US Gaming Influencers: Why People Watch Gamers Market Report 2020
"Gaming influencers have been a beacon of joy for passionate players seeking community and digital connection amidst the physical isolation of COVID-19. As more people spend time indoors, the video…

US Gaming Influencers: Why People Watch Gamers Market Report 2020

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Covered in this report

When asked what the most important things they use technology for are on a weekly basis, the two most important functions were to stay informed and connect to social media (see Digital Trends: Consumer – US, April 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic put these needs into perspective, as people continue to crave information and connection while still looking to find some way to be entertained. Gaming content platforms satisfy all these needs by providing a communal setting for gamers to rally around their favorite interests. Gaming content can eventually be part of people’s regular routines, but they need to come into the content with at least a baseline understanding of what they’re interested in as it pertains to gaming content.

All reports purchased from the Mintel Store now come with free access to our COVID-19 Global Insights Hub, allowing you to understand how industries and consumer behaviour is changing worldwide.


What does the COVID-19 Global Insights Hub give you access to?

  • Over 450 pieces of research (with more published each week) addressing markets across the globe.
  • Discover how people in countries at different stages of the crisis are adjusting to the ‘new normal’.
  • Trending industries which have seen growth due to the changes in circumstance.
  • Our latest consumer research surveys, allowing you to see customers views right now.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Poelking, a leading analyst in the Gaming sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Nearly half of adults watch gaming content on some platform. Social networks such as YouTube and Facebook have built-in audiences that are getting introduced to gaming content, but platforms dedicated to gaming content such as Twitch and Mixer attract more hardcore gamers. With many non-gamers showing no interest, the growth of the gaming influencer market will be in tandem with the gaming market. John Poelking
Gaming Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
  2. Executive Summary

    • The market
      • Figure 1: Hours spent watching video game content, October 2019
      • Figure 2: Short, medium and longer term impact of COVID-19 on gaming and gaming influencers, May 2020
    • Gaming content platforms to watch
      • Figure 3: Platforms for gaming content, December 2019
    • Walkthrough of gaming content
    • Top takeaways
    • Key trends
    • Staying in during COVID-19 will introduce more viewers to gaming content
    • Personality matters
      • Figure 4: Why people watch video game content, December 2019
    • Action is more fun to watch than play
      • Figure 5: Favorite games to watch vs favorite games to play, 2019
    • Direct financial support for a burgeoning market
      • Figure 6: Supporting gaming influencers directly, December 2019
    • A loyal audience sticks by streamers
      • Figure 7: Attitudes toward loyalty to gaming influencers, December 2019
    • What it means
  3. The Impact of COVID-19 on Gaming Influencers

    • What you need to know
      • Figure 8: Short, medium and longer term impact of COVID-19 on gaming and gaming influencers, May 2020
    • Top takeaways for brands
    • Opportunities and threats
    • Gaming content can be a conduit for brands to reach a new audience
    • Flood of new influencers during quarantine provides a better chance to find the right partnership
    • Cross-category collaboration can draw new and established audiences
      • Figure 9: The Great One vs The Great Eight Presented by TekSynap, Caps Gaming Twitter, April 23, 2020
    • Brands can leverage their own built-in community of gamers
    • Lack of live events will hamper reach through the medium term…
    • …but digital events can bring people together
      • Figure 10: Fortnite x Travis Scott Astronomical Concert, April 27, 2020
    • The impact on the gaming industry
    • Gaming booms during stay-at-home orders and audiences will remain after quarantine
    • Consumers will seek out games to help them to relax and relieve stress
      • Figure 11: Top three reasons to play video games, December 2019
    • The impact on gaming content, influencers and followers
    • Gaming content will get more mainstream media coverage
    • Current followers will become even more engaged…
    • …while new viewers will enter the world of gaming influencers
    • A sense of community will drive viewers to support streamers/gaming influencers
      • Figure 12: #PlayApartTogether, Ubisoft tweet, May 1, 2020
    • How the crisis will impact key segments of gaming content followers
    • Young men will have more time to watch and produce gaming content
    • Teens use extra leisure time to create content, which drives the influencer market
    • Underrepresented gamers can find their place, leading to a wider reach
    • How a COVID-19 recession will reshape the market for gaming influencers
    • New industry makes historical comparisons difficult
    • Teen and young adult unemployment brings more engagement, less spend
      • Figure 13: Summer employment growth among workers aged 16-19 years, 2006-12
    • Free content will keep audiences engaged, but gaming followers will spend less
    • Narrowed interests deepen relationships, but limits reach
    • COVID-19: US context
  4. The Market – What You Need to Know

