Even if you don’t follow or work in the gaming industry, you’ve probably heard of Fortnite by now. It’s all anyone is talking about, and for good reason. The Epic Games title recently claimed the glory of most uploaded videos related to a single video game in a single month ever on YouTube, with a tournament of the game on March 25 setting a record for the biggest single live gaming stream with 1.1 million concurrent views (and, according to Tubular data, the most-engaged Fortnite video of all time!). Fortnite also beat the much-loved Minecraft to become the most-viewed game on YouTube in February with 2.4 billion total views!
But why does all this matter to you? Because when you’re trying to figure out what content to create or distribute next on your social video accounts, there’s no better option than to capitalize on a massively popular craze happening right now — and that’s Fortnite. Brands from many different industries can take advantage of this game’s explosive success to bolster their own social video strategies, either through sponsorships, licensing, or original content.
To better understand what kinds of Fortnite videos have garnered attention lately, let’s take a look at some of the most-watched online videos, both sponsored and original content, which feature the game. As we’ll see below, these clips range from original user-generated content to gameplay footage to fail montages. So here we go…
YouTube and Instagram Claim Most Views and Engagement for Fortnite Videos
We could write plenty about all the most-watched Fortnite videos across social video platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, but for the sake of brevity, we’re only going to address the top five here. These are the most-watched videos of all time featuring the Epic Games title, according to exclusive Tubular data:
- “Fortnite Battle Royale – Gameplay Trailer (Play Free Now!)”
- “32 Kill Solo Squads!! Fortnite Battle Royale Gameplay – Ninja”
- “The Fortnite Rap Battle | #NerdOut ft Ninja, CDNThe3rd, Dakotaz, H2O Delirious & More”
- “HAVE YOU SEEN DESTROYED TILTED TOWERS YET!? *NEW* Fortnite Funny Fails & WTF Moments”
- “Fortnite is life smh my girl got to let me be”
Unsurprisingly, the most-watched Fortnite clip is an official gameplay trailer on YouTube. I say “unsurprisingly” because in general, trailers for movies or games perform very well in terms of views after their release on YouTube. This is definitely the case with this clip, which to date has generated 42.4 million views ever since its release in September 2017. Around 5.9 million of these showed up in the first 30 days, which means over the last six months alone, the hype around Fortnite created 36.5 million more views!
The next three videos all hail from YouTube, as well. The second most-watched Fortnite clip features gameplay content of creator Ninja earning 32 kills in one match, a spectacle which has attracted 21.5 million views to date. An original rap video about the Epic Games title, a collaboration between multiple YouTube creators, came in third with 21.3 million views of all time. Fourth, we have a livestream of Fortnite fails and funny moments with 19.2 million views to date. Last but not least is a video uploaded to Facebook by the creator Chicklet.HF; the user-generated clip shows his girlfriend getting mad at him playing Fortnite while hiding from her in the couch, an undoubtedly relatable situation for many friends and family of dedicated gamers as the video pulled in 16.7 million total views.
While Fortnite fans are willing to watch a lot of YouTube videos, they seem just as eager to interact with content on Instagram. Out of the top five most-engaging Fortnite videos of all time, two are from the official Fortnite Instagram account. The second-highest clip in terms of engagement was a post revealing a new character skin; in just seven days, the video saw an amazing engagement rate of 2.8x (about 1.8x higher than the baseline average!). The other Instagram post, announcing an upcoming in-game portable fort ability, placed #5 with an average 3-day engagement rate of 2.6x. And as we noted in the introduction, the most-engaged Fortnite video was a 3-hour long tournament between Spanish YouTubers which generated a whopping 5x rate in just seven days!
Sponsored Fortnite Videos Cover Gameplay, Entertainment
Now that we’ve seen what type of original content grabs the attention and interaction of viewers, let’s check out the most popular sponsored videos by the game itself and its publisher Epic Games. After all, if part of a brand’s content strategy is to also sponsor content, knowing what works in this realm will help shape those strategies and make them the best they can be.
A quick search in Tubular’s Dealmaker product reveals Fortnite has officially sponsored 25 different partners on 35 videos, while Epic Games has teamed with 270 partners to produce 1182 videos. These 1217 clips have pulled in 351.6 million views to date across Facebook and YouTube, with YouTube claiming the majority of these views at 350 million. That shouldn’t be a surprise, though, considering how we just discovered the huge popularity of Fortnite clips on Google’s online video platform. In addition, the top five most-watched, sponsored videos were led by Epic Games. All together, the top five most-watched sponsored videos about Epic Games’ hit title pulled in 42.1 million total views out of the total 351.6 million on their own!
- “Fortnite Song | Dancing On Your Body | (Battle Royale) #NerdOut! ”
- “Fortnite Funny Moments – Launching the Rocket! (Gameplay)”
- “NERF Fortnite Battle Royale Challenge!”
- “Fortnite FAILS & Epic Moments #1 (Funny Moments Battle Royale Compilation)”
- “Defend the EPIC Fort vs Huge ZOMBIE ATTACK! (Fortnite Multiplayer Gameplay Part 1)”
The most-watched sponsored Fortnite video on YouTube claimed a massive 12.1 million views. This clip, uploaded by the YouTube music and dance channel NerdOut! in January 2018, saw an average 30-day view count (V30) of 780K and an average 30-day engagement rate (ER30) of 2.2x. Ironically, NerdOut! was also the channel which uploaded the third most-watched original Fortnite video of all time, which was the rap battle clip we covered earlier. Clearly, this particular creator is an excellent match for Epic Games, as its audience seems ready to click “play” the moment a new video is released.
Two of the top five most-watched, sponsored Fortnite videos cover the genre of fails and funny moments. “Fortnite Funny Moments – Launching the Rocket! (Gameplay)” from popular YouTube gamer VanossGaming claimed 10 million views to land at #2, while also generating an impressive 4.1 million V30 and much higher-than-average 2.8x ER30. “Fortnite FAILS & Epic Moments #1 (Funny Moments Battle Royale Compilation)” from Prestige Clips landed at #4 with 7.8 million views, 2.5 million V30, and 2x ER30. The final two videos of the top five sponsored Fortnite videos hailed from Battle Universe (who placed third with 8.1 million views thanks to a real-life Nerf battle in Fortnite style) and BaronVonGames (whose fifth place video generated 4.1 million views).
What Can Brands Learn from Fortnite?
So what’s the lesson here? Well, brands interested in creating Fortnite-related content (or almost any game-related content, for that matter) need to pay attention to a couple things. First of all, depending on brand goals, they should create videos optimized for either views or engagement and distribute on the platforms which are more likely to produce those results. In the case of Fortnite, for example, gaming fans seem heavily involved on YouTube and Instagram in terms of views and engagement, while they occasionally turn to Facebook for viral clips related to their favorite games.
Second, brands should pay attention to the type of content which wins over gaming fans. The Fortnite videos analyzed here show content in the form of gameplays, highlights, announcements, and viral entertainment generates lots of views and engagement. The highest-performing sponsored content from Epic Games in terms of views included gameplay footage, original entertainment creations, and humorous fail compilations. A somewhat surprising type of video missing from these categories is the how-to or guide; many gamers love watching these clips to improve their own skills, but it seems this isn’t what results in high-performing sponsored videos, at least for Fortnite.
Hopefully at this point, you can see why people have obsessed over Fortnite for the last few months, and how Epic Games capitalized on that achievement. Now it’s your turn; how will you work the Fortnite craze, or similar ones like it in the future, into your video strategy?