I am an old bastard – so I prefer to play my games instead of watching other people play them. I seldom watch people opine about games, as I find it easier to absorb information by reading it, but that’s me. Many, many (many!) people love watching other people play and talk about games, and I get the appeal. With streamers on Twitch and the cult of personality that YouTube and its myriad stars, more people are watching game related stuff than ever.
Just how many though? According to the researchers at SuperData, more than you could possibly imagine. They say that the audience for Gaming Video Content, or GVC as they call it, will reach an astounding 665 million people this year. That’s more than the population of the United States. Twice over. Because of that incredible audience, they say that “GVC” is is on track to generate $4.6 billion in revenue in 2017.
It would, as a result, be daft for marketers to not spend their money advertising to this audience of young, tech-savvy people with oodles of consumable income.
“Gaming Video Content represents a highly desirable market to advertisers due to the fact that its audience is young, tech-savvy and willing to spend money,” says Carter Rogers, Research Manager at SuperData Research. “Companies who do not advertise to GVC viewers risk missing potential customers as they turn to streams over legacy media. With a global audience that reaches more viewers than HBO, Netflix, ESPN and Hulu combined, brands could be losing out on the next primetime viewing activity, not unlike TV or sports viewing at their peaks.”
There’s a whole bullet point list of findings, that I’ve copied and pasted because I’m off to start my own YouTube channel.
- Gaming is the biggest category on YouTube after music, with 77M subscribers. The site’s top gaming channels have audiences comparable to TV shows like The Big Bang Theory (19.4M) and The Walking Dead (13.2M).
- Amazon’s Twitch earns 37% of GVC revenue despite only having 16% of GVC viewers. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Twitch revenue comes from direct spending (versus 31% for the industry overall).
- Viewers watch nearly 100 million hours of League of Legends gameplay on Twitch in February of 2017. Counter Strike: Global Offensive is the next most popular game, with viewers watching 40 million hours on Twitch, as it continues to grow in the competitive gaming space.
- eSports and live stream viewers watch more than four hours of content per week. These types of content have become appointment viewing, much like primetime TV or real-life sporting events.
- Over 40% of U.S. GVC viewers watch walkthroughs, trailers and humor videos. These genres appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers whereas livestreams, peer-to-peer and eSports content disproportionately attract hardcore gamers.
- 63% of live stream viewers want to try broadcasting their own content. Expensive high quality audio and video equipment and PCs are the main barriers for those interested in streaming.