YouTube is launching an ad-supported mobile app and website dedicated to video game players, as gaming increasingly becomes popular among consumers and lucrative to marketers.
More than 25,000 games will have their own Internet pages on the platform, which is called YouTube Gaming and will be available later this summer in the United States and United Kingdom.
To be clear, you won't be able to play games on the new channel. But it allows consumers to search for gaming content and navigate more precisely than with the videos that surface on the catch-all flagship video product, YouTube.com.
Viewers can manage their favorite channels for gaming creators like PewDiePie, ihascupquake and NadeShot, watch live gaming matches between such entities and read gaming reviews, among other features. Current hits like Call of Duty and League of Legends will have their own pages as will video game classics such as Asteroids and Zelda.
Brands can appear in pre-roll and display ads on YouTube Gaming by buying gaming-only inventory via Google Preferred or Google AdWords. Having a dedicated space to target consumers could be attractive to marketers looking to zero in on this demographic.
As an initiative for Google to invest cash in, YouTube Gaming seems like a no-brainer.
Market researcher Newzoo estimated mobile games alone were worth $25 billion in 2014, up 42 percent from 2013. Also, in May alone, the popular game, Game of War—Fire Age, generated $1.5 million in sales, according to Statista, while Clash of Clans racked up slightly more than $1 million. What's more, ESPN The Magazine this week dedicated an entire issue to gaming for the first time.
"Mobile gaming will certainly continue to grow over the upcoming years," said Tim Koschella, CEO of AppLift. "A significant share of that growth will come from the Asian markets."
Nikao Yang, svp of business development and marketing at Opera Mediaworks, added that "mobile gaming delivers TV-like scale and targeting to advertisers with the [one-to-one] interactivity of digital, all in the palm of the consumer."
YouTube unveiled the gaming content platform at the E3 conference in Los Angeles this afternoon.