If Americans only had an hour, this is how they’d spend it…

On the internet… according to a new Nielsen report.

There shouldn’t be anything in there that comes as a surprise to anyone in media or advertising, really. However, I’d just like to add a few points/notes (after the pic):

  • Online games overtaking personal email comes as no surprise when you consider the context of engagement for both ‘sectors’. The whole point of an ‘online game’ (or any game for that matter) is to engage the gamer for as long as possible… whereas the whole point of email is to shorten the time you take to communicate (while increasing the frequency of which you can communicate)
  • Lots of advertisers will be looking at the growth in time-spent in online games and wonder if they should be spending more money there. Remember though that the methods and environments in which you can advertise within a game is limited – if you think having ads next to news is tough, you’ve got no idea how fanatical a person paying NZD50 a month can be when you hang your brand around the neck of the dragon they’re trying to slay.
  • In saying that, I’ve seen a lot of endorsement or partnership type arrangements between game publishers and advertisers that have worked.
  • Both propositions above though brings to mind a recent conversation I had with another colleague about advertising next to paid content. Satellite and cable TV have ads. Games have ads. There are ads in stadiums. There are ads at special events. Industry/professional conferences have sponsor ads too. So why does there seem to be an assumption that there should be no advertising in paid websites or apps? (This is just an open question by the way and not indicative of anything.)
  • I also agree with Shiv Singh that if you’ve got an “Other” category as big as 34%, then you better really hope you know who your “others” are.
  • Although, I have a sneaky suspicion that this is more a categorisation issue – ie. excessive re-categorisation of what’s essentially 1 category into multiple niche verticals. For instance, what’s “multi category entertainment” and how’s it different from just “Entertainment”? Why’s auction and classifieds not lumped up with e-commerce (probably because they’ve got 1 category per retail product line)? “Portals” make 4th place but the general news category doesn’t even rank a mention, and judging by the ranking table news would have to be less than 2.7%?

Some final observations about these stats that compare June 2010 to June 2009, because I think some of them need to be put into perspective.

On gaming:

  • Starcraft 2, one of the most anticipated titles in the gaming community and the world’s most successful e-sport (it has a professional league in Korea and dedicated TV channels), was launched on 27 June 2010, with extensive beta testing (by the public) being done on Blizzard’s new Battlenet servers in the months before.
  • Estimates are that the game shifted 1.8 million copies (ex Korea) in its first day. In the UK,  Starcraft 2 has outsold Starcraft 1 ( which has been in the market for 12 years) in just 5 days.
  • Judging by those audience stats, can you imagine how much “time online” would’ve ramped up during the beta testing and launch periods in June 2010? I was at a mates place over the weekend and watched him play 1 full game. It took him about 15 minutes. He sat through 20 straight game sessions. Yes, that’s 5 hours.

On news/current events 20% drop in share:

  • Just noting that 2 of 2009’s biggest internet events last year happened during the last week of June 2009 and early July 2010; Michael Jackson’s death, the following media frenzy and his memorial. Akamai reported that about 4.2 million people per minute jumped online when news of MJ’s death broke.
  • What major news event happened in June 2010? Oh yes… the FIFA World Cup! Oh wait, these stats are for the American market…

Via Ricky van Veen


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