YouTube really didn’t have a good time of it in 2017 with ad revenue plummeting by 50% year on year, according to data collected by Superdata Research. Google’s poor handling of a number of key controversial issues is cited as the chief reason, forcing advertisers to abandon the video-on-demand platform in droves.
The total revenue generated by gaming video content was $3.2 billion, with just 22% of this ($700m) heading YouTube’s way. It was left to Twitch to scoop up the benefits of YouTube’s ailing fortunes, garner 54% of the total revenue and amassing $1.7 billion. For gaming content, Twitch is now more than twice as successful as YouTube.
Advertisers' issues with YouTube can be traced back to a number of key moments, but it’s thought the backlash from PewDiePie’s now-infamous racial slur moment was a big reason for advertisers moving away from uncensored, potentially offensive content. YouTube didn’t do itself any favours by implementing a new algorithm designed to demonetise offensive videos. The algorithm is ultimately flawed, occasionally targeting inoffensive videos. A number of popular YouTuber’s moved to Twitch after this, bringing their audience with them. “Due to its poor handling of public relations, YouTube became a much less attractive destination for advertisers and GVC (Gaming Video Content) content creators,” says Superdata.
One other interesting statistic is just how much more engaged Twitch viewers are than YouTube. 51% of Twitch’s gaming revenue came from subscriptions and donations; fans actually willing to drop cash to support their favourite content creators. Ad revenue was only relied on for 20 percent of the revenue. Compare this to YouTube, which is almost entirely ad-driven. 69% of its revenue comes from direct advertising, while a further 11% comes from sponsored content.
In short, right now if you’re making gaming-related video content, Twitch looks to be the place to be. A 50% drop in revenue in a single year for YouTube is absolutely gigantic, indicative perhaps that Twitch has well and truly won the battle for gaming content.
Where do you go for gaming-related videos? Have you found yourself switching from YouTube to Twitch? Let us know!