Real Living 2021: 63% of gamers accept the advertising value exchange

Posted on: Monday 07 June 2021 | IAB UK

Released as part of our first ever Gaming Week, the latest results from Real Living 2021 explores the gaming community - who is gaming, why do they game and what do they feel about advertising?

From Mario to Minecraft, what does it mean to be a ‘gamer’ today? As part of Gaming Week, we’ve released the latest quantitative findings from Real Living 2021 - a research project that explores how people are using digital devices today, how they’re engaging with media and what they feel about advertising. 

Working with Sparkler, part of PA Consulting, we’ve surveyed 1,000 nationally representative UK adults about their gaming habits to understand the gaming community of 2021. We found that the gaming audience is far broader and more diverse than the stereotype of the teen ‘gamer’ hooked up to a console and have identified key insights advertisers should consider when playing in the in-game space. Key takeouts include: 

  • Gaming has gone mainstream: 38% of all UK adults are playing games on a smartphone every day, and 25% are playing via PC/consoles daily
  • Older audiences are fuelling gaming growth: During the pandemic, the growth of gaming has been largely fuelled by those that fall into one or more of the following groups: aged 35 and over, women and those that consider themselves less tech-savvy
  • The gaming audience understands the value exchange: Not only are gamers highly engaged media consumers, 63% also accept the value exchange between advertising and accessing free content
  • People game to relax: 42% of gamers say that their main benefit of gaming is relaxation, with this peaking among players aged 65+. Younger consumers place more emphasis on the social and competitive aspects of gaming​ than older groups

Log in to download the full research deck below.

Find out more about Real Living here

You must be a member of the IAB UK to view this content. If you are not a member you can find out more here.

Written by


Related content

Abstract background

Real Living 2021: The key findings

How are we using digital devices today? What’s changed? And what does it mean for advertising?

Learn more
James Chandler

Advertisers, ignore geriatric gamers and it's game over

Our CMO James Chandler draws on the findings from Real Living to explore how gaming audiences are evolving. This piece was first published by Campaign in...

Learn more
Elizabeth Lane

Rules of the game: Five facts in-game advertisers need to know

Contextual, seamless advertising experiences are necessary to balance the delicate relationship between gamers and brands, writes Elizabeth Lane, our...

Learn more

CTV Week: 5 things we learnt

Want to catch up? Read our round up of key themes from CTV Week

Learn more

Why digital advertising works

Discover why digital advertising is effective for reaching your customers and building brands.