Who plays video games these days? Over 155 million Americans, according to research by the Entertainment Software Association. That equates to a staggering 51% of U.S. households with a dedicated gaming system. We now live in a world where FPS and MMO games coincide with SOV and SKUs, and where the console-owning audience has grown into a massive consumer segment that spans well beyond the traditional image of the hardcore gamer.
Gamers keep leveling up
While gamers have long represented a niche market, that is no longer the reality. Instead, we’re seeing this audience widen and go more mainstream than ever before. Today, the average age of gamers is 35 years old. Meanwhile, more women ages 18 or older play video games (33%) than boys 18 or younger (15%). When we talk about gamers, we’re also talking about students, working professionals and new parents—and that’s just scratching the surface.
The power of the connected console
As the audience for gaming broadens, the use case for the console has also expanded well beyond gaming. They’re now powerful connected devices that bring all sorts of entertainment and media experiences into the home. Take music, for example. Spotify’s partnership with PlayStation Music makes it easier than ever for people to soundtrack their gaming sessions with music—and they’re listening for an average of 88 minutes per day.
Understanding how gamers engage with all kinds of content on their gaming consoles will be key to generating consumer insights that unlock business opportunities for brands and marketers. That was the focus of Spotify’s “The Connected Home” panel this week at CES, which featured Spotify’s Jorge Espinel (Head of Global Business Development), Nancy Kim of Sony Network Entertainment International (Sr. Director, Americas Marketing), and Daniel Morton of Bose (Head of Corporate Development, Planning, and Insights).
“There’s so much data, because we are connected,” said Kim. “The challenge is not in amassing data but in using that data in the best way possible, to enhance user experience for the customer and engagement for our services and platform.
“We’re constantly working on optimizing our experience,” added Espinel. “Believe it or not, we are in the early days of the evolution of these industries, whether it’s streaming or online gaming.”
Learn more about how Spotify can help brands be a part of the growing opportunity in gaming here.