India Gaming Summit 2020: Google’s Shalu Jhunjhunwala on how advertisers can leverage the growing user base of Indian gamers

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Updated: Jul 29, 2020 6:24 PM

62% of gamers in India are coming from outside the metros wherein local languages are emerging as a popular choice

86% consumers are playing games to connect with friends and family86% consumers are playing games to connect with friends and family

The rising popularity of the online gaming industry in India has further charted newer avenues for advertisers to connect with a whole new set of audiences. “86% consumers are playing games to connect with friends and family. And then followed by relaxation (68%) and then a sense of competition (65%),” Shalu Jhunjhunwala, head of industry- gaming, foodtech and classifieds, Google said. She was speaking at the India Gaming Summit 2020. However, when it comes to paying, the trend reverses as 93% of the consumers are actually paying for a sense of competition.

As claimed by Google, Indians have downloaded over 3.9 billion games in the last six months, making India outside China, the single largest market of game downloads in the world. “If you compare this with few other verticles, say entertainment or social apps, both of them have had upto half a billion downloads, which means gaming is already 7x of these other verticles,” Jhunjhunwala added. Stating that a typical gamer in India is the young male millennials, with the average age profile of 18-25 years she further added that there has been a massive growth in female gamers with 38% of gamers in APAC now being female and growing at 2x the rate of male gamer.

Interestingly, 62% of gamers in India are coming from outside the metros wherein local languages have emerged as a popular choice for them. For instance, 86% of Hindi searches in gaming today are coming from the rest of India other than metros. According to Jhunjhunwala, search terms that have been used in local languages to discover games include ‘car wala game’, ‘bike wala game’, which are very unique to India. Not just languages, gamers also differ in terms of timings they indulge themselves into gaming. While core gamers’ peak is at 5 am in the morning, casual games are being played between 8pm to 10 pm which completely coincides with prime time entertainment consumption in India across all mediums television, YouTube, OTT platforms. “This clearly demonstrates a second screen behaviour. While they are consuming the content of their choice on large formats like televisions, at the same time they are engaging with their friends and families through games on their smartphones,” Jhunjhunwala explained.

Moreover, 85% of the consumers are discovering games through play store, while 58% of these consumers are now also going to YouTube for game discovery, watching reviews, strategising and learning, as well as for live content consumption on gaming, pointed Jhunjhunwala. It is believed that there has been a 4x growth in searches for the term reviews in the gaming category in the last six months alone while 64% y-o-y growth in the last six months on tutorials in the gaming category on YouTube.

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