These days you hear a lot of buzz about social networking sites but a new survey from Parks Associates concludes that gaming is still the most popular form of online entertainment.
The study found that 34% of U.S. adults play online games every week, while 29% watch videos on sites like YouTube and only 19% visit social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.
“Despite the growing popularity of YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook, gaming remains the king of online entertainment, driven largely by casual gaming activities,” said James Kuai, a research analyst at Parks Associates. “Gaming also has business advantages. Unlike sites for social networking and video streaming, which rely solely on advertising revenue, casual gaming has more mature and heterogeneous revenue models, including web-based and in-game advertising, try-before-you-buy, subscriptions, and micro-transactions.”
The year-over-year growth rate for frequent online gamers was 79%, significantly higher than the growth rate for users of social networking (46%). However, the growth rate for frequent users of video streaming sites was 123%, which could pose a significant challenge to the gaming industry in capturing the online leisure time of Internet users.