Let’s Plays prove popular: more than a million Germans make voluntary donations for Let’s Play content on YouTube and co.

Let’s Plays prove popular: more than a million Germans make voluntary donations for Let’s Play content on YouTube and co.
Autogrammsstunde mit Gronkh, Aussenbereich Halle 4/5

Autograph session with Let’s Player Gronkh at gamescom 2016 (photo: Koelnmesse)
• 1.15 million German internet users have made payments to Let’s Players
• Almost 15 million people in Germany have watched Let’s Plays
Berlin, 19 October 2016 – So-called Let’s Plays have long since become established among the young, digitally savvy generation as an entertainment format in their own right. Let’s Plays are recorded or live-streamed videos in which players show their own on-screen gaming experience and provide a running commentary. The resulting content is shared with viewers on video platforms such as YouTube or streaming services like Twitch. Millions of people in Germany watch this footage. The most successful Let’s Players have long since become celebrities among their target audience and earn enough to support themselves with their videos. Let’s Players generate income with paid channel subscriptions, advertising revenue and merchandise, for example. In addition to this, they can receive donations on their YouTube or Twitch channels. Some 1.15 million Germans (8 per cent of the approximately 15 million Let’s Play viewers in the country) have made voluntary donations to their favourite Let’s Players. A further 3.6 million Germans (25 per cent of the approximately 15 million Let’s Play viewers in the country) can imagine supporting Let’s Players in this way in the future. The figures were announced today by the BIU, the German Games Industry Association, and are based on surveys by the market research company YouGov. It is the first time these statistics have been collected for Germany.
‘The fact that Let’s Play videos have become an established entertainment format watched by millions of people illustrates the massive change in media usage by the young generations, who are increasingly moving away from traditional formats,’ says Maximilian Schenk, Managing Director of the BIU. ‘However, above all, it also shows what the young generation finds so fascinating about games: increasing media convergence and the idea of a community. The players have their own fan communities who are prepared to make voluntary payments to their favourite gamer for videos, even though content is available everywhere online nowadays. They choose how much to pay, without having to, as a means of acknowledging the gamer’s commitment. This is one more way in which games can serve as a role model for other media.’

More than one in five German internet users watch Let’s Plays

In no other medium does the user take such an elementary role as in computer and video games, and Let’s Plays are the best example of this. The popularity of gamers’ recorded and live-streamed videos is also illustrated by the fact that almost one in five internet users in Germany (18 per cent) are familiar with the term ‘Let’s Play’ and know what it means. Almost 15 million German internet users (22 per cent) have watched such recorded or live-streamed videos online. The figure is even higher among 16- to 24-year-olds, at just under two thirds (63 per cent). Roughly a further 3.5 million people in Germany (8 per cent) have even recorded their own gaming experiences and shared them with other people on platforms such as YouTube or Twitch. 19 per cent can readily imagine doing this in the future. Let’s Plays were a hot topic again at this year’s gamescom, the world’s largest event for computer and video games. Many of Germany’s best-known Let’s Players attended the event, such as Lefloid, Dner, Paluten, Sgt. Rumpel, Sturmwaffel, Unge, Gronkh, Pietsmiet, Sarazar, MissVlog and Rewinside .
‘Let’s Plays show how much the player’s role has changed from a mere consumer to an active creator,’ says Schenk. ‘A new celebrity culture has sprung up around the Let’s Play trend in which Let’s Players attain a status that would only have been possible for pop or film stars just a few years ago. They wow their fans with their home-made videos and streams; they’re idols for the digitally savvy generation. Their fans are happy to financially acknowledge their daily gaming on live-streaming platforms.’

Note on survey data:

All information concerning the payment of Let’s Players was provided by YouGov Deutschland GmbH. 2,023 people took part in the survey between 11 July 2016 and 13 July 2016. The results have been weighted and are representative.

About the BIU:

The BIU, the German Games Industry Association, is the association of the German computer and video games industry. Its 26 members are developers, publishers and suppliers of digital games. Together, they represent over 85 per cent of the German market. The BIU is, for example, the organiser of gamescom. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, the BIU answers all questions on the topic of digital games.

Press contact:

Martin Puppe
BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware e. V.
Charlottenstraße 62
10117 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 2408779-20
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408779-11
Email: puppe@biu-online.de
Twitter: @game_eV

Martin Puppe
+49 30 240 87 79 20