Gaming Video Content (GVC) Viewer Media Consumption
YouTube and Twitch are the most viewed platforms for gaming content. The types of gaming content being watched are esports, gaming videos, how-to videos, new games game play/unboxing, professional gaming events, and YouTube gaming personalities. Other types of media being consumed are video streaming services, reality TV or competition shows, product reviews, traditional sports, and advertisements. Most viewers are watching this content on a regular, weekly basis, with the majority watching at least a couple of hours of content a week. Overall, only small percentages of viewers are exclusively loyal to one gaming content platform. A deep dive into these findings has been provided below.
Most Viewed Platforms for Gaming Content
- Deloitte notes that Twitch and YouTube are "major platforms" that gamers use to view gaming content.
- When the Fortnite World Cup Finals took place, over 2 million people viewed the live-stream of the event and the majority of the audience was watching via YouTube or Twitch.
- A survey of 324 Americans between the ages of 18 and 54 found that one-third watch gaming content on Twitch or YouTube.
- In China, Douyu is known to draw millions of daily viewers, while the same is true for Twitch in the United States. Youkou Tudou is another popular platform in China for gaming-related content viewing.
- According to a 2019 Motley Fool article, Twitch is the number one video game streaming platform in the United States, having 15 million unique daily visitors.
- ESPN regularly covers esports.
- In 2015, YouTube launched a platform specifically for gaming-related content called YouTube Gaming.
- YouTube has a 44% share of the gaming video content market as of 2017, and 56% of gamers surveyed said they connect with the gaming community via YouTube.
- There are approximately 653 million gaming content video viewers on YouTube.
Types of Gaming-Related Content Viewed
- 40% of gamers watch esports events once per week at a minimum. Deloitte notes that the total for all gaming-related content is likely higher. Additionally, 40% of Gen X and 30% of female gamers consume esports content weekly.
- 65% of US gamers and 82% of Chinese gamers say they have watched esports.
- Esports content represents 30% of all gaming content viewed. Most of this content is viewed on Twitch and YouTube, according to Deloitte.
- Many esports pros and gaming fans live stream their own video gaming.
- A 2015 survey of over 4,803 Americans between the ages of 18 and 54 found that over 2,000 of the respondents watched gaming videos on YouTube at least once per month.
- On YouTube, the types of gaming-related content being consumed are how-to videos, new games game play, professional gaming tournaments, and YouTube gaming personalities.
Other Types of Media Consumed by 'Game Content Viewers'
- 50% of millennials pay for both a gaming service and a video streaming service, indicating that video streaming media is another type of media being consumed.
- More millennials have a gaming subscription than those who pay for a traditional TV subscription, indicating that traditional TV media is likely not being consumed as often.
- 66% of gamers watch reality TV or competition shows.
- A 2015 survey published by Google found that 40% of 'YouTube Gamers' (i.e. gamers who watch gaming content on YouTube) were influenced to purchase a certain product after watching videos online, indicating that this consumer segment is watching product review media online, and that YouTube is the number one platform they use to consume this type of content.
- A 2019 survey found that 60% of U.S. respondents watch TV less in favor of gaming, and the same was true for 66% of Chinese respondents.
- A survey of U.S. adult gamers found that, in addition to game-related content and esports, they also watch traditional sports on television and online.
- Interestingly, gaming content viewers like watching advertisements within gaming content, as 43% of esports viewers surveyed said that they "appreciate when brands reach out to the gaming world" and 42% said they "appreciate brand marketing through gaming channels."
- A 2019 global survey found that "gamers watch sports on television more often than they watch other people playing games on sites such as Twitch", however, this is not true for the 18-25 demographic, as 77% of this cohort said they spend more time watching other people playing games and the 26-35 cohort said they spend equal amounts of time doing this.
Time Spent Consuming Media (by Media Type)
- 25% of esports viewers watch esports content for more than four hours in a given week. Deloitte notes that the total for all gaming-related content is likely higher.
- A survey of 324 Americans between the ages of 18 and 54 found that one-third watch gaming content once a week at least; 17% said daily, 7% said monthly, and 5% said a few times per year. Males are more likely than females to consume this content; 30% of males watch gaming content daily while the same is true for just 7% of females.
- 30% of survey respondents between ages 25 and 35 watch gaming content daily; 18% for the 35-44 age group, and 6% for the 45-54 age group. Respectively, these groups consume this type of content on a weekly basis 14%, 20%, and 7% of the time; and on a monthly basis 8%, 8%, and 7% of the time.
- A 2019 survey by TECHnalysis Research found that U.S. gamers spend an average of 12 hours a week watching video game content on Twitch or YouTube, while in China, gamers watch an average of 11 hours per week on Douyu and Youkou Tudou.
- Among U.S. adult gamers, they spend an average of 4.14 hours per week watching traditional sports on TV; 2.37 hours per week watching traditional sports online; 2.33 hours per week watching gaming content online; and 1.67 hours per week watching esports tournaments either on TV or online.
- In 2016, 40 million hours of gaming
- videos were watched on YouTube.
- A global survey of gamers found that they watch an average of 1.72 hours a week watching esports, 2.43 hours per week watching other people play games online, 3.08 hours per week watching traditional sports on television, and 2.37 hours per week watching traditional sports online.
- 3.6% of global gamer survey respondents watch more than 15 hours per week of other people playing video games online; 6.3% watch for 7-15 hours, 11.6% for 3-7 hours, 16.6% for 1-3 hours, and 21.7% spend less than 1 hour.
- 31% gamers surveyed in a small-scale study reported that they pay for a Twitch Prime subscription.
- A 2015 survey of gaming-related content consumers found that 15% said they 'always' go to YouTube for this type of content, 22% go there most of the time, 25% go there about half of the time, 31% rarely go there, and 7% never do.
This research was completed by analyzed numerous surveys that examined the video game-related media habits of individuals who report consuming this content. There appears to be a wealth of information available on this topic as video gaming is currently a gigantic global industry and video game content consumption is very popular.
All the information included in this brief has been published in the past 1-2 years minus a few older insights. Any older insights have been explicitly labeled as such. These insights were included either because 1) they are the most recently published direct answer to the question that we found or because 2) they were thought to be particularly insightful for comparison and likely still relevant given the solid growth of the market since then making it easy to envision how these figures have likely grown since then.
Lastly, the vast majority of the content presented focuses on individuals who are reported to be game content viewers. There are a couple of insights that pertain to gamers in general, which were included because they seemed interesting and relevant to the topic. When viewing these stats, it's interesting to consider the high percentages of gamers who report watching gaming-related content.