Influencer marketing has expanded in recent years, and gaming-specific influencers are no exception. With hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential monthly income at stake, it’s become big business for the best of the best gaming creators to make a living on streaming video platforms.
GamesBeat has partnered with social video analytics company Tubular Labs to bring you a monthly chart looking at the top gaming influencers and sponsored influencer videos each month. Tubular Labs measures video content published by public channels/pages from major social video platforms. Performance metrics like views and engagements reflect the respective platforms’ definitions of them. Sponsored video is a proprietary metric and derived by Tubular using principles defined by the industry.
For July, FGTeeV — a mother, father and their kids going by the “Family Gaming Team” name — was the No. 1 gaming influencer across YouTube and Facebook, with 371 million total views (all of which coming from YouTube, in their case). The channel has been growing steadily since March, when it had just 100 million views. FGTeeV has increased its view totals in every month since, however.
July’s jump (40 million more than June) was in part fueled by videos like “SLENDRINA TAKES SHAWN so CHASE can play Fake Bendy & the Ink Machine Games!” and “BALDI’s BASICS of FNAF EDUCATION & CLONING MOD + I’M BALDI vs. Principal,” which were both uploaded this past month. The former earned a V7 score (views in the first seven days of publishing) of 4.3 million from Tubular Labs, while the latter was second with 4.2 million. According to Tubular, 67 percent of FGTeeV’s views came from the United States last month.
Also near the top of the charts was the ever-popular Ninja, who had the second-most views across platforms. Just 39 percent of Ninja’s audience comes from the U.S., and interestingly, 85 percent of those viewers are male — with almost 57 percent of those between 13 and 24 years old. That cross-section likely lines up well with Fortnite’s typical player base, showing the content is speaking directly to the audience playing the game.
Lazar Beam is the biggest month-over-month riser in the top 10, moving up 108 spots from June to July. The Australian gamer’s Fortnite-focused channel had just over 49 million views in June, but tallied over 267 million in July. Three different and new (uploaded in July) Lazar Beam videos hit 10 million views or more, and 22 different videos had V7 scores of 2 million or more.
CBS-owned channels Who Remembers? and Inside Look both made the top 10, at No. 3 and No. 9 respectively, though these channels touch on gaming as part of the overall content strategy (rather than the primary focus). Both channels operate exclusively through Facebook.
After a significant dip in views back in February, controversial creator PewDiePie has returned close to the top of the charts of late. His YouTube views were nearly cut in half from January to February (dropping from 376 million to just 212 million). However, in the time since then, totals have climbed progressively up to 299 million in July. It’s notable that in that stretch, subscribers have continued to rise on the platform, though, and never dipped. He’s now at over 64.7 million subscribers on YouTube.
Shifting focus to sponsored influencer campaigns, the Game Theorists had the most popular sponsored YouTube views in July, according to Tubular’s V7 metric, with 5.3 million. The Game Theorists’ top sponsor was personal VPN service provider NordVPN, which sponsored 41 videos across YouTube and Facebook in July.
VideoGameDunkey and DunkStore’s partnership came in second among sponsored gaming campaigns in July with a V7 score of 1.9 million views. However, DunkStore is the merch store for VideoGameDunkey, and it only sponsored one video in July (“Bugsby 3D”). ScrewAttack’s sponsored campaign with Blue Apron also hit the 1.9 million mark for V7. Blue Apron sponsored 29 different YouTube videos in July, with 26 different partners. Of those, eight partners would be considered gaming channels.
Globally, gaming videos saw 345 different paid sponsors in July alone, with 425 different partner channels. Epic Games sponsored 124 different YouTube gaming videos in July. German retailer EMP sponsored the most gaming videos on Facebook, with 21 last month.