Ever since YouTube Gaming launched earlier this year, it has been making great strides for video game livestreaming content like “Let’s Play” videos. Now we get a glimpse of how successful the service has been.
YouTube recently updated its blog page to discuss streaming numbers, and they’re quite impressive. The site estimates that gamers view more than 144 billion minutes of video per month, between posted videos and live streams on YouTube. “To put it into perspective, that’s like watching Let’s Play’s for more than 270,000 years straight 24 hours a day or beating Final Fantasy VII 1,900,000 times a day!” the post reads.
The company also highlights a number of improvements to the YouTube Gaming service.
Firstly, it introduced a better focus on mobile capture, thus empowering streams of “every shape and size,” including players of popular mobile games like Boom Beach or Hearthstone. “You can now record and live stream mobile gameplay on-the-go directly from Android devices using Mobile Capture on YouTube Gaming,” the post reads. “You don’t need any additional hardware or software just tap Go Live (or your avatar on a phone) in the YouTube Gaming app, turn on your selfie cam and record your commentary with your phone’s microphone.”
The company also discusses sponsorship potential. A new beta program is in place to help assist with Fan Funding and Sponsorships, which offer perks such as a live chat badge and the ability to create exclusive chat sessions for a small monthly fee. YouTube intends to expand the list of beta channels as time goes on.
Other features that are being introduced include better search capabilities to find relevant livestreams, bookmarking videos for later, a redesigned watching page with improved performance, better search navigation for iOS devices and importing existing subscriptions through the Settings menu.
It sounds great, but YouTube Gaming still has a ways to go before it can catch up with its chief rival, Twitch. The livestreaming service continues to draw in a vast community of gamers (100 million monthly and rising), and works with big-name partners such as Old Spice. On top of that, the company recently hosted its first successful TwitchCon, bringing in both game companies and streamers to appeal to its vast community. Twitch has over 1.7 million broadcasters, with 12,000 that are making a decent living by working within its partnership program.
Now that YouTube is facing fierce competition from Facebook, we’ll have to keep a close eye on how quickly the livestreaming sector develops.