According to a new report by Parks Associates, gaming is still champion of online activities, with 34 percent of adult users playing games weekly compared to 29 percent using sites like YouTube and 19 percent using social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.
The study found 79 percent growth in online gamers over last year, compared with 46 percent growth in social networking, though video streaming site use was up the highest at 123 percent, which Parks says "could pose a significant challenge to the gaming industry in capturing the online leisure time of Internet users."
Parks analyst James Kuai warns that the casual gaming industry "cannot rest on its laurels. In order to counter the growing competition from other online activities, the industry needs to continue to grow its fan base and find ways to better monetize its existing audience."
He added, though, that "gaming also has business advantages. Unlike sites for social networking and video streaming, which rely solely on advertising revenue, casual gaming has more mature and heterogeneous revenue models, including web-based and in-game advertising, try-before-you-buy, subscriptions, and micro-transactions."