ADOTAS – It’s full of pink and lavender, but it’s serious: Online gaming company Spil Games released its State of Online Gaming Among Tween Girls report today, based on data it gathered from its online tween girls-oriented gaming platform GirlsgoGames — 30 million monthly users strong around the world, with 7.6 million monthly unique users in the U.S. alone. The Netherlands-based company estimates more than half of the tween (ages 8-12) girls in the U.S. are playing games online now, and while those kids may not hold the purse strings directly, they have tremendous sway, accounting for, by Spil’s account, $260 billion in spending per year. And the company cites both substantial growth in the tween girl gaming market and a substantial amount of sharing of content going on within it: In 2010, tween girl gamers spent an average of 38 minutes per month playing online games, and in 2011, they spent an hour and 18 minutes per month; and they upload over 22,000 pieces of content every day, per Spil’s data.
Naturally, advertisers are going to want in. But it’s not always easy to target such a young audience. “Their media habits are probably a bit different from the purchasers,” Spil Games CMO Oscar Diele acknowledged in a recent meeting. “And they’re all over the place. They’re fragmented.” But with the GirlsGoGames platform, he explained, “we have a massive base of extremely targeted users.”
Diele said that GirlsGoGames has been around for five years, in which time he’s realized “the needs of girls are the same across the globe.” These games are played in-browser, with no downloads necessary, and they allow users to “create stuff, to upload user-generated content and save that in their profiles.” And, he added, “It’s all very pink. Girls seem to like that.” Diele said that for GirlsGoGames there are “three main stakeholders. It’s all about the consumers,” but also that “we reach out to game developers and say, ‘We have opportunities; we can monetize your games,'” with the third stakeholder being advertisers.
“Advertisers come to us to create awareness,” Diele explained. “What’s important is, we can really help drive engagement.” He mentioned the numerous cases of “advertisers who have created games around their brands and then… put it on the corporate website,” simply hoping the games will take off. What GirlsGoGames offers, he said, is a platform full of already-engaged users. He specified a few ways brands could make the audience work: sponsored user avatars, brand placement of sorts in games (Spil’s report cites cooking, dress-up and quiz games as the most popular kinds of games for the tween girl demographic). Diele cited a game created around the “Snow White” redux Mirror Mirror. “It’s not just pre-roll,” he said. “It’s a game you play for five to eight minutes. It also has this kind of viral spread.” Which is important, Diele said, because of how girls in that age group share content. “They love that,” he said, “whether it’s sharing photos, sharing avatars. They love drawing games.”
The full report can be downloaded from the press center at Spil Games’ website.