The Growth of Video Game Influencers on YouTube and Twitch

cageymaru

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Fancensus has researched the growth of video game influencers on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. The amount of views that the top 10 influencer channels on YouTube receive are growing by 40% on average. The top 100 influencers saw growth of 2.5 billion views. To ignite this growth, influencers have narrowed the list of games presented to their audience. In 2016, influencers covered 383 games on average a year. In 2018, they only cover 28 games on average with half being AAA titles. This narrowing of the scope of these channels is because of the meteoric rise of games such as Fortnite and exclusive deals with major publishers. Influencers have learned to stick to the bread and butter games instead of creating variety content. "GhostNinja is one that has reaped massive view growth in 2018 when comparing to 2017 - however, when delving into his game preference, out of 497 videos in 2018, 493 were indeed on Fortnite."

Twitch is a different beast as it is just starting to grow. Over a four week period, the average peak views for a channel in the top 100 on Twitch is only 27,000 people. But those Twitch channels are experiencing follower growth as an average of 36,000 people chose to follow those channels during that time. Right now Twitch isn't a threat to YouTube but that could change in the future as it has Amazon backing it. For example, Apex Legends focused on influencers at its launch and it has seen excellent coverage on YouTube and Twitch.

In general, influencers are posting the same number of videos over the last three years -- on average, just over one video a day -- but their staying power as a Top 10 influencer is being constantly challenged. Only half of the Top 100 influencers of 2018 are still holding their position when compared to 2017, and 20% are channels news to our monitoring system.

In summary, these analytics suggest it's getting tougher to find beneficial influencers that drive views for your product with so many focusing on a small subset of games. I believe influencers have over the last five years facilitated growth for our industry. In addition, they may have also assisted in increasing the 'shelf life' of top physical and digital games. Even if many seem to live the life of luxury, we should and will ultimately embrace them for many years to come.
 
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Well, I won't pretend I ever watch streamers or reviews much for that matter, but these channels tend to show game play footage, that matters a whole lot.
 
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Comixbooks

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Influencers for bad video games wait untill a good game hits the market.
 

DukenukemX

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I swear I saw a video on this describing how these "influencers" are being labelled as bad. That's such a terrible word. Apparently game journalists are not being taken as serious as YouTube and Twitch people. Make good games and people will play them. I certainly don't wanna watch someone play Fallout 76.

 

greenman

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What's the appeal of watching someone play a video game and talk through it? Couldn't you play it yourself, or if you're say at work and can only stream, you could stream literally any video, tv show, anything, yet for some reason people would rather have a stream up the whole day.. You could've watched like 8 movies during that time.
 

Tsumi

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What's the appeal of watching someone play a video game and talk through it? Couldn't you play it yourself, or if you're say at work and can only stream, you could stream literally any video, tv show, anything, yet for some reason people would rather have a stream up the whole day.. You could've watched like 8 movies during that time.
I don't play FNAF, mostly because I cannot handle that type of game (too jumpy). But the game lore is fascinating, and I often wonder what I'm missing out on when watching theory videos on it, so I'll watch the occasional gameplay video. The other thing is that I'm not watching the game for the game, I'm watching it for the person's reactions to the game.

For games that I am actually interested in playing though, I'm not going to watch others play it except for maybe getting a general feel for the game.
 

[21CW]killerofall

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What's the appeal of watching someone play a video game and talk through it? Couldn't you play it yourself, or if you're say at work and can only stream, you could stream literally any video, tv show, anything, yet for some reason people would rather have a stream up the whole day.. You could've watched like 8 movies during that time.
Honestly watching people play video games isn't that different then watching people play sports.
 

lostinseganet

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What's the appeal of watching someone play a video game and talk through it? Couldn't you play it yourself, or if you're say at work and can only stream, you could stream literally any video, tv show, anything, yet for some reason people would rather have a stream up the whole day.. You could've watched like 8 movies during that time.
Its the interactivity with the streamer and the chat. I know watching a stream that is not live is no where near as interesting as watching it live. Interacting with others who share your passion for gaming while trying to interact/influence the stream while gamming if the fun. Just like the Arcades of old.
 

joobjoob

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Them? Really?

I am far far from a natural elitist or snob, BUT in my day nobody pretended the cafeteria lunch lady was a trendsetter.

That said journalists are people who wanted to be journalists but failed the cut for cable news. I camt compare game journalists to said cafeteria lady because she had an honest productive job.
 
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Derangel

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What's the appeal of watching someone play a video game and talk through it? Couldn't you play it yourself, or if you're say at work and can only stream, you could stream literally any video, tv show, anything, yet for some reason people would rather have a stream up the whole day.. You could've watched like 8 movies during that time.
Youtubers are the only reason I found out that I would love Paradox grand strategy games and they are also how I learned to play them. I have literally watched hundreds of hours of people playing EU4, CK2, Stellaris, and so in because I find the strategies the players use interesting and I like to learn from them. Other Youtubers I watch mostly because I find both them and the games they cover fun to watch.
 

collegeboy69us

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When I hear the word "influencer" -I automatically think of someone who refused to get a normal job, and wanted to feel better about themselves and gave it a fancy title. Kinda like how those MLM scam people post all over facebook how they are the CEO of Suck Ass Skin care products and somehow think they are important or that anyone gives a shit. Or how some dipshit with an ipad, a fancy hat, and opinion thinks they are some big time journalist.

