising. According to AudienceSCAN, 49.6% of this group took action after receiving an email advertisement last year. Within that same period of time, 45.5% took action after seeing an ad on their mobile smartphone apps or after receiving a text ad and 65.6% reacted to TV commercials. They're also 7% more likely than other adults to click on text link ads on websites.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.