Companies that want to boost sales of music and portable music players should market to hardcore gamers, according to IDVC.

Gamers are spending hours each week playing computer games, but are also big consumers of music and audio devices, a survey of over 6,000 gamers found. However, rather than trying to pry gamers away from the warm glow of their LCD (liquid crystal display) screens to go see a show, the music industry should look for ways to integrate music with video games, such as tying audio devices and services into games or marketing online music and gaming services together, according to an IDC report.

The Web-based surveys were conducted in the August 2004 through gaming Web sites like, and other game community sites and online forums. IDC and IGN asked gamers about their gaming and music listening habits.

The bulk of respondents reported spending between four and 20 hours a week playing video games. The biggest group, almost 20 per cent, said they spent between six and 10 hours a week gaming.

However, 35 per cent of respondents also reported owning between 100 and 299 music CDs. 16 per cent said they owned 300 to 499 CDs, which is good news for music publishers - though 93 per cent of gamers who responded were male.

Eighty-three per cent said that they had music stored on computers in their household, with 23 per cent saying they had 1,000 or more songs stored on thm. However, few of those responding, just over 16 per cent, said they used a paid online music service such as iTunes, suggesting that ripping CDs and downloading music from free online services is commonplace.

IDC's report, "3Q04 Gamer Survey: Digital Audio Technologies and the Gamer," is the latest in a series of studies focused on the gaming industry. A summary of the report is available online.