Minutes Spent Playing Online Games Jumps 42 Percent versus Year Ago
RESTON, VA, January 28, 2009 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released an analysis of Americans’ usage of online gaming sites, which showed that the category has grown 27 percent during the past year to 86 million visitors in December 2008, while the total time spent playing online games has jumped 42 percent. Americans’ total share of Internet time spent playing online games grew from 3.7 percent in December 2007 to 4.9 percent in December 2008.
Yahoo! Games ranked as the most visited site in the category with 19.5 million visitors (up 20 percent), followed by EA Online with 15.4 million visitors (up 21 percent), and Disney Games with 13.4 million visitors (up 13 percent). The tenth most visited site, Spil Games, saw traffic surge 269 percent to 6.7 million visitors.
“It appears that online, ad-supported gaming is one of the activities that has benefited during this economic downturn,” said Edward Hunter, Comscore director of gaming solutions. “Not only have consumers turned to outlets such as gaming to take their minds off the economy, but as they curtail their discretionary gaming-related purchases they are turning to free alternatives.”
Online Gaming Category Attracts More Display Ads
Despite a challenging online display advertising market, trends are looking remarkably positive for the online gaming category. From November 2007 to November 2008, the total number of display ad views in the Online Gaming category grew 29 percent to 8.6 billion. The increase in display ad exposures is due primarily to the increasing number of visitors to the category (up 30 percent), while the average person’s frequency of exposure has remained relatively constant at 127 ad views per person. Another positive trend is that the number of display ads per page view – a measure of “ad clutter” – has actually declined 17 percent.
“The growth in display ads in the online gaming category not only underscores the assertion that gamers are increasingly accepting of ad-supported games, but also that the advertising community is recognizing the value of this highly engaged audience,” added Hunter. “It is also likely that the advertising agency community will begin to demand more evaluations of campaign effectiveness in this space as spend and impressions continue to rise.”
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