YouTube has announced some changes in the way it presents games videos on its service, folding its standalone YouTube Gaming app back in to the main service. Not just yet: the app will be ‘retired’ in March 2019 so that the company can “focus all of our gaming efforts on YouTube where we can reach our entire gaming community”.

Reading between the lines, that suggests most games fans continued watching within the main YouTube site and app, rather than via the standalone Gaming operation. Cue the launch of a new gaming ‘hub’ on YouTube within the main service, which went live yesterday. We think the stats announced alongside this are interesting too: “YouTube is where more than 200 million gamers come to engage with your favourite games and creators every day, watching over 50 billion hours of gaming content in the last 12 months alone,” revealed YouTube in its blog post. A sizeable audience, albeit just 10.5% of YouTube’s 1.9 billion monthly logged-in users.

Music folk may enjoy comparing the ‘200 million’ figure to the ‘more than one billion’ people who watch music videos on YouTube every month (this figure was published by YouTube earlier this year as YouTube Music launched). But we can’t be too smug: gaming videos punch well above their viewer rate when it comes to watch-time and engagement, which in turn influences their earning power on the platform.

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