Webby 2022 Trend Report January 27, 2022

Actionable Data Insights: US Consumers Are Open to Innovations Happening in the Metaverse and Online Retail

YouGov and The Webby Awards partnered to survey over 3,000 US adults, and learn how they feel about brand activations in virtual worlds and via livestream.

Over the past two years, online innovation has accelerated at a staggering pace. Recently published, The Webby 2022 Trend Report examines recent digital trends that show no signs of stopping, most notably in brand activations in metaverse and online gaming to accommodate a growing audience, and the use of influencer marketing via livestream video for eCommerce.  

But what do US consumers think about trends that are taking place on online gaming platforms and the use of live video for eCommerce? And are they inclined to engage with brands’ efforts to engage them through these methods? 

To find out, Webby Awards sponsor YouGov, an international research data and analytics group, conducted an online survey of more than 3,000 consumers ages 18-65 from across the US. Published in the trend report, the data gives insight into how a diverse and growing audience is changing the games industry, what consumers think about the next frontier of eCommerce and more. These are the key findings:

There is a Diverse and Growing Audience. It’s Time to Speak to This Demographic Holistically.

There are more gamers than ever before. What was once considered a niche hobby enjoyed by a few has grown into a near-universal pastime, and users of all ages are taking part in online gaming. 

  • About 60 percent of survey respondents said that they game at least once a week across PC, console, and mobile devices. For an age breakdown of respondents, 40% are 18-34 years old, 30% are 35-54 years old, and 29% are over 55 years old
  • Women and girls are also gaming more, with 45% of respondents who game at least once a week for more than 30 minutes identifying as female.

Consumers Are More Willing to Participate in Virtual Worlds 

Brands are keen to reach new audiences in virtual worlds and online gaming platforms, like Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite. According to research from YouGov, consumers are open to participating in in-game events and believe they’re advantageous for a few reasons outlined below:

  • 24% feel in-game events or activations can make a larger number of people feel “a part of something”
  • 24% see them as an unique experience 
  • 22% enjoy that in-game events have fewer restrictions on who can attend
  • 19% enjoy access to limited edition items and experiences
  • 15% appreciate that these experiences can have an educational aspect within them

Players are Also Open to Making In-Game Purchases if it Enhances Their Experience

When it comes to making in-game purchases, overwhelmingly consumers are willing to purchase enhancements over aesthetics (51%), while a small number are motivated by aesthetics (11%).

  • 21% of respondents make in-game purchases sometimes, and 19% make them often.

More Insights: We asked Nicole Pike, Global Sector Head of ESpots & Gaming at YouGov for more insights about why consumers are turning to online gaming. Read the interview!

Brands Should Start Recognizing Livestream Commerce as a Viable Strategy Because There is an Active Audience.

Livestream commerce provides a huge opportunity for brands to connect with an online audience, one that is largely open to watching content and making purchases based on what they see. 

  • 70% of consumers surveyed often watch entertainment-based livestreams, excluding sports 
  • 56% watch livestream content at least once a month
  • 46% of respondents have purchased a product they saw in a livestream or would consider it

Consumers are interested in enjoying a variety of livestream content: 39% watch entertainment, 26% watch celebrity and brand, 26% watch educational livestreams, 25% watch gaming content, and 24% watch sports. 

Download The Webby 2022 Trend Report:

Research and key findings presented Key findings presented here are featured in The Webby 2022 Trend Report. Download the report to learn why technological innovations have unlocked creative opportunities for brands, insights on how you can strategize around online gaming in the metaverse and livestream commerce, and examples of brands that are doing it right.