Selling games is no longer the only way to make money in the video game industry, as a new report by analytics firm SuperData Research Inc reveals that game video content is worth over $3.8 billion annually.
The content measured by the report includes “recorded gameplay, reviews and anything that engages the gaming community.” This also includes live streams, which according to SuperData is responsible for 33 percent of the viewership of all game video content.
The audience for game videos has grown 28 percent so far this year, reaching 486 million viewers worldwide. SuperData explains that this growth “is driven in part by the increasing mainstream acceptance of video games and the development of easy-to-use platforms for both consumers and content creators.”
YouTube vs Twitch
When it comes to game video platforms, Google’s YouTube and Amazon’s Twitch are the two juggernauts in gaming, and while YouTube leads by a large margin in total views, Twitch earns more in gaming-related revenue thanks to advertising, sponsorships, and user donations. Aside from esports tournaments and sponsorships, the viewer donations in particular are what set Twitch apart from YouTube.
“Donations, which account for roughly a third of Twitch’s revenue, are essential for broadcasters who do not have enough viewers to make substantial gains from advertising,” SuperData explained. “Viewers spend an average of $4.64 a month on donations, with popular broadcasters earning thousands of dollars from a single donation.”
According to SuperData’s report, Twitch maintains a 43 percent market share of the total revenue earned by game video content, with YouTube following close behind at 36 percent.
SuperData added, “Content on the live streaming site is mostly aimed at the most dedicated gamers who are often the highest spenders, the most dedicated viewers, and want to connect directly with broadcasters.”
It is no secret that game viewers tend to be young, and according to SuperData, about half are under the age of 35. While a majority are male, female viewers make up a respectable 38 percent of viewers, and that percentage continues to rise.