Abbey Carter 94509
Sae Institute Liverpool
Common Module 4200
How has the online marketing affected the marketing and distribution of games?
Specifically; “How has web based platform YouTube affected the marketing and distribution of the gaming industry in comparison to Vimeo and how this has affected the Film industry?”
Table of Contents.
- What is YouTube?
- Popular genres on YouTube.
- What is VEVO?
- Culture Context of YouTube.
- What is High and Low Culture?
- Age Demographic of YouTube.
- YouTubes effect on the games industry.
- YouTubes effect on the games industry continued.
- Case Study 1- PewDiePie.
- Demographic of PewDiePie.
- How has the content of PewDiePie’s videos effected the sales of Outlast?
- How has the content of PewDiePies’ videos effected the sales of Outlast? Continued.
- Case Study 2- Genesis Augmented.
- Why did Genesis Augmented go viral?
- Introduction to Vimeo.
- Professionality of Vimeo.
- Professionality of Vimeo continued.
- Most popular categories on Vimeo.
- Why are documentaries so popular?
- How has the up rise of documentaries affected the Film Industry?
- How has Vimeo benefitted indie producers and creators.
In recent years, the internet has become increasingly popular within both the marketing and distribution of games and the film industry. YouTube has taken its place across the gaming industry with channels playing early release games or AAA games. Whereas Vimeo has gained a place in a more creative industry. The following report focus’ on how games are viewed on YouTube in relation to the sales of that game, also what do developers take into consideration knowing the game being produced will appear on YouTube. As well as delving into the cultural and economic characteristics behind YouTube. Contrasting to the games industry the report will also be considering Film and how web based platform Vimeo is ideal for indie directors to boost their profile and work. Again, taking in the notion of culture from a high and low context as theorised by Ernest Gellner and Pierre Bourdieu and using this to support the ideology and evidence shown about the two contrasting web sharing platforms and how they contribute to each of the stated industries.
YouTube is a web based platform for users to upload their own videos to over the year this have become growingly popular throughout all categories of entertainment. [Figueiredo, F., Benevenuto, F. and Almeida, J.M. (2011) ‘The tube over time’, Proceedings of the fourth ACM international conference on Web search and data mining] The site was first founded on 14th February 2005 however was later released for uploads that April, starting a worldwide culture within itself. [Audrius (2016) When was YouTube created? Accessed: 9 November 2016] Primary categories to the website include aspects such as Music, Gaming and Vlogging just to name a few, although when looking at statistics and views music dominates these categories. “Music is the most popular category with 31% of all analysed videos, followed by Entertainment (15%) and People & Blogs (11%).” [Sysomos (2007) Youtube video statistics.]
This is due to a large organisation known as VEVO; a company owned by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Abu Dhabi Media releasing music on their website through a range of external publishers. [Moreau, E (2016) What to know about Vevo. Accessed: 21 November 2016] It can be argued that the reason VEVO is so popular amongst YouTube is only due to their sub channels such as FFDPVEVO or JustinBieberVEVO being subscribed to the central channel. [5FDPVEVO Accessed: 21 November 2016] [JustinBieberVEVO Accessed: 21 November 2016] [VEVO Accessed: 21 November 2016]
Looking at YouTube in its own aspect of pop-culture a few clear notions can be identified although videos shared on the digital content sharing platform have a wide variety to them it appeals more to a low culture; ‘People with more time on their hands, not a lot of money or looking for cheap entertainment.’
The difference between low culture entertainment and high culture entertainment is that one is carried out by a lot of people in a lesser working class watching Reality T.V Programmes unlike higher culture in which entertainment would come in a form of going to see a performance or to an art gallery.
“High culture most commonly refers to the set of cultural products, mainly in the arts, held in the highest esteem by a culture. It is the culture of an elite such as the aristocracy or intelligentsia.
In contrast, low culture refers to that of the less well-educated or the masses, encompassing such things as gossip magazines, reality television, popular music, yellow journalism, escapist fiction, and camp.”
[Boundless, High and Low Culture, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 23 Nov. 2016]
Examining further into the cultural implications of YouTube it seemed necessary to study the age of viewers and the most common range appearing. Gathering this information from YouTubes website itself in which they quoted; “YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.” [Statistics – YouTube, no date] When questioning as to why this is the idea of high and low culture returns. A lot of the public within this age range would fit into the low culture category with a prime example of this being students.
