As the audience for gaming video content nears half a billion people, a new report has highlighted live streaming's quick rise to the top.
468 million viewers around the world now digest games-related video content such as walkthroughs, trailers and live streams, according to research firm SuperData's Gaming Video Content Market Brief 2015.
The majority of these (seven in 10) check out game trailers, with two-thirds of self-proclaimed ‘hardcore' gamers watching live streams and a third of the same hardcore audience viewing eSports.
All in all, the gaming video market is said to be worth an estimated $3.8 billion. More than three quarters of this, $2.9 billion, is brought in by advertising and sponsorships, with content creators seeing a collective $890 million of the cash.
The news comes days after it was revealed that prominent YouTuber Felix ‘PewDiePie' Kjellberg had doubled his earnings over the last year, reeling in $7.45 million during 2014.
Kjellberg is a rarity among his YouTube peers, however, as SuperData believes newly-Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch generates more games video revenue than Google's video service, primarily thanks to the drive for subscriptions and donations on the former.
Despite this, YouTube remains the bigger outlet for gaming video, drawing more viewers in total. Only 10 per cent of viewers visit what SuperData refers to as ‘new video platforms'.
The streaming audience is invested, however – almost half (44 per cent) of viewers pay for subscriptions, spending around $21 monthly on paid content and donating $4.64 on average to streaming personalities each month.
SuperData adds its expectation that the number of players watching gaming video content online will rocket to 790 million by 2018.
Unsurprisingly, North America leads the way when it comes to video content, expected to bring in $1.49 billion this year. Europe is second-biggest, with a $1.14 billion market size. Asia sit at third with a sector roughly half that of the US – $701 million.