The online gaming industry is a highly lucrative, yet highly competitive, category. Almost 500M users globally are estimated to be taking part in the pastime, and about half of them are deeply involved. Growth of the sector has been showing double digits YOY, both in user growth and in revenue
Leveling Up During COVID-19 Outbreak
While the sector was growing fast before the virus took over, it seems to have really gained traction and public attention since the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns. According to numbers on the Primis network, video consumption doubled(!) and video engagement rates have tripled from pre-lockdowns. And, while it can be seen as a quick form of escapism and an activity that doesn’t require groups of people or leaving one’s home, its effects will probably be felt in the long run.
A Tech-Savvy Audience That Loves Video
But, while the market is expanding, so are the users’ expectations. In an industry that is led by multi-billion dollar platforms, independent websites find it harder to compete for user attention and time. Publishers need to work hard to deliver the level of user experience that their audience expects.
Video is a big part of that. While many gaming websites are focused on teaching gamers how to upgrade their skills or providing the latest esports news, many gamers expect to have video integrated into that experience. Many enthusiastic gamers will even keep on videos of gameplay-footage while they work, shop, or surf the web.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of video content. Gamers create massive amounts of self-generated videos, while brands cater to users’ needs with sponsored content promoting new releases, an official launch or a trailer. The large number of videos, coupled with users’ thirst for them, provides gaming publishers with great video monetization opportunities, but also with difficulty.
Opportunity or Challenge?
Users who are more focused on video, stay longer on the page, and raise the website’s page duration. That, in turn, has a very positive impact on ad revenue. In fact, according to Primis numbers, gaming sites on the Primis network shows CPMs 61% higher than the network’s average. This is propelled by gaming sites having duration rates 108% longer than average!
However, to garner these kinds of numbers, publishers need to offer a tip-top video user experience. Besides getting their hands on the best videos out there, publishers need to provide them with a lightweight, bug-free, user-friendly video unit. The gaming audience will not be forgiving with underperforming video content OR video experience. With such a tech-savvy and demanding audience, the user experience has to come first.
Focus on User Experience, Revenue Follows
When planning a video strategy for gaming websites, the first thing to consider is putting the user’s needs first. The revenue will follow, guaranteed. Gaming users want video to accompany them as they scroll through news, forums, guides, simulators, or stores. It is absolutely vital that they are offered great (and relevant) videos that start muted, and do not interrupt their content consumption.
With ad revenue targeting gamers growing in the double digits YOY, creating additional video inventory is a win-win for both user experience and publisher ROI. The more video is consumed by users on a publisher’s website, the more quality and lucrative ad inventory they have to sell to advertisers.
Strategic Growth Driver for Gaming Websites
Understanding all these facts makes it clear that gaming publishers looking to thrive, or even to survive, need to put video content and its monetization at the core of their business plan. The good news is that today there are trustworthy companies that can help it be done with minimal effort on the part of the publisher. Furthermore, for those publishers who incorporate video into their strategic plans, the rewards in revenue and user satisfaction are enormous.