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5 charts on why advertisers should pay attention to gaming

Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard in what could essentially create a video game monopoly has many, including the Federal Trade Commission, keeping a close eye on the gaming industry. The $68.7 billion acquisition would give Microsoft a leadership position with franchises like Call of Duty, Candy Crush Saga, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch.

Here are five charts showing why you should also be paying attention to gaming.

1. Gaming is the No. 2 activity for teens and kids

Two-thirds of people in the US under 18 years old play video games online, putting it only behind watching YouTube videos as an activity, per PC Magazine.

Gaming is big among adults as well, particularly mobile gaming, which the average US adult spends about 27 minutes doing each day, according to our estimates. That’s about 13% of all time spent with mobile apps.

2. Consumer spend is contracting, but there’s more to the story for advertisers

Consumer spend on gaming grew significantly over the past few years before cooling this year, according to The NPD Group.

But while consumer spend shrinks, ad revenues are growing. US mobile gaming ad spend will grow 10.0% to $6.28 billion in 2023 and continue to grow by between 8% and 10% over the next few years, according to our forecast. Esports ad revenues are growing at around the same rate and will pass a quarter of a billion dollars in 2023.

3. Gaming platforms to watch

While many developers are looking to futuristic gaming platforms like the metaverse, the majority are focused on streaming and mobile, as noted by Perforce. For both of these platforms, 5G infrastructure is driving adoption globally. Mobile gamer figures in the US remain fairly flat, with minimal growth, but revenues look different, especially globally.

4. A global gaming look

Asia-Pacific accounts for nearly half of digital gaming revenues worldwide, according to Newzoo. North America is the No. 2 driver, accounting for about one-fourth of total revenues.

Though they each account for just 4% of the pie, the Middle East and Africa and Latin America are the fastest-growing digital revenue markets. 5G adoption in these regions will lead to more streaming and mobile gamers—and more resulting revenues.

5. Get ready for a “banner year

A combination of AI and virtual reality (VR) innovations have improved gaming technology significantly. As companies invest in both of these ventures, expect gaming to look even more impressive, which could drive adoption, especially among Gen Z. Gaming has had a strong holiday season already. Its future could be even brighter.

Final thoughts: Between rapidly improving tech and massive mergers, gaming is changing. Even if you’re not game for gaming advertising right now, keep an eye on how VR and AI ventures open up new ad opportunities, especially for reaching young people.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.