As we have previously covered, live streaming video games is a big industry with some major corporations involved. YouTube Gaming, which has been live for 2 weeks, was initially marketed as a major competitor to Twitch, who sees 100 millions visitors every month, but YouTube Gaming is quickly becoming a living example of how a well planned marketing strategy is just as valuable as brand awareness. With video games and related content being the highest watched content on YouTube, it is not hard to see why Google took the gambler to build their own platform. Unfortunately, with the top streams on YouTube Gaming rarely breaking 10k concurrent viewers, this new platform may be destined to share the same fate as Google Glasses.
Currently the only way to access YouTube Gaming is directly through their URL gaming.youtube.com and considering the same functions are still available on YouTube proper, the push for YouTube’s bigger stars to make the switch hasn’t happened. We ran a poll during the summer, when YouTube Gaming was first announced, working with influencers and ambassadors in the esports and video game space to ask their audience which platform they will use. Our poll results showed Twitch being the clear winner, with over 50% more votes than YouTube Gaming, and judging by the current viewer numbers our polling technology was completely accurate. YouTube Gaming is still very young and has a lot of potential for growth, but considering that Twitch continues to remain popular, YouTube might never fully pick up the pace it needs to remain competitive and considering how weak of a showing it has head right out of the gate it might never get that chance. The success of this new platform is tied to those who use it and is dependent on some of the bigger names from Twitch moving over to YouTube, but so far there has not been enough of an incentive for that migration to happen.
With YouTube going through the effort create an entirely new platform to compete against Twitch, it would make sense for Google to make itself stand out and not settle for a “me too” attitude. Unfortunately, besides the initial announcement during the summer and the presence at gaming events, such as PAX Prime which ran the weekend after it’s launch, YouTube gaming has remained relatively quiet. Most of the buzz about the platform has come from indirect sources who are quoting statistics from the initial press release and the biggest publicity I’ve seen so far is by having the YouTube Gaming app be a Featured App in the Google Play Store.If this trend continues Youtube Gaming might end before it ever gets the chance to evolve into something unique.