CTA Tech Trends: Gaming Growing, Services Ascendant

LAS VEGAS — Gaming is increasingly taking over leisure time for the average gamer, said Steve Koenig, VP of research at the Consumer Technology Association.

Speaking during the opening “Tech Trends to Watch” presentation Jan. 3 on the eve of the CES event, he noted that in 2019 the average gamer spent 16 hours a week gaming.

“Today it’s a full day. 24 hours. 24 hours a week,” he said.

Why are people spending so much time gaming?

It’s for escapism, entertainment and competition, but it’s also for socializing, he said.

“Increasingly, it’s about connection and socialization,” he said. “The game is really a construct for socialization.”

After the pandemic, consumers signed up for more services and “consumers really are sticking with those,” he said, showing a chart that indicated the level of video streaming services would remain stable from 2021 through an estimated 2022 and 2023.

It’s “more about services and less about the hardware itself,” he said, adding “I think the whole ad-supported business model” will help extend the entertainment streaming business.

He presented CTA research that showed that 59% of consumers planned to use video streaming more post-pandemic, with 36% planning to use it about the same and only 5% planning to use video streaming services less. As for video game services, 50% indicated they planned to use them more, 39% about the same and 10% less.

Source: CTA

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TikTok Triples Video Streaming Length to 3 Minutes

Social video-sharing media behemoth TikTok is expanding the length it will allow users to post videos to three minutes from 60 seconds.

With 689 million monthly active users worldwide, the Chinese-owned app has a strong following in the U.S., which leads in the platform’s monthly revenue and users.

In a blog post, product manager Drew Kirchhoff said the move underscored the platform’s desire to afford users an “even richer storytelling and entertainment” experience.

“With all the ways our community has redefined expression in under 60 seconds, we’re excited to see how people continue to entertain and inspire with a few more seconds — and a world of creative possibilities,” Kirchhoff wrote.

The move underscores increasing competition within the social media video space with recent launches that include YouTube Shorts, Instagram’s Reels, Snapchat’s Spotlight and Triller, among others.

TikTok generated nearly $2.1 million in U.S. app revenue from Apple’s iOS platform in February, according to Statista. The U.S. accounted for 44% of TikTok’s revenue throughout the Apple App Store.