With COVID-19 limiting physical interactions for many, such as trips to the cinema and restaurants, it seems that many consumers are using their time spent at home for streaming and gaming... both of which often revolve around the TV.
Kantar’s Worldpanel ComTech data shows an extra 600,000 households started playing consoles on their TV in 2020 across the EU5 (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain). This means that console gamers now present TV brands with a huge segment to target: 19.3 million people across those European markets.
What makes this audience even more attractive is their willingness to spend more on their TV compared to the average shopper. From the latest Q1 2021 results, we can see that over half of console owners who purchased a new TV spent more than €501, with 17% spending over €1001. Identifying a good source of growth for premium TVs, amongst owners and purchasers, is critical for TV brands. Console gamers fit this premium audience perfectly; they need the high specs to optimise their gaming experience and are prepared to pay for it.
The average console gamer is more likely to be a tech enthusiast. We see this in what they buy, how they buy, and what drives their purchase. They are more likely to own large screen flagship TVs, such as 4K, 8K, QLED or OLED. 30% of console gamers own a TV larger than 55 inches, compared to 20% for the average consumer; 35% of console gamers own a 4K/UHD TV, compared to an average of 23%; and 18% of console gamers own a QLED or OLED TV, compared to an average of 11% amongst all consumers.
TV Gamers focus particularly on TV picture quality, 4K/UHD, and also sound, with an over index vs the market of 13 ppts, 14 ppts and 7 ppts respectively. If you want your message to resonate with this audience, these are features that TV marketers should be highlighting in your product offer. The gamer segment also tends to be heavy online researchers, ensuring they get the TV to meet their needs. Review websites and retail websites are key touchpoints on the path to purchase.
So, what is the profile of this in-demand segment, and is there a disconnection between the perception of a ‘gamer’ and the reality? Amongst console gamers 60% are male and 40% are female. Overall, the age demographic skews a lot younger compared to the average, as you might expect, so targeting GenZ with a gaming proposition makes sense. However, the youngest demographic, Gen Z, only make up 23% of owners, whereas millennials and Gen X make up a sizeable 52% of all owners.
Targeting just GenZ means ignoring a huge potential audience. A quarter of console gamers are aged between 35-44. Generations have now grown up with consoles and are teaching their children to play them. Gaming is a hobby and a way to spend time with your children. The stereotype of gaming being for the young has now well and truly been dispelled.
Looking forward, which brands of TV are gamers intending to buy next? A whopping 38% of gamers who are intending to purchase a TV in the next 12 months want a Samsung. However, there is no room for complacency by Samsung, as this dominance is being challenged. If we look at year-on-year intention amongst gamers, we can see Samsung declined by 5 ppts and LG grew by 6 ppts. For now, though, Samsung is still the brand of choice for gamers and they will be hoping the launch of its NEO QLED will help cement that position.
The gaming community is growing, the ways in which you can game is growing, and the number of brands trying to build relationships with this audience is also growing. Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple have all moved into the gaming community. So, it is no longer just Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo driving the market. Consequently, we can already see Samsung, LG and Sony all building out strong propositions to target this group.