Gaming Video Content’s Audience Surpasses Conventional Legacy Media

Source: YouTube. Your game is played by him? Then you're a lucky guy!

The growth of gaming video content right now cannot be dismissed. It has already surpassed the conventional cable TV audience, according to Superdata’s research.
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In 2016, according to a research by Superdata, game video content (GVC) had more people watching than Netflix, HBO, ESPN, and Hulu combined. GVC’s audience even had twice the size of the US population, as you can see in the graph below.

VGC itself refers to online videos and live streams related to gaming.

Gaming video content, which was pulled from YouTube (GVC only) and Twitch had 666 million audiences while the combined number of audiences from HBO, Spotify, Netflix, ESPN, and other cable networks was about 600 million. That is gaming versus wide range of content, from series, movies, conventional sports, music, and others.

Even Twitch itself had a larger audience than each of legacy media, which had 185 million audience, while YouTube had a whopping 517 million.


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Demographically, the current viewer base has higher female representation (46%) than the days of “stereotyped” gamer. They also have high average income which is $58K in the US. According to Superdata, these young consumers are watching GVC instead of primetime TV.

In regards to earnings, despite a decline from 2016, GVC is comparable to the earnings of top football leagues like Bundesliga ($3.5B) and La Liga ($3.2). GVC itself will earn $3.2B this year, with 51% of it comes from advertising.

In 2016, YouTube star PewDiePie earned $15M before advertisers pulled away because of his anti-Semitic remarks in one of his videos. Companies don’t want their advertisements to appear in an offensive gaming or non-gaming content, so it is safe to say that a safer content is going to have more revenue from advertising.

To the advertisement detriment, 44% of viewers use ad blockers. But as they are more tech-savvy and don’t want to deprive the income of streamers, over half of them (55%) are more likely to donate or subscribe to a streamer.



Superdata also released one type of viewer which is Alphas. They are the type of gamer who wants to enhance their playing ability by watching games that they want to play or are recently playing. They want to get an advantage over other competitors by watching better gamers play and strategize their own play.

So content that covers about tips, how-tos, and strategies will have a better chance of being watched by Alphas.

SuperData-Gaming-Video-Content-Report-3 gaming video content

So from this excerpt from Superdata’s research, we can conclude that GVC must be considered by marketers to market their brand. With 61% revenue coming from ads and sponsorship, surely no company should miss this big opportunity. As a YouTuber said to recently, the internet is the most effective and efficient way to reach the market.

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