December 10, 2018

"Fischbach is one of five gamers on this year’s [top 10 YouTube stars] list...."

"It pays to play: Compared with other common YouTube categories, such as scripted comedy or elaborate pranks, gaming clips can be produced and edited quickly; some gamers post new footage daily. More posts mean more viewers, naturally—and more ad dollars. (The going rate for top online talent, Forbes estimates, is about $5 per thousand views.) It helps, too, that the same young viewers who eschew television in favor of YouTube are bonkers for video games. 'Ten to 15 years ago, gaming wasn’t cool. You didn’t game because it was cool, you gamed because you loved it,' says David Huntzinger, a digital-talent agent at WME. 'Now you have Drake going on Twitch and playing Fortnite, and [professional] athletes in the locker room saying they can’t stop playing Xbox—it’s what these kids are living and breathing.'"

From "Highest-Paid YouTube Stars 2018: Markiplier, Jake Paul, PewDiePie And More" (Forbes).


Henry said...

My son is a big fan of gamer channels.

ESPN had an interesting profile on Fortnite player Ninja not too long ago: Good writing and some great photos.

One takeaway? In the Youtube business, time really is money.

Ninja is constantly worried that he's peaked. The stress gnaws at him. "When I'm not streaming, I have time to reflect on all the growth, and I don't like that. I'd rather just be home playing," he says. "I'm like, 'I haven't played a celebrity in a while. I haven't done something big in a while. Is it because I'm slowing down?'"

In college, [his now-wife] Jess started streaming to better understand why Tyler would go hours without replying to her texts. A day in, she realized how consuming it was. "It's physically exhausting but also mentally because you're sitting there constantly interacting," Tyler says. "I'm engaging a lot more senses than if I were just gaming by myself. We're not sitting there doing nothing. I don't think anyone gets that."

Tom Grey said...

My 13 old especially, but also my 21 year old son both like and watch YouTube gamers.

It's a bit like watching sports, but more intense. It's not the best "jocks" who are great gamers, it's normal (-ish) guys who have talent, brains, and a willingness to put in the hours. Plus, anybody can play any egame. Maybe not so well as the pros, but well enough to appreciate how good they are, plus sometimes how lucky.

eGames will be getting bigger and bigger. I prefer League of Legends (LoL), recently a fine World Championship tournament, but understand how attractive Fortnite battle royale (hunger gamish) is for those who like it.
Now I see the LoL won award for best esport event! :)

My favorite champ is Dr. Mundo, kinda weak but I love to hear his cleaver hit an enemy. said...

Andy Warhol smiles.

John Henry

Nonapod said...

'Ten to 15 years ago, gaming wasn’t cool. You didn’t game because it was cool, you gamed because you loved it,' says David Huntzinger

I used to love it. I was a devoted gamer back in the 80s and 90s. And back then it really wasn't cool. I recall I was one of a very small handful of video game enthusiasts at my highschool. I was constantly told by parents and teachers that it was an enormous waste of time. Back then idea of a profesional video gamer was a utterly ridiculous concept that was used to mock people like me. I recall there was even a Far Side cartoon about it.

Now I rarely play games anymore. I don't really connect with most modern games or find them that compelling. I'm not really sure why.

Leland said...

I enjoy watching a guy named CrypticFox. He's a family guy in Canada. He definitely had a day job when I started watching him, but he had an interest in the indie simulator/management games that I occasionally mess with, and he had an attitude about gaming that's a bit like mine. I play to relax and have fun. I don't play to be the best competitively, but I do like to do well and be able to win.

Several months ago he talked about YouTube as an income replacement rather than enhancement. He needed so many subscribers to make replacement a viability. I think he's trying that now, because he went from posting maybe a video a day to a several videos a day. I was always curious what the rates are, so the $5/thousand view is good information to me.

If you want to be in awe, look on YouTube for a "Nick Eh 30". He does streaming and people can give him direct donations while watching. Holy cow, I had no idea how much people were willing to give to stuff like this. He'll be playing along and within 30 minutes make about $30 in donations. I wouldn't do it, because like Henry mentions about Ninja, it doesn't seem like a long term income strategy. Your 15 minutes can be up, and then what are your marketable skill sets that aren't in a flooded market?

