Report Launch: Gaming Video Content is bigger than streaming and sports networks

Worldwide Gaming Video Content Audience Stands at 665 Million, More than Double the U.S. Population

SuperData Research analysis says Gaming Video Content to will earn $4.6B in 2017, outpacing earnings from some traditional sports leagues

New York, NY April 11, 2017 – The worldwide audience for Gaming Video Content (GVC) will reach 665 million in 2017, more than double the population of the U.S. Overall, the global audience will continue to see growth, experiencing a 21% increase in viewership from 2017 to 2021.

Those are the findings from “Gaming Video Content and the New Essential Audience,” an analysis of the category being released today by SuperData Research, the leading provider of marketing intelligence for the playable-media and digital-games industry.

SuperData Research says Gaming Video Content is on track to generate $4.6 billion in revenue in 2017 via advertising and direct spending, a level that would outpace revenue generated by sports such as the top soccer leagues in Spain and Germany, which earned $3.2 billion and $3.5 billion respectively in the 2015-2016 season.

Gaming Video Content viewing has gone mainstream. Females now make up 46% of the Gaming Video Content audience and viewers have a higher average income than traditional gamers.

GVC viewers are also less likely to engage with mainstream platforms like cable TV, with 20% of U.S. GVC streamers being “cord-cutters”, compared to 8% of the general U.S. population.

Additionally, gaming live streams are replacing primetime TV viewing with 27% of live stream viewers watching most often during weekday evenings. The Gaming Video Content audience on YouTube and Amazon’s Twitch, 517 million and 185 million people in 2016 respectively, surpasses mainstream channels like ESPN and HBO, further shaking up the traditional media landscape.

Of the revenue generated from GVC, $3.2 billion will be from ads and sponsorships. The remaining 31% of GVC revenue will be direct to the streamers, with nearly half of all U.S. GVC viewers paying for a subscription or making a voluntary donation. GVC viewers are highly loyal to the streamers they follow and pay to have access to ad-free streams or to earn on-air shout outs.

PC and console players who watch GVC spend over $70 a month on digital games and in-game content, 56% more than their non-viewer counterparts. Among U.S. GVC consumers, 51% have purchased a game directly after seeing it featured in a GVC stream. To capitalize on viewers’ willingness to spend, Amazon recently launched the ability to purchase digital PC games directly from Twitch streams.

“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.”

Additional findings from the analysis of the GVC market include:

  • 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.

SuperData GVC Report



PDF report: Vital details on the world’s newest and largest audience including market size and reach, consumer profiling, platform breakouts, revenue strategies, and more.