Gaming Content: Big Reach, Deep Engagement

ICYMI, Gautam Ramdurai, insights lead, pop culture and gaming at Google wrote a terrific post on gaming content.

Bottom line: “Gaming content is a rare breed—one that delivers engagement and reach.”

In other words, gaming content is connecting with a wide range of demographics (reach). This is headlined by the increasing numbers of women who are not only gaming, but also using the content. Further, fans of gaming content spend a lot of time with it. They search it, share it, watch it (engagement).

Highlights from Ramdurai’s post:

  • Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 3.14.02 PMYouTube: “Interest in gaming is also soaring on YouTube. In 2014, the second-most searched topic on YouTube is actually a game: Minecraft. What’s more, it’s not just the volume of views that is impressive. It’s the level of engagement and time spent with gaming content that should make marketers do a double-take.”
  • eSports: “One exciting and fast-growing category on YouTube is competitive gaming, also referred to as eSports. As with pro sports (baseball and football, for example), it has iconic players, fans, team uniforms, playoffs, and more. Although the eSports phenomenon is garnering significant media attention and revenue, it’s only part of a much larger gaming content ecosystem.”
  • Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 3.12.52 PMSticky: “Gaming content on YouTube is some of the stickiest. More than 20 of the top 100 YouTube channels with the most subscribers worldwide are gaming related.”
  • Marketing: ‘From an advertiser’s perspective, gaming content is a rare breed—one that delivers engagement and reach. Take Maker, a YouTube multichannel network owned by Disney, for example. Channels on its gaming sub-network, Polaris, reach more 18–34-year-old men than MLB’s video network does, according to November 2014 data from comScore Video Metrix.”
  • Women: “Adult women have recently unseated teenage boys as the largest video game–playing demographic, according to the Entertainment Software Association. YouTube trends reflect this: Viewership among women has doubled year over year, and women over the age of 25 are the fastest-growing demographic for gaming content.”
  • Engagement: “YouTube data tells us that both men and women are spending more time per video with gaming than in any other content area. Women, however, are spending slightly more time watching each gaming video than men are. And to further shatter social stereotypes, millennial females actively comment on, like, and share more gaming content than they do cooking/recipe content, according to Tubular Labs data from December 2013”

For brands, Ramdurai offers tips on: “How to make the most of this content”:

  • Consider media placement alongside established and growing channels that blend popularity and a passionate fanbase.
  • Partner with gaming creators to build authentic experiences for your brand.
  • Be present during flagship championships, game releases, and big moments such as the annual celebration of all things gaming at E3.

Ramdurai had another excellent point: “Sometimes watching someone else play a game can be as much fun as playing yourself. This isn’t surprising because we engage in similar behavior when watching the Food Network. Even though we can’t taste the food being prepared on shows such as Chopped, the process, tension, and competitive nature make for great entertainment.”

And if you get questions why anyone would want to watch eSports on YouTube or Twitch — why someone would watch others gaming — I particularly liked this quote in Ramdurai’s piece from one gaming creator: “You don’t have to play soccer to enjoy it on TV.”

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