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What Mobile Gamers Are Watching: Movies, TV, and Video

Posted Jan 18, 2022

Smartphones have changed not only how we act as shoppers but also how we act as viewers. Digital video is easily accessible nowadays, and, after a year of staying mostly at home, people are watching more than ever. Since digital video encompasses many forms, AdColony delved into what types of content mobile gamers are watching these days.

In 2021, eMarketer estimated that by year-end digital video viewership will hit 3.26 billion. Among the billions of viewers, three out of four internet users and over 40% of the global population are now watching streaming or downloaded video at least once per month in some capacity. AdColony’s The Life of the Mobile Gamer Report takes a close look at mobile gamers’ video and movie watching preferences, favorite genres, and how those tie into their favorite mobile game genres. Check out some highlights from the report!

While slightly behind short-form video, movies and TV are still enjoyed by most mobile gamers.

When asked what types of content they watched online in the last month, most mobile gamers said they had watched short-form videos. This includes online mainstay YouTube and recent sensation TikTok. It is easy to assume that viewers have grown to favor quick bites of content, but that does not seem to be the case for most. Just behind short-form videos are movies and TV shows, the oldest types of content in this category and significantly longer in format. 

It should be noted that a quarter of mobile gamers are also watching live streams of people they follow, online podcasts, and gaming streams. All three of these forms are relatively new and have caught even more steam in the past year. Content creators on these platforms should look into advertising in mobile games to reach an untapped audience.

The movie theater experience is still important to gamers.

After almost two years of a pandemic, it is not a surprise that most mobile gamers typically like to watch movies through their subscription service platforms. That being said, many still like going to theaters. Some 40% of mobile gamers said they like to watch movies at the theater. That is still a sizable portion considering people had grown accustomed to watching films from the comfort of their homes for over a year. A surprisingly significant portion of mobile gamers are also still fans of watching movies on hard copies. More than a third (35%) of respondents use DVDs and Blu-rays.

Mobile gamers’ favorite movie genres are Comedy, Drama, and Action.

According to survey results, the majority are looking to laugh when they sit down to watch a movie, with 85% saying they typically watch Comedies. Drama (81%) and Action (76%) were also at the top of the list of genres. Mobile gamers enjoy getting suspense and thrills out of their movie experiences with Mystery and Horror/Thriller each receiving shares of more than 50%. Movies that have similar elements and IP to mobile games, such as Adventure, Adventure, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Superhero, and Animation/Anime, also had sizable shares with each selected by more than 40% of mobile gamers. 

Across all genre watchers, Puzzle, Word and Strategy games are the most popular. Superhero and Animation movie fans especially have an affinity for Puzzle games with more than 70% of those audiences saying they played in that category. A quarter of Action movie watchers also play Action games, but they are not the largest genre audience for that category. Adventure movie fans have the biggest audience of Action gamers, with 28%. The data also shows that Fantasy and Sci-Fi viewers are partial to Strategy games, as 40% of that audience said they played in that category.

While there are some subtle differences between game genre preferences, we have learned movie watchers in general like all types of games. Mobile gaming has attracted a vast community with diverse backgrounds and preferences. Studios promoting their films could advertise in almost any type of game and be sure to reach their target audience.

Want to learn more about the consumer behavior of the American mobile gamer? The Life of a Mobile Gamer report has more on mobile gaming demographics as well as data on the car buying process, food and alcohol preferences, how they use apps for health, and more!  

About the Study

The survey was developed by AdColony and GWI and distributed online to mobile gamers. All figures in the study (unless noted otherwise) are drawn from GWI’s online research among U.S. internet users who are mobile gamers aged 16-64 via an online questionnaire. GWI only interviews respondents aged 16-64, and their figures are representative of the online populations of each market, not its total population. The survey garnered a total of 1,044 respondents in the U.S. over an eight-day period in Q2 2021.

About GWI

GWI is a target audience company that provides consumer insight across 47 countries to the world’s leading brands, communication agencies, and media organizations. The company runs a global survey representing more than 2 billion connected consumers, which offers up to over 40,000 data points on the behaviors and perceptions of internet users around the world. Using the subscription-based platform, clients including Twitter, Google, Spotify, WPP, IPG, and Omnicom Group can gather in-depth insights into audience behaviors, attitudes, and interests through a combination of survey data and analytics.

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