The Marketer’s Guide to New YouTube Gaming Platform

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YouTube revealed YouTube Gaming, an app and website debuting this summer that’s positioning itself as “the biggest community of gamers,” as well as the destination for videos and live streams. Many consider YouTube Gaming to be Google’s alternative for Twitch, an Amazon-owned live streaming video platform that Google tried to purchase last summer. And while advertising opportunities on the app may still be unclear, industry players seem to be capitalizing on growing gaming audiences so this will be good news for them, as well as YouTube itself.

The YouTube Gaming site will have individual pages for more than 25,000 games. Engineers at Google have tweaked the site’s search engine to cater to video game players. For example, if a gamer types in the word “call,” the search bar will suggest the game “Call of Duty,” instead of the music video “Call Me Maybe.” Google’s competitors are making big pushes in video games, as well. Facebook-owned Oculus Rift recently announced a deal with Microsoft, where the virtual reality device would come with an Xbox One controller and Xbox adapter. Oculus Rift will also allow users to play a catalogue of games for the Xbox One console.

To make the platform stand out, the YouTube Gaming team is redesigning the system where users will be able to convert live streams into a YouTube video and share their streams via one single link. Unlike YouTube itself, but just like Twitch, the service lets you browse content by game. There are features however that Twitch doesn’t have, such as a “DVR mode” that automatically records the last four hours of any stream, meaning you can rewind to the beginning should you come in midway during a Rocket League match. Although every video available through YouTube Gaming will also be viewable on YouTube proper, the new service uses a new system of ‘favourites’ rather than ‘subscriptions’ for the channels you follow. When you first open the Gaming app, you’ll have the option to import your existing subscriptions, but otherwise will have a fresh slate. Favouring a channel on YouTube Gaming will cause you to subscribe to them on YouTube proper, but not vice versa.

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