Gaming video content (GVC) has grown extremely popular in recent years, and thanks to pandemic-induced lockdowns, the use of gaming streaming platforms has skyrocketed.
With lockdown restrictions easing in 2021, GVC could have easily lost its viewership. However, data shows that the industry won’t stop any time soon. Currently, its estimated worth is $178.73 billion.
Three of the biggest names in the gaming video content industry are Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. How are they different? Which one should you use for your marketing campaign? To help you select the platform that fits your influencer marketing strategy, we’ve broken down the essentials for video game marketers to consider.
In 2021, Twitch dominated more than 70% of the game streaming market with 5.79 billion of total hours watched. The platform currently has 30 million active daily users and 140 million unique monthly users. It also has 9.2 million active streamers with more than 7 million going live each month.
In the same year, Facebook Gaming took up almost 16% of the market. With 1.29 billion total hours watched, the platform overtook YouTube Gaming’s stats for the first time. 2021 also saw 400,000 unique channels and over 11,000 broadcasted games on the platform. Moreover, 230 million users are active monthly in over 600,000 Facebook Gaming groups.
Both Twitch and Facebook Gaming increased over 45% year-over-year in terms of total hours watched. At the end of 2021, Twitch reached over 24 billion hours watched, while Facebook Gaming users watched a total of 5.3 billion hours on the platform.
But you can’t ignore YouTube Gaming’s achievements. With 1.13 billion hours watched, the platform occupied almost 14% of the market in 2021. In the first half of the year alone, the platform already saw 800 billion gaming-related views, 90 million hours of livestream content and over 250 million gaming-related uploads. Moreover, 80,000 of its 40 million active gaming channels have 100,000 subscribers.
YouTube Gaming had an average of almost 600,000 concurrent viewers in the second quarter of 2021.
Additionally, Facebook Gaming, despite having fewer streamers, managed a peak viewership of 38 million.
Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook have many similarities when it comes to their target audience. However, their differences become more pronounced in the content that they release.
Twitch is a popular platform for live gameplay. Many of its users employ livestreams almost exclusively, with streamers interacting with their fans regardless of what they play or do. Aside from gaming, Twitch is also a popular avenue for other forms of content such as reviews and talk shows where viewers can offer real-time reactions.
In contrast, YouTube shifts between livestreams and pre-recorded videos. Most viewers also use YouTube to learn something new. Using YouTube for entertainment isn’t a top priority for its users, who search the platform instead for solutions that allow them to fix things themselves or to learn how to do a new hobby.
Through pre-recordings that are meant to be watched several times, YouTube offers content that is significantly more fine tuned and polished compared to Twitch’s raw, uncut streaming.
As for Facebook, the platform includes a mix of content that usually aims at engaging with others. Facebook Gaming allows streamers to go live through the website itself. This makes it easier for audiences to encounter and engage with their stream. Streamer can immediately archive their broadcast on their page, where they can either share it or put it on in private.
In all cases, Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook place a premium on engagement; Twitch capitalizes on live interactions, YouTube makes use of comments and shares, while Facebook maximizes social media integration.
Twitch streams are typically long, lasting one up to 10 hours (in a rarer case, though, a Twitch Stream had gone on for 31 days). Interactions during a stream keep the show running. But more than that, they also help content creators connect with their audience. In turn, chatting with their favorite streamer can be engaging for audiences.
On the flip side, most users keep YouTube video-on-demand (VOD) content between 10 to 15 minutes long. While there may be longer videos, YouTube stream durations are generally short. Unlike Twitch, audiences interact with one another in the comments section, taking away the level of real-time interaction that Twitch provides. Instead, YouTube’s edge is in automatically directing audiences to related videos on that channel.
Conversely, Facebook Gaming has a 12-hour streaming limit. Once users have reached the cap, the stream automatically closes. Gamers typically stream between a minute to about eight hours, depending on the game. Facebook Gaming users can also see comments from audiences, but there’s hardly any interaction until after the game is done.
For Twitch, the most popular game of all time based on the number of views is League of Legends. It reached 42.5 billion views in July 2021, generating a lead of almost 41% against Fortnite (25.16 billion views).
Also included in Twitch’s list of most watched games are Counter Strike: Global Offensive (19.4 billion), Grand Theft Auto V (17.53 billion), DOTA 2 (17.15 billion), Hearthstone (12.61 billion), World of Warcraft (10.26 billion), Minecraft (8.68 billion), Overwatch (7.6 billion), and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (3.77 billion).