Looking at YouTubes’ effect on the games industry a key factor to consider is that production companies will send early releases of the games to large channels to see how well these perform across the viewers from this taking in the response from the audience so they can adapt the games to a wider demographic of people. This is a similar method to beta releases in which a company would release an unfinished version of the game to a limited number of consumers in return for feedback on how to improve. Notably Sam Sharma of Guerilla Games quoted; “It’s an extremely qualified feedback loop, that we can use to improve the game and check if it appeals to the community.” [How has the rise of YouTubers affected how you make games, Sam Sharma, Accessed: 27 October 2016]
In addition to this, observing YouTube’s effect on the games industry it has widely increased the audience for indie developers as a marketing and advertising platform. A prime example being Genesis Augmented which is explored in more depth further on within this report.
From studying into the topic of YouTube and how this relates to the gaming industry two clear case studies are evident. One being PewDiePie and the other Genesis Augmented although both contrasting to each other in a sense of what they do it seemed appropriate because examining the two together clearly shows the different ways in which YouTube has benefitted the gaming industry.
Looking more so into the demographic of viewers who use YouTube researching a key gaming channel ‘PewDiePie’. Being the most subscribed YouTuber this would be a better channel to gather research from, having a total of 49,036,122 people worldwide watching the content he creates. Although searching across the net for statistics about his audiences the only articles that stated the age range of viewers where from unreliable sources such as reddit and quora.com. [Lay, T. (no date) What is the demographic of Pewdiepie’s subscribers, Accessed: 4 November 2016] [Why is PewDiePie so popular? • /r/youtube 2014 Accessed: 4 November 2016]
Although both unreliable sources the information given on both was relatively similar. With users stating how the key age range of his viewers tend to be from 13-16 with most of these being male. Although within the past the YouTuber was known for his videos targeting an older audience this soon changed when PewDiePie developed a character within his videos as well as playing games better suited to a younger audience. It would also seem evident that a lot of the viewers are from western culture primarily America. Although the size of the continent plays a key factor within this.
Leading on from the demographic of PewDiePie by exploring the games in which he plays and how his videos affected the sales of the games previewed this is the evidence found. This time instead of considering the number of subscribers the web based celebrity had the topic studied was the number of views each video had. The game series and video in question is Outlast due to this being one of the major game series that made PewDiePie’s channel popular. The series’ first began on September 4th 2013 with the first video gaining 11,715,420 views. From this information, I studied the amount of sales from this date. Initially red barrels the producers of the game outlast stated how their sales where not as high as anticipated with only 116,000 units sold within the first month of release. The indie developers quoted;
“Back in September 2013, our sales on PC were not as high as we had hoped, but that was mostly because we didn’t know enough about the PC market and the fact that most units are sold whenever the game is on sale.”
[Morin, P. (2016) Horror in the making: How red barrels outlasted outlast. 4 November 2016]
However due to the videos released by popular YouTuber PewDiePie the following January sales where increased with the company now having sold 328,000 units of the game. This continued to increase and almost double within a year. During these sales, the average price of the game was £9.59 again still during sale times. The full price of the game amounts to £15.97.
Within this time the game was only being released on the PC platform steam which holds regular sales of games, evidently boosting the popularity of the game through lowering the prices and advertising on the front page. From here the second subject matter can be discussed about how digital downloads affect the sales and audience reached in comparison to hard copies.
From this aspect of YouTube and how already popular YouTubers can advertise games it can be continued into the contrasting aspect of a not well known channel of indie developers and how they wanted to get their game out into the more known.
An augmented reality based card game called Genesis. The two founders of the game; Long Roos and Ryan Neale where struggling to come up with methods on how to advertise the game, along with a Kickstarter page set up to help fund the project the company uploaded a video to YouTube sharing it on multiple websites. However, it was their post on a subreddit page which sent the companies concept viral. [Jack (2016) Augmented reality tabletop games could potentially be really cool Genesis (x-post r/gaming) • /r/yugioh. 23 November 2016] From this post their video and concept was shared widely across low culture journal pages. It was thanks to YouTube they were easily able to get the idea across on what they wanted to create. The original advertisement of this video is still being viewed now by more funders and people interested, it can be viewed at;
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N7UBwrPGsg, Genesis Augmented, 17/11/2015]
Looking at the video and as to why it went viral it can be said that because Genesis Augmented is not a traditional TCG (Trading Card Game) it breaks the conditioned idea of this genre of gaming. “Each of a set of picture cards, typically featuring popular cartoon characters, that are collected and traded, especially by children.” [OxfordDictionaries (no date) 23 November 2016]
When comparing an online and marketing platform to YouTube Vimeo seemed the most relevant. Looking at this from a Film aspect and again how does it help promote said industry. To begin with knowing what Vimeo is seemed appropriate, relative to YouTube Vimeo is a video sharing platform again for users to share their work. However, Vimeo has a much more artistic demographic and higher cultural context. With this being the case YouTube is the more popular of a sharing platform, more artists have now been known to be switching over to Vimeo because of the professionality when compared to a platform that holds a wide mix of content. [Moreau, E. (2016a) What is Vimeo? An Intro to the video sharing platform. Accessed: 23 November 2016] Vimeo could also benefit the gaming industry as a platform to share trailers and progression videos while gaining an income from these meanwhile promoting the project/ game being worked on. This money could then contribute to a bigger team or more resources and programmes to design and develop a more advanced game for fans.
