Millions of Germans watch Let’s Plays

Millions of Germans watch Let’s Plays
A professional computer player plays on a computer using two monitors.

• Approximately 16 million Germans have watched Let’s Plays
• More than 8.5 million Germans can imagine streaming themselves in the future
• Let’s Play fans are happy to make a financial contribution to their favourite streamers
Berlin, 15 January 2018 – Let’s Plays are extremely popular in Germany: more than 16 million Germans have watched recorded or live-streamed videos in which players show their own on-screen gaming experience and provide a running commentary. This equates to a year-on-year increase of roughly seven per cent, meaning that the video recordings and livestreams have continued to become established as an entertainment format in their own right. They belong to the media regularly consumed by millions of Germans, alongside streaming services for films, series and music. This is the result of a representative survey conducted by the market research company YouGov on behalf of the BIU, the German Games Industry Association. A large number of people are also willing to stream their own gaming experience: roughly one in five gamers in Germany (19 per cent) can imagine filming themselves in the future and making the videos publicly accessible. That equates to more than 8.5 million Germans.
‘Within the space of a few years, Let’s Plays have developed into an interactive media format in their own right for millions of Germans,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU. ‘The footage of computer and video games invites viewers to explore digital worlds together, listen to stories and engage with other members of the group.’

Let’s Play fans are happy to make a financial contribution to their favourite streamers

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, viewers can make donations of any amount on the gamers’ YouTube or Twitch channels. Approximately one in ten Let’s Play viewers has done this. More than 3 million Germans can imagine doing so in the future.
Germany’s best-known Let’s Players do not only use the option of collecting donations to boost their own income. Since 2014, the Let’s Play celebrities LeFloid, DoktorFroid, RobBubble and the Space Frogs have been raising funds for good causes with the charity stream ‘Loot für die Welt’ once a year. The stream raised 239,000 euros in November 2017, which was split equally between three charitable initiatives. In addition to this, YouTubers like Gronkh, Der Heider, Pandorya and PietSmiet raise money for welfare organisations each year with a joint live stream. On 2 December last year, they collected donations of more than 470,000 euros from fans with ‘Friendly Fire 3’. Once sponsorship and merchandise income had been added to this figure, the total raised came to around 600,000 euros. The money will go to four charities.

About the survey data

All the survey data, unless otherwise specified, comes from an online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH between 27 July 2017 and 3 August 2017, in which 2,000 people participated. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 16 and older.

BIU – the German Games Industry Association

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members are developers and providers of digital games and represent over 85 per cent of the German market. We are the sponsor of gamescom, the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, we answer questions on topics such as market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the leading location for game development.

Press contact:

Martin Puppe
BIU, the German Games Industry Association
Charlottenstraße 62
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 2408 77920
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408 77911
Twitter: @game_eV

Martin Puppe
+49 30 240 87 79 20