If you're a gamer, chances are you watch a lot of game trailers on YouTube. If you're engulfed in gaming culture, you probably watch Let's Plays and other forms of community created content on YouTube as well. Google now says that these videos are essential for publishers hoping to reach out to gamers.
In a new white paper published on Google Think Insights, the search giant found that 95 percent of all gamers turn to YouTube to consume and engage content relevant to them. This rise in content consumption correlates with a rise in subscriptions to game channels and a rise in consumption on mobile devices:
The rapid growth of game content consumption on YouTube suggests that it has become an important medium to gamers, providing them with information and entertainment. In 2012, the amount of time people spent watching gaming videos on YouTube more than doubled over the year before. The growth rate of time spent viewing gaming videos was greater than YouTube’s overall growth in the U.S.
While time spent viewing gaming videos increased year-over-year in 2012, much of that growth was fueled by video consumption on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. In 2012, one in three views of gaming-related videos occurred on a tablet or smartphone, nearly double that of 2011.
Also striking was that when gamers had more free time, they chose to spend it watching video. Weekends saw an 18% day-over-day increase in gaming views. Viewing spiked during the summer, with views in June growing by 17% month-overmonth, and remaining elevated throughout July and August.
On an hourly basis, 32% of views occurred between 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM, traditional prime time television hours. The increased consumption of gaming video was partially driven by growth of subscribers to game channels. Game views from subscribers jumped 9X year-over-year in 2012. Those who were subscribers watched game content for twice as long as non-subscribers.
Google has clearly established that gamers watch a lot of video content on YouTube, but it also breaks down the kind of content being watched. It says that gamers watch seven types of video content, which includes announcement trailers, gameplay demos, launch trailers, game powered entertainment, tutorials, walkthroughs and reviews.
Google broke down the above seven types even further into three categories - pre-launch, launch and post-launch. It found that 50 percent of video views come from the publishers, developers and press during the pre-launch period with announcement trailers taking up 24 percent of these views. At launch, only three percent of video views come from reviews.
Unsurprisingly, the post-launch community created videos are incredibly popular. Walkthroughs and tutorials only make up a total of 8 percent of these post-launch views, but game powered entertainment (Let's Plays, parodies and analysis) make up 39 percent of all game related views on YouTube. Google says that this community created content doubles the amount of views popular games would have otherwise received by only sticking to official channels.
In short, Google says that game marketers would be wise to acknowledge that gamers increasingly:
All of the above information will certainly be welcomed by the Let's Play community as they continue to argue that they're now an integral part of any game's presence online, and that publishers should let them collect ad revenue off of their videos despite using copyrighted content.[h/t: Game Informer]