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As consumers grow accustomed to watching all types of video digitally, gaming video content—online video and live streams related to all things gaming—is seeing the eyeballs and money roll in.
SuperData Research estimated that the gaming video content audience would total 486 million worldwide this year—and soar to 790 million by 2017; in the US, respective figures were forecast to reach 125 million and 181 million. And in a June 2014 study by AYTM Market Research, the majority of US adult internet users had watched videos or live streams of video game content—and nearly one-third did so sometimes (22.7%) or often (9.2%).
Among US internet users polled by SuperData who had viewed gaming-related video content at least once in the past year, trailers were the most common, cited by nearly seven in 10. Humor, walkthroughs and reviews were each popular among the majority as well. Live streams and esports were less common, used more by “hardcore” fans—though this group’s higher spending and engagement means it’s still largely appealing.
The dollars are flowing in as viewership rises. SuperData estimated that gaming video content revenues worldwide would hit $3.80 billion in 2015. Thanks to the rise of live streaming and digital video among US-based companies such as YouTube and Twitch, North America was expected to account for nearly 40% of the total, at $1.49 billion. Europe followed at $1.14 billion. Revenues in Asia were forecast to hit $701 million this year, limited by piracy and TV competition, while Latin America should have a much lower $270 million.
The overwhelming majority of those revenues will come from advertising and sponsorships, which were expected to account for 77% of gaming video content revenues this year, or $2.9 billion. Direct revenues from paid subscriptions ($252 million) and donations ($638 million) should make up the remaining 23%.
Market dominance varies depending on whether one is discussing viewership or revenues. YouTube was expected to be far and away the most popular platform in terms of viewership, at nearly three-quarters of viewers this year, vs. 53% for Twitch. However, Twitch took the lead when it came to share of revenues, at 43%, thanks to its control over the hardcore space, according to SuperData.
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