The Power of Gaming Influencers

Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry and has created a sub-industry of industry-specific influencers or KOLs (key opinion leaders) who wield considerable power in shaping the world of gaming.

Gone are the days when gaming was considered a niche, nerd activity. Today, it is not uncommon for gaming influencers - influencers primarily known for live streaming or posting videos of themselves playing video games, and/or commenting on video games via social media - to have millions of followers.

In fact, new data from YouGov shows that over four in 10 of the entire global adult population now follow a social media influencer across a range of interests and almost one in 10 consumers now follow a gaming influencer. That number increases to 17 percent amongst those aged 18-34, and 23 percent among men aged 18-34.

According to the new report by YouGov, the clout of influencers differs between regions. With one of the highest internet penetrations in the world, the UAE has the biggest percentage of influencer followers at 75 percent, followed by Indonesia at 73 percent. In general, countries with younger populations have a higher percentage of influencer followers than countries with older populations and Asian countries typically have a higher percentage of influencers followers than countries in Europe.

When it comes to industry, food is by far the biggest category globally at 16 percent, with health being the next with 12 percent. Gaming influencers come in at nine percent, however it is one of the fastest growing categories, and that number increases significantly for those between 18-24. Furthermore, if we look at men, gaming influencers are the top influencer group, on par with sport, music and food.

There is an increase in the number of game streamers who post content, with more and more mid-sized and micro-influencers entering the market. According to data from Stream Hatchet, Twitch had 4.3 million channels posting live gaming content in Q3 2019; that number had reached 11.4 million in Q2 2021.

Not surprisingly, the number of viewers is also increasing. Since Q3 2019, the number of hours spent consuming live gaming content has more than doubled from 3.8 billion hours to eight billion hours in Q2 2021. Twitch is by far the largest platform, driving seven billion hours in Q2 2021 alone.

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