YouTube Gaming Focuses on Live, Mobile Capture, 360 VR

YouTube’s gaming video site draws hundreds of millions of gamers watching 144 billion minutes of game videos every month, half of which are on mobile devices. YouTube Gaming content creators have posted videos on more than 25,000 games. The channel’s fans are 30 percent women, 30 percent over 34 years old and 47 percent parents. Now 11 years old, YouTube continues to evolve its gaming ecosystem, with a push to do more livestreaming of games, a new “mobile capture” feature and an emphasis on 360-degree VR game videos.

VentureBeat reveals an interview between GamesBeat and YouTube director of gaming content Ryan Wyatt and product manager Alan Joyce, in which the two executives talk about what the company is working on now. Wyatt says that, at the end of 2014, the company decided that it needed to build “three big verticals” for specific communities: YouTube Music, YouTube Kids and YouTube Gaming, whose content can be found on YouTube.com and the YouTube app.

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“The reasoning behind YouTube Gaming, why we wanted to create that isolated environment,” said Wyatt, “[is that] we have hundreds of millions of users watching gaming content every month. Out of those hundreds of millions you have the tip of the triangle, hardcore users that only come to YouTube to watch gaming content. We still want to have this great vibrant gaming ecosystem on YouTube, but we want to give a home to people who only want gaming content.”

“Our basic philosophy, from a gaming perspective, is we want to make sure we have all the gaming content out there that’s available and that people want to watch,” he explained.

YouTube “revamped its live product,” notes Wyatt, which was launched in 2011. “We built out chat, a world-class chat,” he said. “We made it much simpler. Within a couple steps you can go live. We also integrated things like PlayStation so anyone could live stream if they wanted to.”

He also reports that part of the YouTube Gaming app update was the launch of “mobile capture,” which “allows you to live-stream or record any mobile game on your phone.” “It removes this barrier and all of a sudden any single person in the world who has a phone can go out and make content,” he said.

The third area of focus is 360-degree video. “If you think about VR and where it’s going to go as it relates to the game industry, it’s pretty appealing,” he said. “We’re thinking through how people are going to watch people playing VR like they watch someone play ‘Minecraft’ today. You want to be able to capture ‘Minecraft’ in 360 to allow a user watching that content to have the same experience.”

Having launched 360 last year, YouTube is now focusing on “working with gaming publishers and integrating the ability to capture and upload 360 content.”