Online games and eSports are becoming an important segment for payment providers: Gaming now accounts for more than $12 billion of PayPal’s total payment volume worldwide, for example. That figure marks an increase of more than 23 percent year over year in 2017, PayPal reported in a blog post.
According to a study conducted by SuperData on behalf of PayPal between February and March, which included 25,000 active paying gamers throughout the world, survey respondents made purchases from a wide range of vendors over the last three months. In the U.S., for example, gamers purchased from 26 different gaming storefronts. In Russia, shoppers purchased from 27 storefronts, while gamers in both Australia and Canada shopped at 28 storefronts.
In the U.S., shoppers still turned to brick-and-mortar retail for some gaming purchases: GameStop was popular with survey respondents, as almost half – or 45 percent – of millennials in the U.S. reported shopping there for gaming content. And almost as many respondents – 44 percent in the U.S. – said that checkout options mattered to them: They were prepared to walk away from an eCommerce sale in the event that their preferred payment method was not offered by the retailer.
In addition, the survey found that consumers divided their spending almost equally between full game downloads and in-game purchases. But the survey discovered an interesting trend: In-game spending is higher among older gamers in the U.S. players, with those aged 35 and over shelling out $50 on average, compared to $40 for those aged 18 to 34. But younger gamers tend to spend more money on full game downloads: $63 compared to $48 for gamers 35 years and older.
In an earlier study released in 2017, PayPal found that when it comes to digital gaming, eBooks and other media, the physical is passé in the face of digital options. In the United States, for example, only 12 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer to own tangible copies of their music.
In an interview, Melissa O’Malley, director of global initiatives at PayPal, stated that it may not come as a surprise, but “mobile is really driving transactions” across a variety of end products. For consumers, she said, mobile represents a preferred way not only to consume digital media, but also to purchase that media – and is one of the most convenient ways to do so.
When it comes to digital content beyond games, findings from the U.S. research showed that, with the ability to watch or download an entire TV series, consumers “immediately become interested in it,” said O’Malley. There’s the potential for immediate consumption that is alluring, she added, stating that the research also offered insights on where and how people consume media.
Across mobile, TV and movie perspectives, smartphones are the hardware of choice worldwide. And though home viewing of movies and media conjure up images of home theaters and flat-screen TVs, the findings show that most media streaming across mobile devices, in fact, takes place in the living room, said O’Malley.