The current global pandemic has changed so many different things in human behaviour, from the meteoric rise in e-commerce to the drastic reduction in international travel. Here at Publisher Collective we represent both owned and operated and exclusively represented websites. We’re a vertical network, specialising in PC and console gamers, and we too have seen a huge change in the dynamics of how our network operates.
Here are a few of the interesting changes we’ve noticed among our audiences since the pandemic hit.
When content is being consumed has changed
With many people now working from home, or at least spending more time at home and less time travelling, we’ve noticed a flattening of the peak in terms of when gaming news, reviews, and other content is being consumed. Previously, we would see peaks in activity during commuting times, but now things are much more evenly distributed across different parts of the day. We’ve also observed a change in the geolocation of our audiences, as travelling for work has been phased out of people’s lives.
And the gaming behaviour of our audience has changed alongside their content habits. Perhaps related to the change in dynamics of work-life balance, the peaks in gaming activity over the weekend are bigger, start earlier, and run into the early hours.
Research on hardware has grown
We have seen gamers look to buy and invest in upgrades in both hardware and software. The increased time spent gaming has led to people wanting to improve their setup, which in turn can improve their chances of winning. Not being able to go away, and saving money on going out, has led to consumers having more disposable income and therefore more money to spend on improving their gaming and entertainment setups.
The return of gamers
While the demographic remains predominantly in the 18-35 age range and male, we have seen growth within the older age groups. Now that many people have more time at home, they can engage more in games they are passionate about. It would appear many of the Dads of the world have been able to dust off the PC and get down with the kids!
Growth in spend on PC and consoles
With more gamers naturally comes more spend, and again the growth in spend per gamer has increased – according to Statista, average revenue per player in online games is predicted to increase worldwide from $20.54 in 2020 to $21.60 in 2021. With less outgoings for many and a reignited passion points, we have also seen our affiliate and e-commerce revenues grow faster.
Games development has slowed down
With the pandemic taking its toll on many industries, we – like the rest of the world – have noticed a general ‘delay’ in new titles, with fewer games being launched in 2021 than 2020. This hasn’t deterred gamers, as we can see that consumption of existing games has fuelled the growth of gaming over the last 18 months. It also means that with 2022 on the horizon, and with the world starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we will most likely be in for a very exciting new year for games.
What does this all mean?
The combination of all these factors – working more from home, gaining downtime, looking for escapism in a pandemic – means huge growth in both users in games and the volume of games and gametime. Our network sees over 80 million unique users a month, along with over five billion monthly ad impressions – we offer great opportunities to deliver brands and advertisers value to a lost audience.
How Publisher Collective can help find your audience
Having recently partnered with both Permutive and set up a Private Market Exchange with our partners at Pubmatic, now is also a great time to target our different audiences.
At Publisher Collective we’ve segmented our audiences into groups. Weekend Gamers spend many hours in their favourite games and are often not reachable by other advertising opportunities. Parent Gamers are an older demographic, looking for escapism to reignite their childhood love of gaming. In-Game Gamers use companions apps while gaming – this is an area we have seen huge growth from during the pandemic.
If you want to reach new audiences with your brand or content, get in touch with Publisher Collective today to find out how we can lend our expertise to your campaigns.