Exclusive Blog By ZEE5 COO On Gaming Trends In India: 43 Cr Gamers | In-App Purchase By 40% Gamers & More
This is an exclusive Guest Blog by Mr. Rajiv Bakshi, Chief Operations Officer- Revenue Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL)
ZEE5 Intelligence Monitor unearths the key insights of the online gaming industry and the future of the gaming landscape in India
In the last few years, online gaming has emerged as a sunrise sector in India. The pandemic has helped to accelerate the growth of gaming platforms in India which now stands as the world’s second-largest online gaming market (by volume), with about 433 million gamers, presenting a vast market opportunity for industry players.
Factors such as new-tech smartphones, superior Internet access, higher proclivity for digital entertainment amongst others have catalysed the growth of gaming among mobile phone users. Keeping this in mind, we conducted a survey among the ZEE5 audience to evaluate their online gaming habits and preferences in order to gain a better grasp of the changes that are shaping the gaming environment. The insights and findings of which are included in the report titled ‘ZEE5 Intelligence Monitor – Online Gaming Consumer Insights & Trends Report’.
Until recently, online gaming in India was thought to be a niche activity mostly enjoyed by the young and upwardly mobile male players. However, according to the survey, 59% of respondents say they now play online games. The survey also reveals an interesting gender trend, with 57% of female respondents and 60% of male respondents reporting that they actively play online games. Another indicator of the broad appeal of online gaming in India is the number of games played, which is more than 3 for 58% of players.
Additionally, the pandemic-induced lockdown and restrictions that came with it, propelled consumers to find new ways to entertain, socialise and engage themselves. One of which was resorting to online gaming in isolation or in groups, which led to its popularity and growth as a sector. According to the survey findings, more than 50% of the respondents registered an increase in their online gaming consumption, with over 53% of consumers indicating that they play online games at least 5 times a week and 3 out 4 respondents playing at least one and half hours every day.
Coming to the gaming genre preferences; the survey revealed an almost even preference across casual games (Candy Crush, Temple Run, Ludo, Rummy, Poker), online fantasy sports (Dream11, MyTeam11) and multiplayer or first-person shooter games (Call of Duty, PUBG, FAUG). From a gender perspective though, while 72% male users prefer fantasy sports and multiplayer/first-person shooter games, 46% female respondents showed a preference for casual gaming.
It’s a well-known fact that entertainment platforms have always had a lot of clout and sway over consumers, so it’s of no surprise that 1 out of 2 gamers is likely to play a new game after seeing an advertisement. An advantage that OTT platforms offer gaming brands is the access to a filtered audience and a data-rich environment with a plethora of actionable insights that they utilize to target their audiences.
As online gaming becomes a mainstream recreational activity and users get acquainted with digital payments, the tide of monetisation has begun to turn for gaming platforms. The gradual shift towards freemium and hybrid monetisation models are being woven into the gaming narrative today. According to the survey, 2 out 5 gamers are likely to make an in-app purchase to either progress in a game or for an ad-free gaming experience.
One of the most interesting findings of the report was that non-metros are emerging as a hotbed for online gaming with 63% of non-metro users playing games at least 5 times a week. As per the findings of the ZEE5 survey, with respect to non-metro cities, 39% of the respondents played for more than an hour, and 40% of the users are likely to make in-app purchases. In terms of genre, 39% of the users showed a preference towards fantasy sports games. While a lot of this newfound traction, proliferation of online gaming can be attributed to the penetration of mobiles and internet data and is evident that Bharat has begun to emerge from the shadows of urban India.
As the survey revealed, in a post-pandemic world, online gaming has now emerged as a truly pan-India phenomenon. This is emblematic of a new India where aspirations are no longer restricted to city dwellers or held hostage to affordability. And while some challenges may persist, the increased exposure and accessibility to online gaming among consumers augur well for the industry. ZEE5, India’s largest home-grown video streaming platform and multilingual storyteller for multiple entertainment seekers, conducted the e-gaming focused ZEE5 Intelligence Monitor survey.
The ZEE5 Intelligence Monitor is a knowledge series that offers the tenets, roadblocks and the insights from the sectors that have witnessed massive shifts in the last two years. The report seeks to uncover transformative consumer behaviour, attitudes, and aspirations across multiple industries ranging from e-commerce to online gaming to ed-tech which have brought forth factors that have far-reaching implications for brands, business leaders as well as marketers, and more specifically, how they reach out to and engage with existing and potential consumers.