Mobile gaming is often laughed at, or treated as a blight on the “real” gaming world. It is also treated a female-oriented experience with most hard core gamers saying that only women play on phones or tablets. Gavin even outed his wife as a mobile gaming whale. We already knew that men spent more on digital gaming, but it seems that the trend extends to mobile as well.
New research out of NewZoo looked into the big spenders on mobile games. They are only 2.8% of all mobile gamers, but spend more than $25 per month on or in mobile games. Some of the info about them seems fairly common sense, but some of it was rather surprising.
As you’d expect, mobile big spenders consume a ton of content of all types. They’re more likely to have Spotify and Netflix subscriptions, spend a lot of time reading newspapers and magazines and generally consuming content across platforms. They also love prepaid cards, with 90% of them having bought prepaid cards in the past and 38% buying them at least once a week. That’s a lot of prepayment, and something that I’m surprised more games and apps haven’t taken advantage of for co-branding on cards.
Surprisingly, big spenders are also extremely sporty:
Big Spenders on mobile games love participating in and viewing sports; 43% play soccer, 32% enjoy running and 29% cycle. They are far more likely to participate in sports than non-paying mobile gamers. Even more appealing from a marketing perspective is the fact that a huge amount of these Big Spenders are also tuning into sporting events on television or online. For example, 41% of Big Spenders watch Tennis compared to 19% of non-paying mobile gamers. Considering that a third of Big Spenders in the US watch American football, Supercell’s estimated $9 million investment in this year’s Superbowl ad for Clash of Clans doesn’t seem so crazy.
But it’s the information about who these whales are and how they spend their money that’s most intriguing. 67% of big spenders are men, aged 21-35. More than that, they spend big cross platforms with 71% of them also spending big on console and 69% going large on PC, too. It’s no wonder a game like Fallout Shelter did so well – it appealed to that core audience of male big spenders and raked in all the cash.
Can we please stop thinking of mobile gaming as something inferior done by middle aged women, now? Sure, plenty of women also play mobile games, and plenty of people spend money on gaming across all platforms, but when it comes to the biggest whales, that honour clearly goes to the hard-core male gamers.
Last Updated: November 18, 2015