Think Gaming Content on YouTube Is Niche? Think Again

Think Gaming Content on YouTube Is Niche? Think Again

Gaming has woven its way into all areas of pop culture—sports, music, television, and more. Its appeal goes far beyond teenage boys (women are now the largest video game-€“playing demographic!). So it’s no surprise that gaming content has taken off on YouTube. Why? As one gaming creator put it, “You don’t have to play soccer to enjoy it on TV.” From an advertiser’s perspective, gaming content is a rare breed—one that delivers engagement and reach. Even if your brand isn’t part of the gaming industry, you can get in on the action. Gautam Ramdurai, insights lead, pop culture and gaming at Google, explains how.

Take a broad look at pop culture, and you’ll see that “gaming” is tightly woven into its fabric. It’s everywhere—€”in music, television, movies, sports, and even your favorite cooking shows. And as gaming content on YouTube takes off, gaming is becoming not only something people do but also something they watch.

A generation (18—€“34-year-old millennials) has grown up on gaming. For them, having a gaming console was as ordinary as having a TV. They can probably still recall blowing into game cartridges and wondering if it made a difference. And if they grew up on gaming, they came of age in the YouTube era. Many now consider it the best platform to explore their passions. (Platforms surveyed include AOL,,, Facebook, Hulu, Instagram,, Tumblr, Vimeo, and YouTube.) This convergence has resulted in an abundance of gaming content, and brands interested in connecting with this interested and engaged audience should take note.

An engaged community and culture

Just how popular is gaming? A Nielsen report shows that about two-thirds of the U.S. population (64%) plays video games on some device. And game launches can draw crowds that match even the biggest blockbuster movie audiences. Take, for instance, the highest-grossing movie of 2014 to date, Transformers: Age of Extinction. In its 15 weeks at the box office, the film took in over $1B worldwide. By comparison, the Grand Theft Auto V game launch hit that figure in the first week of release last year. It became the fastest-selling entertainment product in history and broke another five sales records along the way, according to Guinness World Records.

Interest in gaming is also soaring on YouTube. In 2014, the second-most searched topic on YouTube is actually a game: Minecraft. What’s more, it’s not just the volume of views that is impressive. It’s the level of engagement and time spent with gaming content that should make marketers do a double-take.

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Suite of Free Tools

$0.45 USD - $4.00 USD

Note: The accepted formula that Auxiliary Mode Inc. uses to calculate the CPM range is $0.45 USD - $25.00 USD.

The range fluctuates this much because many factors come into play when calculating a CPM. Quality of traffic, source country, niche type of video, price of specific ads, adblock, the actual click rate, watch time and etc.

Cost per thousand (CPM) is a marketing term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. If a website publisher charges $2.00CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of its ad. The "M" in CPM represents the Roman numeral for 1,000.

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