In the end it's all marketing and sales nothing more.
 

wizzi01

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When I hear the word "influencer" -I automatically think of someone who refused to get a normal job, and wanted to feel better about themselves and gave it a fancy title. Kinda like how those MLM scam people post all over facebook how they are the CEO of Suck Ass Skin care products and somehow think they are important or that anyone gives a shit. Or how some dipshit with an ipad, a fancy hat, and opinion thinks they are some big time journalist.

In the end it's all marketing and sales nothing more.
Except their job is making YouTube videos. Also, some of them make millions a year. I mean if making millions a year isn't a job how much does your job pay?
 

Derangel

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When I hear the word "influencer" -I automatically think of someone who refused to get a normal job, and wanted to feel better about themselves and gave it a fancy title. Kinda like how those MLM scam people post all over facebook how they are the CEO of Suck Ass Skin care products and somehow think they are important or that anyone gives a shit. Or how some dipshit with an ipad, a fancy hat, and opinion thinks they are some big time journalist.

In the end it's all marketing and sales nothing more.
The term does not come from streamers, it comes from old media and the companies that use the "influencers" for marketing.
 

M76

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What I find most curious about these youtube influencers, is the way they operate. They are against regular gaming journalists, but when they cover a topic they almost never use their own research. They just hit up articles written by their dreaded foes and quote them directly. Because they don't do research at all, they are spewing ill-informed opinions most of the time, just like a regular player would, and in their popularity is mostly a result of confirmation bias. People like to hear their own opinions regurgitated back to them.
 

Accursed

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The business part of "influencers" or twitch stars gets annoying. I'm tired of watching Apex Legends being played. When I asked one of them "When are you going back to (insert random game)?" He stated "When I get paid to" to which his squad mates said "Who pays you?!" And he said "nobody, exactly". It was pretty obvious in that exchange that they are being payed to play Apex Legends and probably given credit or cash to buy loot boxes and promote that.

Which at that point just kinda illustrates that currently Twitch is more like very long commercials. I'm all for twitch people making some $$$, but am now tired of all of them playing the same one game. So haven't even gone to twitch in a couple of weeks. Hope it ends soon.
 

motomonkey

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The business part of "influencers" or twitch stars gets annoying. I'm tired of watching Apex Legends being played. When I asked one of them "When are you going back to (insert random game)?" He stated "When I get paid to" to which his squad mates said "Who pays you?!" And he said "nobody, exactly". It was pretty obvious in that exchange that they are being payed to play Apex Legends and probably given credit or cash to buy loot boxes and promote that.

Which at that point just kinda illustrates that currently Twitch is more like very long commercials. I'm all for twitch people making some $$$, but am now tired of all of them playing the same one game. So haven't even gone to twitch in a couple of weeks. Hope it ends soon.
The obvious answer to that is, when the money stops rolling in. Until you can’t earn a 7 figure income being a paid shill, this is what you are going to see.
 

SvenBent

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watching live streaming is the mastubation equilavent to couch playing with buddies.
I totally get someone will do it.

ive onyl watched a little bit and just to see ppl play strategies
 

Macblastr

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What's the appeal of watching someone play a video game and talk through it? Couldn't you play it yourself, or if you're say at work and can only stream, you could stream literally any video, tv show, anything, yet for some reason people would rather have a stream up the whole day.. You could've watched like 8 movies during that time.
I had that same sentiment 5 years ago... who the heck would want to watch somebody play games... unfortunately hindsight is 20/20.

Ninja earned $10,000,000 in 2018 streaming games... crazy.

I now watch people play the games i play so i can try to "git good"...
 

britjh22

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The business part of "influencers" or twitch stars gets annoying. I'm tired of watching Apex Legends being played. When I asked one of them "When are you going back to (insert random game)?" He stated "When I get paid to" to which his squad mates said "Who pays you?!" And he said "nobody, exactly". It was pretty obvious in that exchange that they are being payed to play Apex Legends and probably given credit or cash to buy loot boxes and promote that.

Which at that point just kinda illustrates that currently Twitch is more like very long commercials. I'm all for twitch people making some $$$, but am now tired of all of them playing the same one game. So haven't even gone to twitch in a couple of weeks. Hope it ends soon.
I don't think thats the obvious takeaway, but to each their own. Perhaps the game you asked them to go back to wasn't as fun. If they aren't enjoying the game they are playing it is usually pretty clear for the stream, and makes the entire experience worse. Or maybe their viewership/engagement/income has been better since they switched games. Besides, if you think everyone playing Apex on Twitch is being directly paid, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
 
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