There’s no doubt that women are a big force in social gaming. But what are their actual habits? Q Interactive tries to answer that question with a 2,000 woman study it just released.
Q’s main takeaways are that women tend to spend a lot of time on a small set of favorite games, and don’t seem to mind having brands or branded virtual goods present. The report paints a positive picture of the women’s overall engagement with today’s apps and games:
- 74 percent started using apps because they saw or heard about a friend playing
- 57 percent believe virtual gifting is as meaningful as real life gifting
- 95 percent use their virtual currency for gifts or in-game advancement
So far, so good. Women enjoy using virtual economies, and go out of their way give gifts to friends and use money to kit out their characters. These trends extend to men, too; our own Inside Virtual Goods report gives more detail on the subject. However, what about direct payments?
- 10 percent of women have paid directly in a social game, and
- 85 percent of that group have spent less than $100, total
Q Interactive says in its release that women are “actively engaging with brands.” The suggestion is that if women aren’t paying out of pocket for virtual currency and goods, it means they must like branded offerings. While that is increasingly the case, it doesn’t necessarily mean the players always appreciate the brands they’re looking at, or that if they sign up for a credit card or free gift online they’ll follow up by using the card or buying a product. Besides deceptive ads, increasing the number of branded ads that users truly find valuable is one of the major challenges facing offer-based virtual currency monetization.
At the end of the day though, incentivized offers do present great opportunities for brands that target women to integrate with social games that women play. We’re still very early in the game though — the more high quality ads from big brands, the better.
This is a guest post by Chris Morrison.