Overall, shooter games were the most popular video game genre on Twitch, taking up more than a quarter of the platform’s total hours watched. Other top genres for Twitch include multiplayer online battle arenas (12.99% total hours watched), Battle Royale (10.4%), other streams (10.4%), adventure games (8.1%), survival games (6.6%), sports games (5.1%), MMO Role-Playing Games (RPG) (4.6%), and action RPG (3.5%).
Real Life streams, which focus on niche hobbies, talents, and vlogs, follow with almost 16% of total hours watched.
Meanwhile, Minecraft is the most watched game on YouTube, surpassing 1 trillion views in December 2021. Trailing closely are fellow metaverse platforms like Fortnite and Roblox. Also included in YouTube’s top 10 are Grand Theft Auto V and Free Fire, both PUBG Mobile and its desktop version, League of Legends, Brawl Stars, and Mobile Legends.
As for Facebook Gaming, its tie-up with the social media platform has been advantageous. For one, it enables content creators to efficiently stream on mobile. Thus, compared to Twitch and YouTube Gaming, the most popular titles on Facebook Gaming are mobile-only. Furthermore, these games are more popular to audiences outside of the US.
PUBG Mobile, an adaptation of the PC game, dominates the platform in terms of popularity with 11.7 million followers. Other games that are great for streaming on the platform are Free Fire - Battlegrounds (9.5 million followers), Mobile Legends (6.4 million), Grand Theft Auto V (5.5 million), Fortnite (4.4 million), Among Us (445,000), and Valorant (400,800).
Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook all have APIs that allow users to access their channel analytics. There are also various online solutions that provide in-depth analytics for each platform. This gives brands insight into their stream engagements, which they can use to understand their audience better and make informed decisions in future campaigns.
Twitch Insights provides game developers ideas on how the Twitch community perceives and interacts with their games. The platform also comes with an analytical system that assesses user behavior based on their viewership and how much of that can be converted into revenue. Advertisers can even quantify results and narrow down Top Twitch streamers to collaborate with for a potential Twitch marketing campaign.
In addition, Twitch has rolled out a self-service analytics tool for game developers, which allows them to access information about their game using the platform’s Game Analytics API. This essentially provides game developers a thorough insight into their Twitch ecosystem, helping them understand how to connect better with their community.
Similarly, YouTube’s Analytics API and Reporting API both allow channel and content owners to retrieve viewer data, which includes demographics such as the users’ country and activity timeline, and metrics, which deals with individual measurements like ratings, total video view, average view duration, and revenue estimates.
Using Social Blade can also help you monitor your online presence on YouTube. This includes tracking your figures, updating your stats, and quantifying your growth in the platform.
On the other hand, Facebook’s Business Manager develops Gaming insights. It allows you to view metrics across Facebook apps and ads. Facebook Gaming also has a Measurement Hub where you can monitor your campaign in real-time, compare results, as well as set up experiments through its Test and Learn feature. You can even take a free course on measurement foundations.
Stream Hatchet is also a great tool to use to help you monitor the top performing games on Facebook, pull detailed metrics from specific channels, and measure your viewership in aggregate.
Depending on several factors, prices for influencer sponsorships can vary. These variables, which are often not objective, may include followers, subscribers, and engagement.
While Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming influencers prefer partnerships based on the flat-fee payment model, marketers should come prepared for price negotiations with influencers.
Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook have different criteria when it comes to pricing bases. Brands and advertisers that use YouTube are usually set on the number of subscribers and average number of views that an influencer has.
Given YouTube’s large viewer landscape, it understandably has more influencers (as well as micro-influences) to tap. In 2021, the average cost-per-view of a YouTube video is $27 per 1,000 views. While some influencers charge based on the number of views, nano-influencers typically cost $20 to $200 per video.
Secondly, Facebook influencer rates are only a bit higher at $25 to $250 per post. An influencer with 1,000 followers, for example, can cost $25 per post. Alternatively, you can get an influencer with 10,000 followers for $250 per post. Mega-influencers, who have a million followers, can go as high as $20,000 and $25,000 per post.
Finally, Twitch is more concerned with the average number of concurrent views or the total viewer count for each hour of broadcast. Twitch also offers many options for brand promotion. While ad costs may be difficult to compute, advertisers should expect to shell out around $2 to $10 for each impression. On average, agencies charge $0.5 to $2.5 per viewer per hour.
Choosing between Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook isn’t necessarily easy. To know which one fits your brand better, consider the pros and cons of each platform.
Twitch vs. YouTube vs. Facebook isn’t a one-dimensional debate. Considering the key pros and cons for each in your specific influencer marketing campaign can help determine which platform you should choose.
There’s also no exclusivity among the three: video game marketers can leverage them all, and more easily with Cloutboost.