Microsoft is shutting down its popular streaming service, Mixer, and releasing its star streamers as free agents out into the online world. These streamers’ massive influence has led them to reject lucrative deals and speaks to how massively popular online gaming has become. And why brands must pay attention.
Talk surrounding online gaming is loud. Our timeline shows the past three months of conversation with various categories, and we can see how it has shifted and grown throughout.
Gaming, in general, and streamers specifically, have become integral to “online.” And brands are paying attention to streaming sites as potential advertising platforms, as well as places to source up and coming influencers.
In this trend analysis, we’ll share:
- Moving and shaking with Mixer as they announce closed doors
- How streamer influencers are taking the gaming industry (and online as a whole) by storm
- Smart advertising dollars and streamer influence
And there are some telling stats to keep in mind:
- 49% of consumers rely on influencer endorsements to inform decision making
- Revenue in the online games segment is projected to reach US$18,967m by 2024
- Together, popular streaming influencers, Shroud and Ninja have made £30 million and $10 million from Mixer alone.
- 80% of users are open to brands sponsoring games.
Mixer Makes Monumental Move
Coming as a surprise to some, Mixer will be closing its virtual doors on July 22. It is encouraging members and streamers to spend their Embers and Sparks (POINTS) and directing traffic to Facebook Gaming.
It’s not a surprise when you run the numbers. Overall, Mixer’s synchronized viewer base is 55 times smaller than that of its popular rival, Twitch. And we can see this in the charts below: For every live channel on Mixer there are 2.7 viewers, while Twitch streamers total 24.7 viewers.
A competitor analysis will help us see how these two rivals, along with YouTube and Facebook Gaming capture share of voice across media and news articles. YouTube has taken the cake with most mentions, where Twitch comes in third. With Mixer last, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why this Microsoft platform is folding cards.
Streaming is big business and logic says advertising via these platforms could be lucrative. Let’s delve into the importance of influencers and how they hold consumers’ interest.
Streamers and Gaming as Today’s Top Influencers
Twitch, the reigning champion of online streaming services is the spot to go when one wants to and watch favorite gamers throwdown. Ninja and Shroud were previously with Twitch, but a little over a year ago switched sides and went to Mixer. These streamers made £30 million and $10 million to do so.
It makes sense – these top influencers’ stats are incredible:
When Mixer announced their closing, Ninja and Shroud were offered double their contracts by Facebook. But each have reportedly turned down that offer.
ESPN Esports reported how free agent Ninja’s next move could “redefine an entire industry:”
And the conversations about him are 61.9% positive. He has lots of follower love:
And Ninja’s colleague Shroud, isn’t letting grass grow under his feet either. Exploring emotions expressed on the social web, including posts, blogs, forums, review sites, comment data and other media, we see words like love and happy. And huge congratulations.
Looking at how these two gamers compare to one another, brand passion index shows the conversation around Shroud is huge, where Ninja plays second fiddle. However, the passion intensity winner is clearly Ninja and Net Sentiment goes to Shroud. This means Ninja has a smaller, but much more passionate following:
Where these two streaming influencers will land is pure speculation currently, but one thing is certain: online gaming isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Online Gaming Revenue Growing
Perhaps the growth is due in part to online gaming being age inclusive. The largest amount of mentions come from our 25-34 year bracket, but surprisingly the 55-64 age group beats out 45-54 year olds. That’s certainly something for advertisers to keep in mind!
Watching streamers is becoming as American as football. 18-25 year olds watching Streamers play online is more popular than watching sports on tv actually. So, it makes sense to see brands partnering with this rising entertainment star.
Brands Buying into Gaming & Streamers
It’s not uncommon for companies to partner with influencers to lift their brand awareness. In fact 89% say ROI from influencer marketing is equivalent to or more profitable than other marketing channels. And Twitch stats bear this out:
- There are 15 million daily active users, 2.2+ million unique content creators per month, 106 minutes watched per person per day and 2+ million peak concurrent site wide viewers
- Studies found that users are supportive of sponsored content, leaving the door wide open for brands to show off.
- 15 million users spend nearly two hours a day watching livestreams.
With such a vast audience, brands are paying attention to the opportunities.
Brand Advertising in Action
With 49% of consumers relying on influencer endorsements, South Park partnered with Tucker Boner to advertise their new game. Boner successfully executed the sponsored content by being transparent with his viewers, creating excitement around the game by playing it for the first time during a live stream.
And Americas fried chicken sweetheart KFC took advantage and partnered with Dr. Lupo to advertise its chicken wings. Together with fellow Twitch influencer Anthony Kongphan, Lupo played the game Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, while running an interactive livestream contest for free food and periodically mentioning KFC.
Finding this successful, KFC has gone on to sponsor the LoL Pro League in the UK.
From Minecraft’s ‘on the nose’ pairing with LEGO, and Hot Wheels joining with popular game Rocket League, collaborations, sponsorships and advertising are happening everywhere. Your brand could be next to play your way through consumers’ field of vison on Twitch, XBOX, Facebook or who knows which channel will dominate next? You can be sure to know as it’s happening with digital intelligence informing your online strategy, influencer identification and campaign creation. Be sure to contact us for a demo so you aren’t stuck on Atari as competitors are creating VR advertising!