For awhile, you can make a lot of money, if you have the very expensive equipment. I think the best niche for YouTube earning is to get it to pay for the hobbies you already enjoy doing.

Mike Sylwester said...

This weekend I began watching videos on YouTube's "Jack and Gab" channel. The channel began as teenager Jack Brinkman's videos about gaming but eventually has transformed into his videos about his teenage relationship with his girlfriend Gabriel. He and she both are 19 years old and have been dating since their high-school freshman year.

These two kids are ultra-cute -- especially Gabriel. Also, they are quite wholesome. One reason the videos are so interesting is that you want to figure out how sexual they have become with each other. It's all cleverly coy.

Some of their videos have a million views.

Their YouTube channel has more than 750,000 subscribers and is adding subscribers every minute. You can see their subscriber count grow here.

Anyway, their YouTube business must make a ton of money, because they also sell merchandise.

stevew said...

If you think, as I do, that the four major professional sports have reached their peak audience and are now in decline, you might see this as one of many entertainment replacements.

born01930 said...

No comment on them "garnering 125M views"?

Mike Sylwester said...

If a "Jack and Gab" video gets a million views on YouTube and if the payment is $5 per thousand views, then one of their million-view videos earns them about $5,000 dollars.

A typical video shows them standing in a hallway and chatting about what guys like about girls -- or vice-versa.

Big Mike said...

I don't watch any of them. I do watch Hickok45. He bloviates a bit, but his observations and explanations are very sound.

George Grady said...

The top 10 is all male. Obviously, YouTube must be doing something sexist.

gahrie said...

I'm 53, and I both game and watch gamers on Youtube. I watch quite a bit of YouTube, and I haven't turned on my TV since last February. The real money is actually made on Twitch (for gamers) and Patreon (for reactors and original content).

Trumpit said...

Jake Paul is a jackass. Sadly, he is one of many.

Animals have rights. Stop killing them for fun and profit.

gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

As an avid gamer (PC only though...I'm quite the snob), we'll rue the day pong was invented.

Bill Peschel said...

There's an interesting subculture surrounding these players. My daughter (21) loves following of them. Jack Septic-Eye is a Irish bloke whose accent and energy is part of the fun.

On Twitch, there was this one guy whose name I forgot, who spends hours each day online. He takes donations from his followers (Bitcoin I believe), and there are people who buy each other memberships as a sort of "pay it forward."

Then there's Discord, where people can set up their own servers, admit members, chat, stream, and do this worldwide. My daughter has set up several of these, and she's not what you'd call nerdy. There are private worlds out there where people get together to play Minecraft.

Think Ready Player One only not so corpratized and centrally controlled. And it's occupying a lot of people's time.

Karen of Texas said...

My son parlayed his love of gaming into pursuing a career as a game coder. He's "the physics guy" for Gearbox. I am extremely proud of him.

He competes occasionally, and he and his now wife used to do the Twitchy thing. Now that they have a mortgage, I think they are more serious about the jobs that pay the bills.

stlcdr said...

So are we now celebrating people who earn (sic) a lot of money for doing nothing?

Bob Loblaw said...

People don't realize how much work this is. To run a really successful channel you need to upload a couple high quality videos a day. Nobody wants to just watch someone playing a game - they've got family members for that. And it's piecework, in a way. You're only as good as the last couple videos you put out - if you start phoning it in you'll immediately start losing subscribers. There are no days off; no end to the grind.

Also, you're completely at the mercy of Youtube. Their "community standards" are entirely arbitrary, and if their crude algorithm decides your video isn't "advertiser friendly" they won't give you any money for it no matter how many views it gets. That's the real reason gaming is so popular with creators - it's not controversial, do the income is more steady.

Gahrie said...

So are we now celebrating people who earn (sic) a lot of money for doing nothing?

Not much worse than paying people even more money to pretend to be someone they're not.