    • Gaming content consumption led by heavy users
    • Gaming interests will grow gaming content
    • Content creation is on the rise
    • Outside interests drive gaming innovations
  5. Video Game Viewing Overview

    • Gaming content consumption driven by active gamers
      • Figure 14: Hours spent watching video game content, October 2019
    • Social media sites amass billions of hours of gaming content
    • Twitch leads live streaming, but competition is hot on its heels
      • Figure 15: Global monthly streaming hours watched and platform market share, December 2018 vs December 2019
    • League of Legends and Fortnite dominate streaming hours
      • Figure 16: Top 10 publishers watched across all platforms, 2019
  6. The US Gamer: Who They Are and How They Play

    • Who are gamers?
      • Figure 17: Profile of US gamers, by key demographics, December 2019
    • Mobile attracts the largest audience
      • Figure 18: Gaming devices, December 2019
    • Gaming is a daily habit
      • Figure 19: Frequency of gaming and weekly hours, December 2019
    • Casual gaming is common
      • Figure 20: Reasons to play video games, December 2019
    • Puzzle and board games have the largest audience
      • Figure 21: Favorite gaming genres ranked, October 2019
  7. Market Perspective

    • Share of influencer followers is growing
      • Figure 22: Share of influencer followers, 2019 and 2020
    • Teens driving content creation
  8. Market Factors

    • Asian interests drive US trends in gaming content
    • Free games have become more important to gaming content
    • Streaming content needs to be mobile
    • Technology that informs, connects and entertains is essential amidst COVID-19 pandemic
      • Figure 23: Reasons to use technology, February 2019
  9. Key Players – What You Need to Know

    • Gaming platforms set up for future growth
    • Gaming influencers establish their importance in a crowded market
    • The dark side of gaming looms large
    • Shorter, collaborative gameplay extends an influencer’s reach
  10. Leading Platforms Overview

    • Twitch
    • What it is
      • Figure 24: Amazon Twitch Prime email, July 2019
    • Where it’s going
      • Figure 25: Twitch “Just Chatting” UFC banner advertisement, February 2020
    • Steam
    • What it is
    • Where it’s going
    • Discord
    • What it is
    • Where it’s going
    • Caffeine
    • What it is
    • Where it’s going
    • Mixer
    • What it is
    • Where it’s going
  11. What’s Moving the Market Forward

    • Facebook and YouTube making moves to strengthen gaming audience
    • Luring creators with lucrative exclusive deals
    • Celebrities enter as player one
    • Clans and collectives to keep content coming
      • Figure 26: @fazeclan Instagram post, February 2020
    • The importance of representation in an emerging market
    • Keep the conversation going on social channels
  12. What’s Holding the Market Back

    • Fighting predatory behavior online
    • Responding to violent video game content
  13. What to Watch

    • Creating gaming content with brands
      • Figure 27: @gillette Gaming Alliance Instagram post, February 2020
    • Capitalizing on the mobile gaming boom
    • Rewarding viewers for in-game challenges
    • Making clips easier to create and go viral
    • Bringing streamers into the real world
  14. The Consumer – What You Need to Know

    • Social media is the easiest entry point into gaming content
    • Entertaining personalities bring people to gaming discussions
    • The barriers to attracting new fans are miles high
    • Walkthroughs and live streams make gaming content stand out
    • Action genres are more appealing to watch than play
    • Find ways to support a growing market
    • Influencers are more than the games they play
    • Segmentation highlights unique opportunities among viewers
  15. Who Watches Gaming Content

    • Nearly half of adults watch gaming content
    • Social media reaches many gamers
    • Gaming platforms have room to grow
      • Figure 28: Platforms for gaming content, December 2019
    • Gaming demographics drive influencer content
      • Figure 29: Gaming content viewers, by share of gamers vs non-gamers, December 2019
      • Figure 30: Overview of gaming content viewers, by key demographics, December 2019
    • Many viewers only need a few sources for gaming content
      • Figure 31: Number of gaming content platforms viewed, December 2019
    • Some platforms are just for gaming
      • Figure 32: Share of gaming versus non-gaming content watched, by platform, December 2019
  16. Why People Watch Gaming Content

    • Entertainment is more important than skill
    • Relax, it’s just a game
    • There’s always room to improve
    • Personalities need to be good, but not great
    • Support the gaming community
      • Figure 33: Why people watch video game content, December 2019
    • Parents flock to personalities
      • Figure 34: Why people watch video game content, by parental status, December 2019
    • Games bring people to certain platforms
      • Figure 35: Why people watch video game content, by gaming content platform viewed, December 2019
  17. Why People Avoid Gaming Content

