PayPal Digital Goods Survey Reveals 78% Of U.S. Consumers Use Smartphones For Gaming And 68% Read EBooks On Tablets

PayPal today released the results of its Digital Goods Economy Survey, which looks at the attitudes, habits and behaviors of the digital media consumer across the digital gaming (including gaming video content) and eBook industries. The 10-market, 10,000 consumer research study was commissioned with SuperData Research in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, UK and the U.S.

"Our research insights help merchants of all sizes better understand how consumers are spending their time and money with digital goods, enabling them to cater to this growing audience," said Melissa O'Malley, Director, Global Initiatives at PayPal. "As a digital payments leader, PayPal is committed to enabling consumers to pay quickly from almost any device with fewer screens and fewer clicks at PayPal merchants so they can start enjoying their digital content immediately."

The survey results focused on purchase intent in key verticals; consumption and spending patterns; role of piracy in the digital goods economy; and the demographic nuances of age, gender and region. This research builds on PayPal's cross-border trade consumer insights program and reveals new data on the consumption and purchases of digital goods or intangible items.

Key findings from the U.S. research include:

Smartphones are the new gaming console of the masses

U.S. respondents use smartphones (78 percent) when asked which devices they used play digital games, versus a tablet (59 percent) or laptop (47 percent). This trend is worth noting for merchants as according to SuperData Research, the 2016E mobile games market will be worth $37.6 billion, accounting for just under half (49%) of the total 2016E $77.3 billion worldwide games market.

Ease of use and convenience drive payment method selection

An overwhelming majority of U.S. respondents cited "ease of use" for why they preferred their most-used payment method across eBooks (80 percent) and mobile gaming (82 percent). Processing payments quickly was also noted as a strong consideration for eBook and online gaming purchases. PayPal was cited as the payment method used the most in the last three months by U.S. respondents to purchase digital video game downloads or in-game content for their PC/Mac or laptop.

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