Market Brief: Gaming Video Content

Gaming video content has surged in popularity with the growth of major video platforms like YouTube and Twitch and gaming’s transition into mainstream culture. The industry boasts almost half a billion viewers with content creators and platforms benefitting from multiple revenue streams: gaming videos monetize via traditional advertisements and sponsorships as well as direct investment by fans through subscriptions and donations. As games continue to overrun video content, publishers have a unique opportunity to tap into diverse gamer communities and support tastemakers that consumers trust.

Gaming videos have never been easier to make or access.

Gamers have always watched each other play, from living room couches and arcades to sharing VHS tapes and DVDs. However, easy-to-use online platforms have increased the frequency and volume of gaming videos, leading to new discovery tools for publishers and steady revenue streams for content creators. And with over 486M people watching, internet giants like Google and Amazon are directly investing in expanding gaming video content.

In this report, we identify and examine key gaming video types and platforms, and explore the role of value chain participants. We also review the current landscape of online gaming videos, their different revenue streams and what’s to come for this multi-billion dollar industry.

Major findings in the report include:

  • Gaming video content is worth $3.8B worldwide. 486M people tune in to walkthroughs, trailers and live streams made by fans and publishers.
  • Advertising revenue and corporate sponsorships bring in $2.9B in US revenue for 2015E. Advertising accounts for 77% of revenue earned from gaming videos. Content creators make $890M through paid subscriptions and donations.
  • The top 10 franchises on YouTube earned a combined $4.7B annually in 2014. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of viewers watch trailers of upcoming releases while personality-driven videos sustain the popularity of individual games and franchises.
  • YouTube draws 72% of viewers while Twitch earns more money. YouTube is the largest platform for gaming video content, but Twitch claims the highest market share by revenue (43%) because of contributions from hardcore gamers. New video platforms spur innovation, but only command around 10% of viewership.
  •  American live stream viewers donate an average $4.64 a month to content creators. Approximately 44% of live stream viewers pay for subscriptions, spending $21 each month on paid content. Single donations to popular broadcasters have reached upwards of $30,000.
  • Gaming video content drives monthly purchases of games and gear. Viewers spend $128 per month on games and those aged 25 to 34 are the highest spenders even though the youngest viewers are most active.
  • Sixty-five percent (65%) of viewers who identify as hardcore gamers watch live streams, and a third watch eSports. Last year 27M people watched League of Legends 2014 World Championship while only 12% of casual gamers watch eSports.
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