    • Disinterest and desire to play put barriers in front of gaming content
      • Figure 36: Why people avoid gaming content, December 2019
    • Young adults want to get to the games
      • Figure 37: Why people avoid gaming content, by age, December 2019
  18. Types of Gaming Videos

    • Timely, in-depth videos attract the most people to gaming videos
    • Learning how to play
    • Learning what to discuss
    • Learning how to participate
      • Figure 38: Types of gaming videos watched, December 2019
    • Millennials want to learn about games, Gen Z about gamers
      • Figure 39: Types of gaming videos watched, by generation, December 2019
    • Social Gamers look to stay informed
      • Figure 40: Types of gaming videos watched, by gamer segment, December 2019
    • Streaming platforms used for immediate reactions
      • Figure 41: Types of gaming videos watched, by gaming content platform used, December 2019
  19. Favorite Games to Watch

    • Competitive action games rise to the top
      • Figure 42: Favorite games to watch, December 2019
    • Gaps between what adults watch and what they play
      • Figure 43: Favorite games to watch vs favorite games to play, 2019
    • Closing the gender gap with story-based games
      • Figure 44: Favorite games to watch, by gender, December 2019
    • Twitch and Mixer users flock to action games
      • Figure 45: Favorite games to watch, by gaming content platform used, December 2019
  20. How Consumers Support Gaming Influencers

    • Influencer viewers want the right brand support
      • Figure 46: Attitudes toward advertising in gaming, video game content viewers vs gamers, December 2019
    • Viewers offer to support gaming influencers in multiple ways
      • Figure 47: Number of ways people support gaming influencers, December 2019
    • Most people support by subscribing and sharing
      • Figure 48: Supporting gaming influencers through social channels, December 2019
    • Gaming influencers can be the brand
      • Figure 49: Supporting gaming influencers directly, December 2019
    • Viewers support brands that help streamers
      • Figure 50: Supporting brands that support gaming influencers, December 2019
  21. Attitudes toward Gaming Influencers

    • Personality over prowess when deciding who to watch
      • Figure 51: Attitudes toward a gaming influencer’s skill, December 2019
    • Gameplay comes first
      • Figure 52: Attitudes toward gaming content and gameplay, December 2019
    • Viewers are loyal to streamers, and may switch platforms if necessary
      • Figure 53: Attitudes toward loyalty to gaming influencers, December 2019
    • Real life personas matter
      • Figure 54: Attitudes toward social gaming and meeting gaming influencers, December 2019
  22. Gaming Influencer Follower Segmentation

    • Factors
      • Figure 55: Gaming influencer follower segmentation, December 2019
    • Vacant Viewers (31%)
    • Demographics
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 56: Profile of Vacant Viewers, December 2019
    • Absorbed Allies (29%)
    • Demographics
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 57: Profile of Absorbed Allies, December 2019
    • Passive Players (23%)
    • Demographics
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 58: Profile of Passive Players, December 2019
    • Social Supporters (17%)
    • Demographics
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 59: Profile of Social Supporters, December 2019
  23. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Consumer survey data
    • Direct marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  24. Appendix – The Consumer

      • Figure 60: Genres played by gamers, by sites visited in past 30 days, April 2018-June 2019
      • Figure 61: Number of games bought in the past year by gamers, by sites visited in past 30 days, April 2018-June 2019
      • Figure 62: Devices played on by gamers, by sites visited in past 30 days, April 2018-June 2019
      • Figure 63: Attitudes toward gaming, by sites visited in past 30 days, April 2018-June 2019

Why Mintel?

Gain access to high quality market research with every purchase of Mintel’s consumer reports. Here's what else you can expect when buying from us:

Mintel’s Clients Portal

After your purchase is completed, you’ll receive an invitation to join Mintel’s Clients Portal which provides instant access to supplementary insights from Mintel’s industry experts.

Multiple Report Formats

Mintel’s reports are available in PDF and PPT formats, and arrive in your inbox alongside an excel datasheet, so you can share Mintel’s market intelligence with ease.

Interactive Databook

Mintel’s bespoke consumer data is presented as an interactive website, so you can deep dive into your chosen topic, explore demographics and download specific statistics.

Custom Presentations

Using Mintel’s custom presentation tool, you can easily incorporate selected research data and analysis into a tailor-made presentation to win over clients and stakeholders.

Browse our sample PDF report below:

Click to show report
2024 Sample Consumer Cover

Please Note: All of the figures, graphs, and tables in this sample report have been redacted.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us with your enquiry and our expert global team can help.

Get in touch