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Smartphones lead US gaming usage

News, 02 November 2016

SAN JOSE, CA: More than three-quarters (78%) of US consumers use smartphones to play digital games, a higher proportion than those who use tablets (59%) or their laptops (47%), a new study has revealed.

That is according to PayPal, the financial transactions firm, which worked with SuperData Research to poll 10,000 consumers across 10 markets for its Digital Goods Economy Survey.

Only the results from the US have been released for now, but PayPal said the findings about mobile device usage in gaming are worth noting because mobile is expected to account for just under half of the total $77.3bn global games market in 2016.

It found that 40% of respondents play their console video games for one to two hours over each session, while about a third (34%) play for two to four hours.

The finding prompted PayPal to advise advertisers that "console gaming session length highlights an opportunity for relevant in-game ads/branded content as the audience is making a longer time commitment per session and thus third-party content is less disruptive".

"Additionally, for mobile games and eBooks, creating shorter marketing content to fill the desired time window will resonate with consumers looking to spend less time consuming content," the report said.

The reference to eBooks pointed to the second element of the survey, which found 60% of US respondents use tablets to read eBooks.

Two-thirds (66%) say they buy eBooks because they are cheaper than a hard copy book and also that they have the advantage of being able to be read instantly.

Furthermore, 42% say they buy or download an eBook immediately after becoming interested in it for the first time.

PayPal said that means "there is a captive audience of impulse eBook buyers that merchants can cater to with a simple and secure checkout process so their customers can instantly dive into the book".

Data sourced from PayPal; additional content by Warc staff