SOURCE: Networked Insights

December 17, 2008 08:00 ET

New Report Looks Beyond Sales to Shed New Light on Video Game Industry

Networked Insights' Measuring the Social Report Looks at Gamers' Interactions Online Around Video Games Before and After the Sale

MADISON, WI--(Marketwire - December 17, 2008) - Networked Insights, a provider of customer intelligence across social media, today released the third Measuring the Social report, detailing the top 10 video games among online audiences as compared to NPD Group's monthly sales charts.

To date, video game rankings have been based solely on sales and shipping data, which only expose a small aspect of the gaming audience's engagement with video games. Networked Insights' most recent Measuring the Social report sheds new light on how people interact with each other around video games before and after the sale, telling a more holistic story that is valuable to in-game advertisers, game developers and even companies marketing virtual goods.

Networked Insights' research shows dramatic differences between traditional sales data and online interaction analysis, and reveals brand-new insights including:

   --  4 of the video games on Networked Insights' top 10 list do not
       appear in NPD's top 10 video games list, showing a discrepancy
       between sales and engagement around video games online

   --  LittleBigPlanet has a strong social networking and creativity
       component which resulted in the game earning a much higher spot on
       Networked Insights' list due to significant online engagement

   --  While Guitar Hero: World Tour did not appear on NPD's list due to
       its release date late in October, the game was number 9 on Networked
       Insights' list due to the significant buzz leading up to its release
       through the month of October

"The video game industry is still growing at a rapid pace and represents a passionate audience that is still willing to spend in this economy," said Dan Neely, founder and CEO of Networked Insights. "It's imperative that in-game advertisers, game developers and other organizations in the gaming industry learn from their customers to help target their advertising, include user sentiment and feedback in future games, and ultimately build more successful game franchises."

Today, online measurement generally involves listening to the 15% of people that post content online. While this section of the audience is important, the other 85%, that Networked Insights uncovers, is interacting in other ways equally as valuable when analyzing audience behavior online -- reading, rating, sharing, linking and inviting.

In the early days of the Web, when sites were one-way and static, audience measurement was based on eyeballs, then shifted to transactions as the Web became more complex, which painted a more accurate picture of online behavior. Now, understanding true online behavior is about understanding the social, measuring all the different ways people are interacting online. This also includes the important metric of influence for each interaction -- for example, Tiger Woods sharing a golf video carries far more weight than an everyday golf enthusiast taking the same action.

To gather data for this Measuring the Social report, Networked Insights tapped more than 17,000 social media and social networking sites, which included 3.5 million conversations per day and over 120 million unique users. The Networked Insights top 10 chart is compared to NPD Group's monthly sales chart for October 2008.

For continued insights and access to the full Measuring the Social report, subscribe to the Measuring the Social feed at www.socialsights.com.

About Networked Insights

Networked Insights measures the social to drive more effective marketing, by determining who to target and how to convert them. We tell you where they are, the influence they carry and the language they use. Networked Insights gives companies the ability to discover and act upon real-time Customer Intelligence from a wide variety of social media sources, providing truly customer-driven insight based on both content and social behavior generated from customer-to-customer interactions. Previously, companies gained customer information by asking predetermined questions or proving company-generated hypotheses. Networked Insights puts the customer at the center of the intelligence process so that companies can let the customer decide what's important. Networked Insights is privately held and based in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, go to www.networkedinsights.com.

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