Video Games: The New Leader in Digital Life

The video game space is heating up in a big way, especially when it comes to streaming. Late last month, Amazon stepped up to purchase Twitch, a video game streaming company. And earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is close to purchasing Mojang, the maker of Minecraft. Why the sudden interest in these companies?

Analysts say that marketers and advertisers alike are striving to connect with young males. Twitch attracts 55 million unique visitors a month. The company sells both advertising space and subscriptions. Its big draw is all about people who watch other gamers play their favorite titles. Bezos remarks that he looks forward to “to learning from them  [Twitch] and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”

In exploring the bid for Minecraft, Microsoft CEO Satya Nardella says gaming is the "single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-​first world." Minecraft offers a new twist on some of the slick offerings in today’s video game world. In some ways, the platform is an updated version of the Sims, where players get to create their world.  Players can also create a map for other players. And players can engage in a variety of modes like adventure or multiplayer.

Analysts have noted the huge difference in business models and strategies between a company like Minecraft which keeps expenses low and Electronic Arts which maintains a much higher cost base.

All of these companies are targeting the same audience: video gamers. According to AudienceSCAN, at least 32% of U.S. adults enjoy video games as a leisure activity. Nearly ½ of this audience is under age 35. Men make up 58% of the audience.  The consumers over-​index for interest in comic books, graphic novels and playing fantasy sports. In the next year, 16% of video gamers intend to get a tattoo, a rate that is 55% higher than average and proof of their counter-​culture attitude. Marketers should include online advertising in their media mix for his audience as at least 36% of video gamers have started an online search as a result of Internet ads they’ve seen.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.