This week, Nintendo finally released details on its Switch console and marketers received a whole lot of new statistics. Let’s take a look at how long millennials watch YouTube ads, how the VR industry is doing and what skills are ranked the most important to marketers.


Square Enix has announced that combined shipment and digital sales for Final Fantasy XV topped six million units. While this doesn’t mean all units have been sold to consumers, it’s a good insight into retailer demand for the popular franchise. The publisher initially shipped five million units upon the game’s launch in November.

Meanwhile, Rocket League now has over 25 million players, Psyonix reported, with over a billion matches played since first launching in July 2015.


VR Looks Ahead

Thanks to the emergence of VR headsets into the consumer market, a new report by Research and Markets, “Global Gaming Simulators Market 2017-2021,” forecasts the global gaming simulators market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent between 2017 and 2021. According to the report, one of the major drivers for this market is gaming simulators integrated with VR headsets.

“VR creates an immersive environment for the gamer and enhances the gaming experience,” the report explains. “It allows gamers to be completely involved in the game without getting distracted. VR headsets can act as a substitute for expensive LED screens. The increasing integration of gaming simulators with VR headsets will drive the growth of the gaming simulator market. With the growing penetration of VR headsets, consumers have become more aware of the functionality and usability of the headsets. Therefore, consumers will be more comfortable using VR headsets for gaming.”

It’s true that consumers are not only familiar with VR headsets, but 83 percent of consumers said they have a positive attitude toward VR, up from 72 percent last year. According to a new study by ReportLinker, the number of consumers who said they are very familiar with virtual reality almost doubled between September of last year and January. The study by ReportLinker comprised a survey of 700 US adults in January 2017 and the same survey of 600 adults in September 2016. One quarter (25 percent) of consumers said they have tried VR after the holidays, up from just 5 percent in September.

Sixty percent of consumers who have tried VR believe it creates a positive view of brands, according to a new study by YuMe. The report entitled, “Seeing Is Believing” revealed that 86 percent of consumers have heard of immersive technology like VR, AR and 360-degree video, while 29 percent of consumers have tried it. Sixty percent of those surveyed believe VR can help create engaging experiences, while 53 percent believe the same of 360-degree video.

Research by Tractica, meanwhile, shows that VR content will overtake VR hardware for revenue generation in 2018. According to the market intelligence firm, revenues generated via the sale of head-mounted displays are expected to have almost doubled by 2020, while VR content is expected to grow six-fold to reach $14 million US by 2020.


Looking Smart

Twenty-six percent of US broadband households now own a smart home device, up from 19 percent at the end of 2015, according to a report by Parks Associates. Another report by the same firm reveals that 60 percent of smart watch owners and 48 percent of fitness tracker owners subscribe to a paid streaming audio or music service such as Apple Music, Spotify or Pandora One. The study finds that consumers with wearable technologies are more likely to subscribe to streaming music services, while 69 percent of non-owners have no subscription at all. Among all US broadband households, 33 percent have a paid streaming music subscription, up from 26 percent in mid 2015.

Data Monsters

Is data analysis more important than social media skills? Seventy-two percent of marketers say yes, according to a new report by ad tech provider, Blue Venn. The report, “Customer Data: The Monster Under the Bed?,” incorporates research from 200 US and UK marketers and reveals that 27 percent rely on IT departments for data analysis. Behind data analysis, 65 percent of marketers consider social media to be a vital skill to have, followed by web development (31 percent), graphic design (23 percent) and search engine optimization (13 percent).


Social Is Life

If you can’t go more than a few minutes without checking your favorite social media site, you’re not alone. Sixty-nine percent of US adults are now social media users, according to the latest data from Pew Research Center. The research found that 86 percent of those ages 18-through-29 use social media, but that number drops with increase in age. Eighty percent of those ages 30-through-49 use sites like Facebook or Instagram, followed by 64 percent for ages 50-through-64 and 34 percent for those 65-and-older.

Brands go where the consumers are, and companies spent 65 percent more on advertising on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest in 2016 than in 2015, according to a new report by social ad provider 4C. Instagram experienced the most growth in the past six months according to the findings, attracting 138 percent more sponsored posts.

Millennials: Disney . . . “Yes.” Ads . . . “No.”

Disney ranked the most intimate brand among millennials, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report, followed by Amazon and Netflix.

“Disney resonates with this age group because they grew up with the brand. It has kept up with their changing interests and now includes popular franchises like Star Wars and Marvel. Disney is also a mainstay for young families,” stated Mario Natarelli, MBLM’s managing partner in a press release. “Interestingly, five out of the top 10 brands for millennials are in the media and entertainment industry, which we believe reflects the prevailing mood of escapism and the need for respite.”

While the magical world of Disney appeals to today’s millennial audience, they aren’t too keen on YouTube ads, it turns out. A study by online survey platform LaunchLeap found that 59 percent of millennial internet users watch ads only until they can skip it. Despite a majority of respondents displaying a desire to skip the ads, only 11 percent were blocking YouTube ads via an ad blocker. Surprisingly, 29 percent of US millennials reported watching YouTube ads all the way through.