Greg Jarboe wrote a post earlier today that talked about Google’s new Think Insights site.  On this new research site is a neat study from YouTube about the attraction of video to gamers, which is something you probably knew but were never able to quite quantify.  For instance, the channel PewDiePie will soon be the most subscribed channel on YouTube, and it’s pretty much video game walkthroughs and commentary.  Smosh, the current #1, got boosted by its introduction of Smosh Games.  Machinima is a top 10 channel based on gaming culture.  So what did Think Insights find out?

Interesting Things to Take from the YouTube Gamer Study

1. The proliferation of mobile.

YouTube is quick to point out that the year-over-year increase in video gaming content views from 2011 to 2012 had a lot to do with mobile devices.  One in three views came from mobile devices, twice as many as 2011.

2. When gamers watch videos.

Sweet spots:

  • Weekend views saw an 18 percent increase day-over-day.
  • Summer was the best time for gaming views: June saw a 17 percent increase month-over-month, and it stayed constant through July and August.
  • 32 percent of views happened between 6 PM and 10 PM, which is the traditional prime time viewing habits for most television viewers.  As always with a stat like this, this does not mean to ignore the other times of the day: 5 PM was on the level with 6 PM, and there are a lot of views happening in the afternoon and first couple of hours past midnight.

3. What kind of gaming content?

They broke it down to 7 categories by looking at 170 videos representing the top 10 console games of 2012:

  • Announcement: brands releasing previews and first looks, 1-3 minutes long.
  • Gameplay Demo: Basically same as an announcement, only with game mechanics, usually released at E3, and 5-15 minutes long.
  • Launch: This game will soon be available for purchase, 1-3 minutes long.
  • Game-Powered Entertainment: Community-generated content, parodies: less than 5 minutes long.
  • Tutorial: Community-generated how-to, 1-5 minutes long.
  • Walkthrough: Community-generated gameplay content, more than 15 minutes.
  • Review: Third-party review, 4-5 minutes long.

YouTube found that “Game-Powered Entertainment” drove most of the views, at 39 percent of all gaming-related content.  Announcements were at 24 percent.  Overall, the amount of content was about 50-50 between brands and community.

4. The trends with gaming content

  • What they watched pre-and-post-launch.  Before the game came out, gamers watched the content from brands most.  Which makes sense, since hardly anyone is going to have the game to play and put community-generated content out before the game’s release.  YouTube cites a study (from Ipsos MediaCT that I can’t quite locate, unfortunately) that 92 percent of gamers research a game before making a purchase, and that video is the main source of information.
  • Certain kinds of content on certain kinds of screens.  Pre-launch, desktops are the main source, and when the game came out, it was about 50-50 between desktops and mobile.  It is believed that the mobile devices start coming into play during the game’s release because gamers are using those in tandem with their own big screen gaming experience.
  • Engagement.  The brand-released videos had more shares and comments, while the community-generated content had more “likes” and “dislikes” per view.

5. Correlation to sales.

Of course, YouTube found a correlation to sales when comparing it to the amount of views a video gets and how many units it eventually sells.  I never really find these to be all that shocking.  I think that, for sure, video gamers have an interest in a game through the videos they watch and from all the other information in magazines and on TV.  If the game looks awesome, then it’s likely to be shared amongst friends and generate lots of excitement.  For the record, YouTube found a 99 percent correlation between views and sales when it came to the top 10 console games.  They acknowledge that this correlation needs deeper analysis.

For more on the study, click on over here.