It’s long been thought that video gamers will one day rule the world. Think about it; when the zombie apocalypse comes, who’s better equipped to survive than a gamer? I’m hanging with him.
Until then, gamers are still ruling many parts of the internet. Remember last week when we talked about how Netflix subscribers are using up more than their fair share of bandwidth? In that same post, I also mentioned a company called Twitch.TV and guess what, they’re in the news again today. Looks like YouTube is going to acquire the company for “one billion dollars.”
It’s a natural fit. In 2013, Google wrote about the rising interest in video gaming content on YouTube. 95% of gamers turn to YouTube for entertainment. From 2012 to 2013, views on video game related content on YouTube doubled. Subscribers to video game channels rose 9x and during the summer months, viewing spiked to all new heights. You can bet that’s going to happen again this year with even bigger growth numbers.
What Twitch.TV brings to the gaming table is depth of content, particularly live content and console specific console. Right now you can log on and join 180 other people watching a guy play Trials Fusion on Playstation or girls playing Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare on Xbox One. Seriously, watching girl gamers is a money making concept in itself.
The other thing that makes Twitch.TV different is the chat room that loads alongside the videos. This isn’t about solo watching when you have a few minutes. This is about community and that’s something that’s lacking in many “social” websites.
What does this all mean for you, the marketer? One, it’s proof that niche works. Gamers used to be considered the fringe element, a small group of anti-social, basement dwellers who didn’t have a dime to spend. According to the Daily Mail,
The average gamer, who will spend up to 12 hours a week glued to their console, is actually 35-years-old and married, and earns £23k [approximately 34k USD] a year.
Gartner says the video game market brought in 93 billion dollars last year. This may be a niche crowd but it’s a crowd worth pursuing. Not in the video game biz? Doesn’t matter. Gamers spend plenty on related merchandise from shirts to toys to tech. And they have to eat – so maybe it’s time to release that video game themed snack you’ve been thinking about.
And more eyes on YouTube means more chances that your YouTube advertisements will be seen and clicked on. So yes, this merger is big business not just for YouTube but for you, too.
On a related note, reCoder says Twitter is considering making an offer to buy SoundCloud. Twitter’s made a few attempts at getting into the music market but none have been very successful. Hitching their wagon to what is basically YouTube for audio clips, is another nice try.