New AdColony and DISQO Study Reveals Half of US Adults Play Mobile Games Daily

San Mateo, California, UNITED STATES

49% of U.S. consumers play once or several times a day, Affluent (HHI $250k+) consumers are captivated by Puzzle, Word and Strategy games

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To truly understand the mobile gaming audience –  millions of people who play games on their smartphone every single day – AdColony partnered with consumer insights platform DISQO to survey 1,200 verified mobile users about their mobile gaming behaviors, preferences and sentiments.

“With mobile use skyrocketing due to COVID-19 lockdowns that began in March, we wanted to put a spotlight on the mobile gaming channel, which has seen as much as a 62% uptick in time-spent,” explained Jonathan Harrop, AdColony’s Senior Director of Global Marketing and Communications. “Many advertisers and agencies that previously ignored this channel are now taking notice, so we wanted to share data-based insights about this audience. Most people don’t self identify as gamers, and you can’t just ask, ‘Are you a gamer?’ You have to dive deeper into their habits to truly understand.”

Among these insights is the confirmation of a 50/50 split in gender and the ubiquity of mobile games among all age groups, not just young people. The survey shows that even those with significantly higher education and those in the upper echelons of household incomes are engaging with mobile games.

"It's remarkable to see such a deep dive into the mobile gaming audience at a time when its value to advertisers has never been clearer," said Alex Andreyev, vice president Advisory Services at Matterkind.

“As media plans are being adjusted to account for the massive increase in digital media consumption this year, a deeper understanding of the users and interests of mobile gamers is critical,” said Ted Bouzakis, EVP of Research & Insights, DISQO. “82% of people overall say they would like to see relevant ads while only 54% claim brands are delivering on that desire. Meeting consumers' needs starts by listening to them through great research. With this new study, DISQO and AdColony are empowering brands to understand mobile gamers so they can deliver ads that are relevant to this diverse and rapidly growing community.”

The report uncovered specificities such as the types of mobile games consumers turn to the most (Puzzle & Word), why they play (entertainment, relaxation and to kill time), and what they are doing at the same time (watching TV). The study also demonstrates how gaming goes beyond the phone, with all age groups – not just console and digital generations – reaching for the controller or keyboard to play their favorite games.

Highlights from the study include:


  • Nearly one-half (49%) of the American population plays mobile games once or several times a day. 16% play weekly and 13% play monthly.
  • Even among prime working-age consumers, females and highly educated consumers, those numbers stay consistent:
    • 53% of consumers between 35 and 54 play daily
    • 49% of those who play daily are women
    • Among those with higher education: some postgrad (54%) and master’s (51%) have higher rates of daily mobile gaming than the population at large
  • 65% of consumers with $250k HHI play mobile games once or several times a day, but only 29% of those in the group self-identify as a “gamer.”
  • 7 out of 10 mobile users “sometimes” or “always” multitask while playing games, and watching TV is the most common other activity (60%), followed by listening to music (46%) and eating or cooking (38%).


  • Puzzle and Word games are most popular, with the highest use among all age groups, and both genres skew female over male
    • Nearly 30% of affluent (HHI $250k+) consumers say they play Puzzle and Word games the most, as do 44% of those in the $150,000 to $199,000 bracket
  • Strategy and Role-Playing Games (RPG) are most popular among those with higher degrees; one out of five consumers with a master’s or doctorate degree play RPG, a higher percentage than the general population, with nearly one in three playing strategy games
    • They also tend to be younger, with most in the 18-44 age group
    • Strategy games attract male and female players at relatively similar rates (17% of males versus 15.8% of females)


  • When asked for their preference, 9 out of 10 respondents said they would choose to watch an ad to get rewards like in-game currency over paying for the same perk.
    • More females than males would make that choice (92% versus 86%)
    • Less than 10% of consumers across all age groups would pay for an in-game ad perk instead of watching an ad
    • Those with HHI of $150,000+ had the highest percentage that prefer rewarded video

“We are well past the days of buyers thinking that a mobile gamer falls into the legacy stereotype of a video gamer. The data tells a refreshed story about age and gender and is further confirmation that gaming is universal,” said Matt Barash, SVP Strategy and Business Development, AdColony. “What’s most interesting is how we can now substantiate that audiences with high levels of household income and education levels gravitate toward this channel, and highlight the types of games that people from all walks of life are playing. These insights are what advertisers need to feel confident they will reach their target customers within mobile gaming as a distinct channel.”

For more in-depth studies with insights about mobile app behaviors, content trends and monetization, please visit

About AdColony

AdColony is one of the largest mobile advertising platforms in the world with a reach of more than 1.5 billion monthly users globally. AdColony’s mission is to drive business outcomes that matter for advertisers and publishers using its best-in-class mobile technology, the highest-quality mobile ad experiences and leveraging its curated reach. AdColony is known throughout the mobile industry for its unparalleled third-party verified viewability rates, exclusive Instant-Play™ and Aurora™ HD video technologies, rich media formats, global performance advertising business, programmatic marketplace, and extensive SDK footprint in the Top 1000 apps worldwide.


DISQO is a consumer-first insights platform that delivers unprecedented data and analytics to the market research industry. The company powers insights professionals and marketers with automated solutions that drive consumer research and improve ad effectiveness.

Today, DISQO delivers an accurate and complete view of the consumer via technology built on the foundation of first-party research from millions of engaged consumers. By enabling consumers to openly share their attitudes and behaviors, DISQO captures the highest quality data, empowering its clients to make confident decisions.

Founded in 2015, DISQO is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has over 150 employees.

Media Contacts:
Alexis Roberts
Blast PR for AdColony

Hollis Guerra
Blast PR for DISQO