A study has concluded that casual gaming is the most popular online entertainment activity, with streaming video and social networking following behind

There are all sorts of things you can do online and if you have ever wondered what most people do online for entertainment, you are not alone. From reading sites like DailyTech, to watching videos on sites like YouTube or visiting social networking sites like FaceBook, what entertainment activity is most popular online? You might be surprised by the answer.

A study has concluded that the most popular online activity for entertainment is playing casual games. The study doesn’t mention some things people do online for entertainment, like searching for images of Britney Spears’ latest outing whilst going commando, which is sure to absorb significant time online.

What the study does say is that the year-over-year growth rate for casual gamers is 79%, making casual gaming significantly higher than the growth rate of social networking at 46%.

"The casual gaming industry cannot rest on its laurels," James Kuai, a research analyst at Parks Associates, said. "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."

Streaming video is fast catching up to casual gaming as one of the most popular entertainment activities with a 123% year-over-year growth, which could perhaps be attributed to some less family friendly entertainment activities online.

"Despite the growing popularity of YouTube, MySpace and Facebook, gaming remains the king of online entertainment, driven largely by casual gaming activities," said Kuai. "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."

Parks Associates might be onto something. The study comes only a few weeks after Nickelodeon announced its intention to invest $100 million in the casual gaming market over the next two years alone.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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