YouTube is revolutionizing the world. What began as a basic video-sharing site has become an international media powerhouse. There are many facets of YouTube, from classic videos (e.g. cute kittens and funny clips) to live-streaming news channels. Owned by Google, YouTube perpetually evolves to provide cutting-edge forms of entertainment. Amidst 360° videos, virtual reality, and broadcast-channel services, YouTube viewership is poised to outshine traditional television.
YouTube’s record-breaking reach stretches to all aspects of the entertainment industry, from TV and movies to music and games. YouTube Red Originals include a growing list of digital films and series that aim to take market share from traditional outlets. Today, more people view music videos on YouTube than any other platform. The biggest song of 2017, Despacito (Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee), quickly surpassed YouTube behemoths See You Again (Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth) and Gangnam Style (PSY). Despacito is nearing 4 billion views, an unprecedented amount in any form of media.
YouTube has a similarly strong influence on the gaming world. YouTube Gaming is a subset of the media site. The kid-friendly hub includes dedicated game channels that post reviews, commentary, and live streams of playtime. YouTube Gaming is establishing an increasingly strong sense of community, where players and viewers can engage in live chat. This month, YouTube Gaming has begun offering sponsorships to creators.
Sponsorship is just one of many ways that YouTubers can make money. In fact, the top gaming channels earn millions per year. Such high levels of revenue are directly related to the popularity of each channel. As a result, YouTubers and the gaming industry benefit from this relationship. Popular games drive up YouTube views, and popular YouTube videos drive up game interest.
The wide variety of YouTube channels mirrors that of cable television. Channels such as Kinda Funny Games and Dunkey are akin to comedy stations. Both YouTubers offer funny takes on new and old games. Other humor-filled channels, like JackSepticEye and Markiplier, have evolved over time. Both channels started as more direct game channels, offering a plethora of playthrough videos. Now, they produce a variety of video content, with many entries unrelated to gaming.
Traditional gaming outlets are perfectly viable on YouTube, too. Industry staples IGN and GameSpot host breaking tech news, through game reviews, and plenty of editorial content. The immediacy of the internet has rendered video game magazines rather obsolete. With millions of subscribers and exponentially growing view counts, the most popular YouTube gaming channels have an immensely powerful effect on the physical world.
The hottest YouTubers are on top of trending topics. When fidget spinners swept the nation earlier this year, hip YouTubers released videos about the toys. Everyone from Dude Perfect to Mr. Boom showcased real fidget spinners to tens of millions of viewers. Other YouTubers brought a fidget spinner video game into the spotlight.
The online game Spinz.io was built upon a recipe for success: combine a real-world craze with a trending game genre. Fidget spinners were all the rage, and so were .io games. When the JackSepticEye and PewDiePie joined forces in June 2017, their Spinz.io YouTube video helped drive the game to peak popularity.
Spinz.io isn’t the only title to benefit from YouTube. Happy Wheels is a 7-year-old web game, but it’s still one of the most popular. This is due largely in part to a series of Happy Wheels videos from top YouTubers Kwebbelkop and DanTDM. Both channels released popular video series based on Happy Wheels. The large amount of YouTube views directly resulted in a resurgence in game popularity. And, the relationship is mutual.
Summing Up the Stats
15 years ago, YouTube didn’t exist. 10 years ago, it used a potentially dangerous amount of bandwidth. Today, YouTube’s servers safely handle 1 billion hours of viewing time per day. It’s one of the most popular websites in existence, and gaming has become a primary portion of its offerings. As YouTube Gaming expands, so will the popularity of the titles it features. Many of the most played web games, such as the entire .io genre, owe much of their success to YouTube. Look for this relationship to cultivate new hits while reviving others.