Game set for big bucks on YouTube arena

Gaming is one of its most important verticals for YouTube in India, amid rising competition within the video category, with new entrants like the Chinese ByteDance-owned short-videos platform TikTok disrupting its unchallenged market.

Reuters

YouTube has 24 gaming channels with more than a million subscribers in India - from almost none two years ago.

Bengaluru: Manasvi Dalvi plays video games eight hours a day and livestreams it on YouTube. The 21-year-old law student from Mumbai has made more than Rs 1 lakh in the past one year through fan donations and brand endorsements.

Chennai-based gamer Prabhakaran P quit his job at Amazon to do the same, confident that he would make more money live streaming his game than working full-time with the global e-commerce leader. Manasvi and Prabhakaran are part of an emerging breed of You-Tube gamers in India who are being trained and mentored by the Google-owned video platform. YouTube has 24 gaming channels with more than a million subscribers in India - from almost none two years ago.

The country is also its third-largest gaming market in the Asia-Pacific region. “In India, we have amazing potential, with half the population below 25. It is only starting to boom. We see gaming creators in multiple languages,” said Ines Cha, head of creator ecosystem & gaming partnerships, Apac, YouTube. “When I started in 2015, I felt there was not a single gamer in India on You-Tube.”


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Gaming is one of its most important verticals for YouTube in India, amid rising competition within the video category, with new entrants like the Chinese ByteDance-owned short-videos platform TikTok disrupting its unchallenged market. Gaming is mostly mobile-centric here, compared to the rest to the world where PCs and consoles dominate. YouTube is training Indian You-Tube gamers through sessions on content strategy, production design, green-screen usage and masterclasses on camera work, lighting and editing to further refine their craft.

“Because YouTube has many verticals, it is not often associated with gaming content,” said Cha. “We want to have diverse content. Gaming is a popular genre. It is important to keep the community growing. Gamers tend to have high engagement and retention.” YouTube said live gaming creation is at an all-time high, with hundreds of thousands of channels streaming and live-gaming watch time growing significantly over the years.
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