For some time now, gaming video content - most popular characterized by Let's Play videos - has become something of a mainstream phenomenon with younger viewers, and the latest report has it that the entertainment medium is steadily superseding primetime television. While more popular YouTube personalities like PewDiePie and Markiplier may be the most readily citable examples of gaming video content creators, numerous other personalities and independent channels have sprung up over the course of the past several years.
As a result, more and more younger consumers who represent the 20-30-something age demographic are cutting the cord with basic and premium cable providers and taking to the internet to watch original gaming video content curated by their favorite web-based personalities instead. Undoubtedly, it's become something of a cliché for those out of touch with the trend to dismiss Let's Play videos for possessing little more in the way of value than letting someone, "Watch someone else play video games," but the latest research and statistics may shock those who still have faith in the longevity of primetime television.
According to SuperData Research, a grand total of 665 million independent consumers are opting to watch gaming video content over primetime television. Of that 665 million, 46% are women and the highest average income per consumer stands at $58K in the U.S. alone. Furthermore, more people are opting to watch gaming video content than HBO, Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu combined; and ad revenue and consumer spending for gaming video content is expected to reach $4.6 billion by the end of this year.
Based on these findings, it is well nigh impossible for TV executives and the entertainment industry at large to continue ignoring this rising and dominant trend in viewer habits among Millennials and others. If things continue to develop as they already have for gaming video content creators, than YouTube will truly become a network unto itself capable of continuing to give the likes of HBO and Netflix a real run for their money.
Many primetime television viewers who still hold the small screen to a higher standard than gaming video content are a rapidly declining consumer pool, meaning major entertainment enterprises, corporations, and conglomerates will have to consider backing more and more YouTube personalities in the future. Regardless of how you feel about the popularity of Let's Play videos, their hold on the attention of mainstream would-be TV viewers is remarkable and not something to be taken lightly.
Source: SuperData Research