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While markets like the United States have been exploring advertising on social games, this really hasn’t been explored in Latin America. This could be because advertisers and marketers have assumed that social games are not a viable way to reach Latin America’s Internet users.
Fresh data from a study published by Livra Panels and Jampp indicate that over 40% of Internet users in Latin America play social games. This is a 100% increase compared to 2011, when around 20% of Latin American Internet users reported playing social games.
Here’s a look at the country by country breakdown of the percentage of Internet users who play social games in major Latam markets:
When the study explored the devices that Internet users in these countries used to play games, mobile devices turned out to be incredibly popular:
- 52% of Mexico’s Internet users report using their mobile phones to play games
- 48% of Colombia’s Internet users report using their mobile phones to play games
- 38% of Brazil’s Internet users report using their mobile phones to play games
- 44% of Argentina’s Internet users report using their mobile phones to play games
And of course, it’s well established that mobile devices have taken off in Latin America: there’s 100% mobile phone penetration, spiking sales of smartphones and tablets and an increasing use of the mobile Internet in the region.
According to research firm SuperData, by 2015 there will be 106.7 million social gamers in Latin America and there will be US$505 million in revenues from social gaming in the region. Not surprisingly, the largest market for social games in Latin America is Brazil. By 2015, SuperData projects that there will be 58.7 million Brazilian social gamers and that revenues from social gaming in Brazil will reach $257 million—basically half the total social gaming revenue produced by Latin America.
According to the Livra Panels and Jampp study, the top social games in Brazil were Cityville, Cafemania and Mini Fazenda, while the top mobile games in Brazil were Sudoku, Angry Birds and Paciencia.
However, it’s important to note that since May 2012, SongPop has rocketed to immense popularity in Brazil and now there are 4 million users of SongPop in Brazil. As such, a survey done now may well indicate quite different results.
According to the Livra Panels study, most Internet users reported using a credit or debit card to pay when playing social games: 65% in Argentina, 70% in Brasil, 52% in Colombia and 58% in Mexico. SMS was the second most popular payment method, but favored by only 27% of Argentines, 10% of Brazilians, 19% of Colombians and 19% of Mexicans.
Monetizing the Market
Clearly, the numbers indicate that social games are a great way to reach Latin America’s Internet users…in theory. But what about in practice? Well, here at US Media Consulting we saw for ourselves how well social games work for advertisers in the real world. Our Brazil office began campaigns on SongPop in August 2012, with Burger King as the first advertisers. The results were impressive and we’ve continued to observe a powerful response with the ads for our clients. What’s driving the success is careful messaging and ad creation so that it fits with the game’s design without being intrusive. As a result, advertisers can explore a fresh format to deliver their messages in a medium—social games—that only will continue growing around the region.
To find out how we can help you reach Latin Americans using social games like SongPop or via any other type of media, please contact us.