Australia’s gaming boom continues post 2020 lockdowns, new research shows

A new report from InMobi, ‘Everyone’s Gaming Among Us’ has found that Australia has experienced a gaming boom during 2020, with a significant increase in both numbers of users playing online, and overall usage.

23% of all gamers starting playing for the first time during lockdown in 2020, with that growth continuing into 2021, with a 29% overall increase in unique users and a 41% rise in usage.

Brands within the FMCG, automotive, travel and government sectors have all been chasing the high engagement, brand safety opportunities and marketing opportunities that are offered by mobile gaming.

The increased “need to relax and be entertained” was found to be the most important factor in smartphone users turning to gaming since the beginning of the pandemic. Gaming on smartphones has also become the most popular device to play on, with 85% of gamers stating they play on their smartphones, ahead of 28% on consoles and 30% on PCs. The accessibility. of smartphone gaming has also increased usage, with 87% playing at least once or more a day.

Richard O’Sullivan, InMobi VP and general manager, Australia and New Zealand said: “With COVID related stay-at-home notices and shifts in the attitudes to flexible working hours, Australians of all ages have embraced mobile gaming as a way to relax, entertain themselves, and virtually connect with friends and family.”

“We believe this was habit forming and now offers Australian brands considerable opportunity to build immersive experiences and connect with an engaged audience of both genders and from all age groups in a completely brand safe environment. What is even more exciting is that all of this can be enabled at scale via programmatic platforms such as the InMobi Exchange. Our recent launch of blended in-game advertising is another step in helping brands make the most of the gaming wave being democratized by mobile.”

In addition to this trend, brands can take advantage of the opportunities free mobile gaming offers marketers, as 94% stated that they preferred to watch ads, rather than the 6% that prefer to pay any money (in-game purchases) in order to advance in games, or in exchange for in-game benefits.

Marketing in-game was found to have a high impact, with ad recall amongst Australians, 52% being able to recall an ad.

In May, InMobi announced the launch of in-game advertising for global brands and agencies on InMobi Exchange.

Key demographics found that 56% of mobile gamers were women, with a wide spread of age groups making up the total representation of gamers. Gaming times had several peaks throughout the day, at 11am, 2pm and 8pm.

In the past year there has been an increased presence of brands using gaming as a marketing strategy, such as Telstra’s ‘Up Your Game’ campaign, promoting the telco’s first branded gaming product Telstra Game Optimiser, Subway’s ‘Sink A Sub’ gaming experience in November, and AdColony launching Social Ads, a product enabling advertisers to run social media campaigns in a mobile gaming environment.

A more in-depth look into gaming in the travel industry was featured on Mumbrella in March this year. 

The report is based on a detailed analysis of a survey conducted in Australia between 6 June to 14 June 2021 on the InMobi Pulse Platform, in addition to data from the InMobi Advertising and Audiences Platform, based on data from January 2020 to January 2021.


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