Half a billion gamers will be going online regularly to enjoy video content about their favorite hobby this year. That's according to new numbers released by research firm Newzoo and influencer marketing platform Nevaly. The companies today released a handful of findings emphasizing not just how popular online gaming videos are around the world, but how influential they can be.
The firms found that the largest audience for online gaming content is in the Asian Pacific market, with just over 199 million regular viewers. That's followed by Europe (116 million viewers), and North America (97.4 million viewers). A composite of Latin America based on Mexico and Brazil suggests that market has another 58.5 million to add to the pool.
As for their favored options, the companies said that YouTube "still dominates around the globe," beating game-specific streaming platform Twitch as the gaming video destination of choice by at least a 2:1 margin. In the US, half of all gamers watch gaming videos regularly on YouTube, compared to 21 percent on Twitch. The disparity grows larger in non-English-speaking countries. In France, for example, 49 percent of gamers use YouTube regularly, while just 9 percent frequent Twitch.
Newzoo and Nevaly also emphasized the relative influence online video has with the people who spend the most on games. Of those whose spending on game fell in the top 20 percent, 35 percent used online videos as a way to discover new games. That was more than the percentage who relied on TV commercials (14 percent), friends and family (24 percent), and magazines (13 percent). In fact, only game websites were more frequently used to find new games, with 41 percent of the highest spending gamers relying on them.
"Online video is the biggest thing to hit the games market since the launch of the iPhone in 2007," said Newzoo CEO Peter Warman. "Games are evolving towards cross-screen transmedia franchises right now. A direct consequence is the increased focus on communities of both gamers and viewers. This is creating enormous new growth and marketing opportunities for game companies and will accelerate the disruption of traditional media."
[UPDATE]: After the publication of this article, a Newzoo representative sought to clarify the group's position, saying, "While it is correct that YouTube is watched by a much higher group of gamers than Twitch, the difference between the two platforms should be clearly stated (VOD vs. Live) to provide a fairer comparison. It was our mistake for not making this distinction clear in the infographic and the press release."