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BizReport : Advertising archives : July 11, 2007

Online gaming grows to 217 million players

With online gaming growing every month, online marketers may want to begin targeting the market. According to research from comScore online gamers encompass men and women from several different demographics all around the world.

by Kristina Knight

comScore researchers studied the uses of online gaming sites from around the world to determine who was gaming, where and when. They found that online gaming grew 17% YoY, attracting more than one-quarter of the entire Internet audience in May 2007. Users didn't just log on once, rather most users logged on to gaming sites at least nine times that month.

Yahoo! Games is the most popular site, registering nearly 53 million unique visitors in May, each returning 4.2 times. MSN Games ranked second with 40 million unique visitors who came back 2.5 times and with 30.2 million visitors returning 3.8 times. Rounding out the top five were EA Online (21 million visitors, returning 9.1 times) and (15 million visitors, returning 2.5 times).

Online gaming is still a developing platform, with the portals still determining how best to monetize the systems. The best option seems to be in-game ads as many gamers actually like to see real ads in their games.

In-game advertising is expected to grow more than 1,000% over the next five years, making it a force to be reckoned with in online advertising. The key is to create relevant ads that add to the reality of the games being advertised in.

Tags: in-game advertising, online gaming

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