2020 Limelight Networks report highlights gaming, streaming age gap

With millions of people subscribing to services like Netflix and Sling TV every day, it’s no surprise that the video streaming industry continues to expand. What comes as more of a revelation is a new report indicating that a large percentage of consumers prefer video games over streaming TV.

The gaming age gap

Limelight Networks’ State of Online Gaming 2020 report surveyed 4,500 consumers across several countries who play at least one video game per week. While many countries were relatively even when it came to preferences of playing video games or watching shows – United States 46.4% vs. 53.6%, United Kingdom 48% vs. 52% and South Korea 50.2% vs. 49.8% – there was more of a distinction when focusing on age.

Globally, the report found that 67.5% of gamers aged 18-25 preferred playing video games, while 70% of those over 60 years old preferred streaming movies and television. Both the 26-35 and 36-45-year-old ranges also skewed heavily toward gaming at 66.8% and 59.6% respectively.

Gaming takes aim at online streaming

The age differences in gaming and streaming preferences are not representative of the overall success or popularity of each industry. In fact, many parallels can now be drawn between both.

The report found that 44% of gamers have expressed interest in console-less online gaming platforms such as Google Stadia and Apple Arcade. Consumer behaviors also indicate that binge-gaming is becoming more prevalent, with gamers ages 18-25 binging an average of six hours and 34 minutes on gameplay.

This is all a direct nod to the over-the-top (OTT) streaming services and devices that dominate the market,  such as Netflix which had more than 60.6 million subscribers on its own in 2019.

With both industries continuing to be influenced by elements of the other, the future could hold a streaming service that equally focuses on consumer preferences; imagine scrolling through Hulu and being able to choose from playing DOOM Eternal or watching Justice League Action.

Sierra Kennedy