We Got Game: Nielsen Figures Show Games Are The Most Popular Mobile Content

If the rankings you see of most popular apps — and the IPO filing from mobile and social gaming giant Zynga and Tapjoy‘s recent $30 million round — didn’t already tell the story for you, Nielsen has spelled it out a bit more: games are the most popular category for mobile content. Figures released today by its analysts note that games are the biggest form of apps content and paid content; and that gamers on the iOS platform play games far more than those on other mobile operating systems.

According to Nielsen’s figures, 93 percent of those who have downloaded apps in the last 30 days say that they would be willing to pay for games; compare that to news, at 76 percent. Overall, a whopping 64 percent of downloaders said they had downloaded a game — showing how, while games can be considered niche content by some, they are, at the end of the day, more mainstream than even weather apps:

It also found that those using iPhones are much more dedicated to their games, playing for an average of 14.7 hours each month, nearly double the mobile average overall of 7.8 hours per month:

The numbers are based on mobile research Nielsen conducts mostly online every year covering some 300,000 mobile users in the U.S. It defines “mobile gamers” as those who have played a game in the last 30 days. Within apps, Nielsen says it surveys twice per year year 4,000 consumers who have download apps in the past 30 days.

Given the dedication and engagement you see in games, it’s no surprise that people have been trying to figure out how to “gamify” other kinds of content to make it more valuable — both for users and for those looking to create business models around that content.

But there are two big questions that come out of this: Are consumers willing to take games parameters to other kinds of content? And will we soon see games companies like Finland’s Rovio taking their expertise and applying it to other areas of content altogether?