With 2020 drawing (mercifully) to a close, YouTube Gaming head Ryan Wyatt is looking back at the platform’s biggest year ever.
This year, Wyatt says, YouTube’s gaming vertical accrued 100 billion hours of global watch time (10 billion of which hailed from live streams). This means that annual watch time on YouTube Gaming has doubled since 2018, when the platform garnered roughly 50 billion watch hours. Additionally, there are currently 40 million active gaming channels active on the platform.
In a blog post, Wyatt attributed some of this growth to the pandemic, with fans increasingly turning to gaming as both a means of connection and entertainment, resulting in the industry hitting an unfathomable inflection point of growth, he said. “At these numbers, I believe our competition is now more the likes of Netflix than any other gaming video platform,” Wyatt tweeted. “Gaming video is becoming the primary source of content consumption for entertainment.”
And creators are seeing this growth personally. More than 80,000 gaming creators hit 100,000 subscribers in 2020, YouTube says, while 1,000 gaming creators hit 5 million subscribers, and over 350 gaming creators surpassed 10 million subscribers.
According to YouTube, the creators with the most gaming views this year are: FGTeeV, Jelly, Flamingo, Robin Hood Gamer, and ItsFunnneh. And the most-viewed (non-live) gaming videos this year are: Super Hero Games’ How To Loot (208 million views), Yes Ranger’s Minecraft Real POV (198 million views), The Secret Life Of My Hamster’s Hamster Minecraft Maze (132 million views), Porisloff Show’s GTA 5 Crazy Ragdolls Red Spiderman VS Gorilla (130 million views), and Winston Games’ Parking Frenzy 2.0 3D Game #1 (127 million views).
In terms of the most-watched game on YouTube, Minecraft remained the top title in 2020 — with 201 billion views globally, followed by Roblox (75 billion views), Garena Gree Fire (72 billion views), Grand Theft Auto V (70 billion views), and Fortnite (67 billion views).