By: Tyler Whiteman
An untapped area for advertising that has been on the rise for years is finally being used to its fullest potential. This resource is video games. When most people hear video games, they think of hermits who sit in their mom’s basement for days on end with no sunlight drinking monster energy drinks. This isn’t the case though. Video games have become a mainstream form of entertainment with 2.6 billion people across the world playing. That is roughly a third of the world’s population being a reachable advertising audience.
A new booming industry with in the last five to 10 years is streaming. No not streaming like Netflix but people live streaming themselves playing video games for others to watch. This new industry has created some of the newest and biggest influencers out there. The biggest platform that streamers use is a platform called Twitch. Twitch has 15 million active viewers on the site each day, and raking in a whopping 44 billion minutes of watch time a month. Two examples of how this industry is growing is that some individual streamers have been able to have 100,000 people watching at one time, while a few broadcasted tournaments on Twitch have had up to 1,000,000 viewers at once. This is a lot of people that can consume advertising. Companies simply pay Twitch and they will run ads on any channel that has hit affiliate status or higher. By doing this, advertisements can reach channels that have anywhere from 5 to 1,000,000 people watching. Another way ads are being ran on Twitch is by companies sponsoring streamers to play games and do an ad read every so often throughout the game, sometimes a company will even ask the streamer to put the product in the title of the stream. This way, the brand can guarantee that their product is being featured.
The next big thing in gaming is the rise of eSports. eSports used to be a passtime but now eSports is competing with mainstream sports like the NBA. Competitors are filling stadiums and other venues, creating stars, and have huge prize pools. Some tournaments have had first place prizes of up to $1,000,000. So, like any other mainstream sports companies started sponsoring teams to compete in leagues or tournaments. The companies give them money to recruit the best players and coaches and when they win everyone sees their logo and knows about that company. Another way companies are getting into esports is by sponsoring the events themselves. This works a lot like the Super Bowl. A company pays to be the sponsor so like bud light beer. Pepsi was the first company to do this. They ended up sponsored the Rocket League Championship Series. Soon after Master-Card did a multimillion-dollar multiyear contract and sponsorship with League of Legends.
Finally, we have to talk about YouTube. A YouTube channel can allow the streamer to have an editor chop up parts of the stream and upload it to YouTube for anyone who couldn’t make it to the stream to watch. YouTube is the third most visited site in the world with lots of ads in it already. Streamers and companies have the ability to choose where and what ads to show on each channel, which allows companies in charge of the advertisements to be able to pinpoint the audience they are trying to reach. According to the study done by Milad Dehghani, doing this will not only allow you to reach the audience you would like but will allow you to get a greater response from that audience. The numbers do not move much from the mean but every little bit counts.
Dehghani, M., Niaki, M., Ramezani, I., & Sali, R. (2016, February 11). Evaluating the influence of YouTube advertising for attraction of young customers. Retrieved November 19, 2020, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563216300450?casa_token=A2bd-Dl_yMAAAAAA%3AswaaO20kL3a70FH5K_1FyJP62tc1MZn1fzQHynohBTGAgRw4brHoL-wmTIU-YfL8lXmivV7nyAU.
Food, T. (2020, July 10). Twitch marketing: A world of advertising opportunities. Retrieved November 19, 2020, from https://brand24.com/blog/twitch-marketing/
Menz, H. (2020, June 10). What the Rise of eSports Means for Brands. Retrieved November 19, 2020, from www.thedrum.com/opinion/2020/06/10/what-the-rise-esports-means-brands.