From Pewdiepie to your neighbor, everyone can make a gaming video and upload it on YouTube. And that’s not an overstatement - according to Ryan Watt, YouTube Head of Global Gaming, there are over 40 million active gaming channels. This is even more than the entire population of Canada. And it looks like viewers love it too, as over 100 billion hours were spent watching gaming and esports content on YouTube in 2020.
Crossing the 100 billion hours watched on YouTube is a huge milestone for gaming content. What initially started as a niche hobby is now a growing trend that brings more viewers every day. Even celebrities are now creating gaming content, such as US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The rise of YouTube Gaming is key to this success. The company hired several popular influencers, such as Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott, Elliott “Muselk” Watkins and Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter. YouTube Gaming is trying to tackle Twitch and get its share of the juicy gaming market. Facebook Gaming and Microsoft’s Mixer are also coming after this market, so YouTube Gaming needs to step up its game to keep attracting viewers.
YouTube can also rely on the popularity of some of their gaming content creators. The most popular gamer on YouTube is Pewdiepie, with over 108 million followers. Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg even made it to the Time’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2016.
FGTeeV, a gaming channel dedicated to reviews with kids, is one of the most popular gaming channels in 2020. Blocks are also widely popular, as Roblox expert Flamingo reaches the second place and Minecraft YouTuber Jelly completes this podium.
The most popular game watched on YouTube is Minecraft. Pewdiepie is no stranger to this trend, but the game already performed great before the YouTuber got in the game. In 2020, Minecraft videos were watched no less than 201 billion times. Minecraft is far ahead of all other gaming content, as Roblox comes in second with “only” 75 billion views, while Grand Theft Auto just broke the 70 billion views milestone and Fortnite reached a total of 67 billion views.