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How brands can level up with connected gamers

When you’re deep in play mode, the perfect soundtrack is everything. This is truer than ever in recent weeks, as we’ve seen an increase in gamers streaming Spotify through their consoles. In fact, from March 16 to April 12 we’ve noticed a few ways gamers are listening to Spotify while exploring new worlds, crushing zombies, and racing to the finish line.

41% increase in streaming of Spotify’s curated video game playlists.

This spike in gaming-related listening is an indicator of how people are spending their time lately. But, the rise of listening on connected consoles has been years in the making.

Since 2010, the number of connected-console gamers doubled to 91 million in 2019 in the US alone.1 Because of this growth and the rise of cord-cutting, game consoles have become the main media and entertainment system for many people. And as we’re seeing on Spotify, consoles are being used for more than just gaming.

Based on streaming activity in recent weeks and months, here’s what brands need to know about reaching gamers on Spotify.

Not a “gaming” brand? Not a problem.

Not all gamers have equal interests and affinities. Take a look at their preferences in music and podcasts, for example. The top-streamed genres from video game consoles range from hip-hop to pop to indie. Top-streamed podcasts show that gamers are interested in everything from the latest hip-hop news from Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal to spooky tales from Last Podcast On The Left.

This wide variety of interests means the gaming audience isn’t just for, well, gaming brands. Fashion, food, and sports brands are already reaching them through specific games like Fortnite and Animal Crossing, meaning there’s major opportunity for brands in all categories to tap into this hyper-connected audience.

Time of day matters — especially now.

As always, context is huge for brands reaching people through streaming audio. This applies to the gaming moment on Spotify, too. After all, when you’re in the middle of battling the final boss, the last thing you want to hear is an ad that breaks your concentration and feels irrelevant.

Time of day is a useful signal when thinking about what the message of your audio ads should be. Now that people are spending more time at home, those high-traffic times of day for gamers are changing.

Late evening (9pm-1am) and night (1am-6am) are still the most popular times for gamers to log on and level up. But in the last few weeks, we’ve seen the biggest increases in gamers streaming in the early morning (6am-9am) and morning (9am-noon) — likely due to a decrease in commuting. Take a cue from early bird gamers, and consider adjusting your ads to reflect these changes in gamers’ lifestyle and habits.

Be a helpful sidekick.

Players across genders and age groups turn to gaming to immerse themselves in new worlds. When they’re deep in play mode, they’re hyper-focused on the task at hand. Audio is the perfect way to reach them while not distracting from the game.

Take tonal notes from Spotify’s most-streamed gaming playlists, for example. An audio ad that reaches someone listening to Bass Arcade should sound different from an audio ad for Ultimate Rock Gaming. Brands can also offer gamers something useful, whether they’re crushing zombies or building island worlds for their animal inhabitants: a Sponsored Session for a block of ad-free listening.

1 eMarketer, February 2020, US

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