Tough-to-reach console gamers watch more TV on streaming than linear

As total pool of gamers grows to 3 billion, marketers need to pursue the right channels to avoid letting gamers fall through the cracks.



Gamers are a global audience numbering in the billions, but they’re hard to reach by traditional ads. In the U.S., gamers who play on a console hooked up to their TV are unreachable 80% of the time, according to a new study by Samsung Ads.


More console gamers watch TV on streaming, as opposed to linear TV, the study also found. The share of TV time for this group is split between 52% on streaming, 28% gaming and 20% linear.


Why we care. Samsung ads is an ecosystem covering hundreds of millions of devices, including advanced TV, streaming devices and linear. Their look into game console usage underlines the challenges of reaching gamers, even as the group is exploding.


The percentage of total gamers who use a console is about 42%., so the findings in the study point to a large chunk of the roughly 3 billion gamers throughout the world.


Console gamer growth. For 2021, gamers using consoles grew 21% year-over-year from 2020.


Notably, gamers using the latest consoles are spending more time playing games than those on older models. For instance, users on 2020 Xbox Series X and PS5 are spending 61% more time in-game than those using older consoles. This translates into an average 11.6 hours per week on newer consoles versus 7.2 hours per week on older models.


And this trend toward spending more time on newer consoles is expected to grow, as seven out of 10 users of older models plan to upgrade.



Viewing habits. Marketers should also take note of what gamers are viewing on TV when they’re not playing games:



  • 50% Theatrical movie releases
  • 49% Streaming originals
  • 41% Crime dramas
  • 37% Video game content
  • 32% Reality TV series
  • 29% Documentaries

Since console gamers are already hooked up to the TV, they are probably more likely to switch over to a streaming original or crime drama. For gamers who play on PCs, marketers might have to find other channels to reach them with ads.


On the game publisher side, advertisers and adtech partners are still in the very promising early stages of fully integrating meaningful ad experience in the latest games.


The post Tough-to-reach console gamers watch more TV on streaming than linear appeared first on MarTech.

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About The Author










Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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