LGC: Video games is the second most popular category on YouTube

Video must be at the heart of publishers’ modern marketing strategy, says Google.

Speaking at London Games Conference this evening, Google’s industry manager for entertainment Warren Mills revealed that video games is the second most popular category on YouTube. Which, Mills added, is in itself the second biggest search engine behind Google.

Music is the only category ahead of video games.

Digital is changing the game,” said Mills.

We are seeing an incredible shift in how we define today’s modern gamer. Consumers are facing a competitive market place, which is testament to the amount of choice made available to them.”

Mills revealed that gamers are searching on Google and YouTube for upcoming games earlier and earlier. On average, gamers are searching for games 39 days ahead of launch, while 70 per cent of gamers are researching the game before they buy it. And those numbers are increasing year-over-year.

But the biggest growth area is in video. Mills pointed to the huge successes of Yogscast, Machinima (which has 42bn video views, says Mills) and the like for the success seen for video content on YouTube. He told the attendees at LGC that video views for gaming content is up 30 per cent year-on-year.

Perhaps most surprising – one in three views of gaming content is happening via mobile devices and tablets.

It’s not all about trailers, says Mills. During his presentation he showcased comedy videos, live-action trailers and in-game videos. And many of the stars of these videos have become online celebrities.

He then detailed how publishers could improve their video on YouTube. He highlighted work from Activision and Bethesda in creating ‘interactive videos’, which includes video-in-video elements where users can delve deeper into certain trailers.

On top of this, he advises publishers and developers to speak to existing YouTube video creators to develop unique content, and also build special ads created specifically for YouTube.

But most importantly, make sure your video content works well on mobile.

He concluded his talk with Google Glass, the company’s new project for an augmented reality head-mounted display. He showed how Google Glass can help people move around the world, meet friends, and discover things instantly via the head-mounted display.

And then he showed the video for Google Glass featuring ‘Battlefield 5′. The video shows how virtual reality gaming could become a reality, with the live player engaging in a live-action deathmatch.

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