You wouldn’t associate gamers with sporting professionals 15 years ago, heck maybe even 5 years ago, eSports was still unheard of. But in the current era of decreasing attention spans and content overload, gamers have found an arena to flourish in.
There are currently even eSport professionals and gaming content creators that have salaries far exceeding the biggest sporting stars in Australia, and their market value is on the rise.
What exactly is a professional gamer?
There are two distinct types of professional gamers: an eSport professional and a content creator. Both with huge fan bases and varied audiences that watch their content for hours on a weekly basis.
- eSport professional: A gamer under contract by a team who competes in tournaments and trains, scrims and practices with their team and coach like any sporting team would. They earn big money from sponsors & endorsements, and if they are the best, huge prize money from global tournaments.
- Content creators/streamers: Similar to regular content creators on YouTube, these gamers are working 12-14 hours a day by live streaming on Twitch while also creating content to upload on YouTube. For the popular streamers, their average concurrent viewers can range from 20K-50K, and on a good day 500K+ if Drake decides to join the party.
Where can my brand be seen?
You may or may not have heard of Twitch, a live streaming service purchased by Amazon (during a bidding war with Google) in 2014 for a cool $970US million. That number is pretty staggering, considering the fact that all you do on this website is watch other people play video games. A number even more gobsmacking is the valuation of twitch as of October 2019, $3.79 billion.
Twitch’s biggest rival in the live streaming market is Mixer, owned by another multinational trillion-dollar company, Microsoft. The rivalry has definitely become heated with Microsoft offering some of Twitch’s biggest streamers ridiculous amounts of money to jump ship and stream exclusively on Mixer.
The landscape is becoming increasingly more competitive with YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming seeing increased numbers. Though Amazon saw the gold mine early and understood just how big it could become. Judging from these statistics in 2018, 15 million daily active users are streaming live content on Twitch.
It’s no secret that businesses have been putting ad spend towards Twitch’s IAB display, video media, and native products, but the real opportunity lies within a streamer’s community.
Okay, by now I’m sure you’ve read enough of me nerding out and you’re probably wondering how exactly are gamers becoming the new influencers on the block? Well firstly, they are complying with the normal rules that apply to your regular influencers on Instagram, following AANA guidelines and placing the #ad tag within the title of their stream when it is sponsored.
Secondly, large gaming companies are paying amounts of up to $1 million for gamers to live stream their new games on release – sounds like an influencer to me! The streamers audience isn’t only interested in video games, with a unique demographic the opportunity to promote a relevant brand is huge.
How brands can get involved
Brands have realised the potential behind this highly engaged audience and are getting on board. Don’t have a client that makes video games? Not to worry! Just like regular influencers, streamers are becoming a part of campaigns that are promoting relevant brands and products to their audience on stream. Whether it’s a shoutout during the stream, an image on their interface or physically using the product during the stream, they have found ways to reach and convert their community.
The core of Twitch’s audience demographic is dominated by males, at 65%, with 73% aged between 16-34. If your client’s key audience falls into this demographic and you aren’t actively spending with Twitch, it may be time to do so!