An aspect that supports this notion of Vimeo being more professional is how it charges its users to upload content, although offering a free plan with not a lot of storage space. Because of this Vimeo would be attracting the more business orientated users rather than entertainers or viral videos being shared. A down side of charging for their services is that the platform is lesser known than its contrasting one YouTube, although still successful in the money that is gained the traffic coming in to the website and users uploading is lesser. The same could also be said for YouTube in a sense of anyone can upload their content therefore a downside to this is that YouTube is filled with a lot of homemade videos which could go viral and be viewed by anyone. This again refers to the high and low culture context being primarily discussed within this report. To support this evidence of how Vimeo charges it’s users when opening the webpage to begin with a screen greats you asking which plan you would like to use as an uploader to the website.
Even one of their plans is called “Vimeo Business” which can be seen in the image below.
[Avital, A. and Filmmaker (2016) Here’s what our members say about why they prefer Vimeo Accessed: 23 November 2016]
Looking at the more popular categories on Vimeo one became very evident to have appeared in both web platforms studied, Music. Unlike YouTube this is not because of the organisation VEVO. The second most viewed category within Vimeo is documentaries which relates back to the initial query of how does online marketing affect the marketing and distribution of both the games industry and the film industry. [Vimeo presents: The top videos of 2015 (2015) Accessed: 24 November 2016] Therefore because of this factor the following information is focused around why documentaries are the second most viewed videos on Vimeo and what this has done for the creators and web based platform. To begin with a question to be asked is “why are documentaries so popular?” from the research found it is evident that documentaries have become so popular because they are being made on topics the public care about. Where as in the past documentaries where seen as high culture and being made around topics of the educational sector such as science or history the more popular ones seen across the internet and providers such as Vimeo tend to be on topics lower culture bands care about an example of this being Louis Theroux. Known for his documentaries on “people we don’t generally like” [ The return of the documentary (no date) Accessed: 24 November 2016]
From this information, we can then look at how this has affected the film industry and the platform of Vimeo. Narrowing this down more specifically through looking at the UK and Ireland also from the year 2001 to 2015 when the up rise of documentaries began.
Within the following graph a series of evidence shows us the years in which the box office peaked at with 2009 being the highest. This is more than likely because of Michael Jacksons’ This is It.
[2016, S. (2016) Box office gross of documentary films UK 2001-2015 | statistic. Accessed: 24 November 2016]
Alongside Michael Jacksons documentary 56 documentaries where released during the year making it the highest box office growth. Now although this information doesn’t state about Vimeo it tells us about the growth of the industry within this period. The next factor to look at is the actual question being presented how does Vimeo affect the film industry? Studying into the indie film makers of Vimeo and how the website charges for its PRO package one beneficial factor appeared. Unlike most web platforms within the creative industry the work being sold by Vimeo is more orientated around the creator in terms of profit. This means that Vimeo only take 10% of the income from the video whereas the content creator gain 90% of this. Because of this indie developer’s see this as a great opportunity for their work to be not only seen but sold, contrasting to YouTube where the indie producers work can be seen but not sold. [What Vimeo is doing for the film industry (no date) Accessed: 24 November 2016]
From this notion and comparing to YouTube it is evident which one is not only more professional for the film industry. One Final aspect to bring into play is how with YouTube they have a system called YouTube_Red like Vimeo this is where the viewers are charged for the content of the videos although again like the majority of YouTube the content uploaded is more Low Culture; reality T.V shows and skits again one of the prime examples of this being a previously looked at case study PewDiePie with his miniseries ‘Scare PewDiePie’.
To conclude with this essay, it is highly evident that the difference between high and low culture context between the two web based platforms is definitive with one charging for the content being shared and the other not with an exception of YouTube_Red. When looking primarily at how each platform benefits the given industries they refer to this high and low culture idea that has been explored throughout the report. The gaming industry is a lower culture where as the film industry and more refined, Documentaries are higher. When looking at the downsides of both the web based platforms Vimeo, appears to be more business orientated and because of this is lesser known than YouTube although in saying this YouTube has become a more casual platform for videos to go Viral where anyone can access the content being created and does not have to pay for. The game industry has benefitted from the introduction of YouTube and the advertisement of creators being uploaded. If given more time and able to find more resources the evidence given and discussion on the topics could be a lot stronger. This is something to consider when working on a further report of the question “how has the marketing of online distribution affected the games industry via YouTube compared to the film industry via Vimeo.
Word Count: 2400.
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