YouTube Becoming E3 Streaming Media Channel For Gaming Fans

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) will use YouTube to stream live its E3 press conference to gaming fans around the world, the one target audience not allowed to attend the event. The company also will release trailers to promote its new console. The Sony PlayStation channel on YouTube has more than 2.4 million subscribers, and one of their most-watched videos is the PS4 Teaser video released during E3 last year.

The excitement around E3 announcements typically motivates gamers to search for more information, often within minutes of an announcement. This year Sony plans to unveil new games and experiences on its YouTube channel, allowing gamers worldwide to get a look, per Guy Longworth, SVP of PlayStation brand marketing at SCEA.

Before gamers land in Los Angeles next week at E3, Google and YouTube set out to analyze anonymized search data from 2012 and 2013 to understand how gamers use the Web and mobile to find and consume the latest E3 information. The study shows that E3-information related searches on Google rose 143% in 2013 compared with the prior year, and reveal an 80% increase in game video views on YouTube across both smartphones and tablets.

The research defines gamers as the aggregate of those individuals who searched for gaming content on Google and viewed gaming videos on YouTube during E3 week. in order to virtually attend E3 and learn about the latest gaming announcements, gamers increasingly rely on search and online video. During the week of E3 last year, activity on Google and YouTube significantly increased year-over-year (YoY).

Seven in 10 E3-related searches on Google were for 'livestreams' during last year's E3, said Erica Larson, head of industry for gaming sales. "We have seen E3-related searches on Google continue to rise in the past year," she said. "Gamers also have been turning more toward their mobile devices. I found it really interesting last year to see everyone taking out their smartphones to record and share the most exciting content."

Larson said publishers need to think more about creating "snackable content" for smartphones and tablets.

The data suggests not only this connection between searches on google.com at E3, but also other live-stream events during which time consumers look for information. 

As for E3, the research shows an increase in searches, engagement and shares on social sites. Growth with gaming-related activities on Google and YouTube during E3 week last year rose 105%. Gaming-related video viewing time on YouTube rose 79%, and E3 related searches increased 64%.

Non-live viewing of game-related videos peaks on the second day of E3 -- the day publishers publicly release the new videos and trailers of their upcoming titles. Google notes a 143% increase in the number of E3-related searches on Google and an 80% increase in game video views on YouTube during the week of E3 across both smartphones and tablets in 2013.

The 2014 E3 Trailer Battle also will launch Monday on YouTube. This channel will house all the trailers released during the E3 conference, making it easy for gamers to catch the latest releases. Voting for a favorite from June 9-June 16 will enable gamers to have a hand in finding the most popular E3 trailer, scheduled to be announced June 23. Some custom YouTube channel creator will promote the challenge. Creators include Swiftor, Polaris, PressHeartToContinue, and GameRiot.

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