Influencers and Icons: The Rise of Gaming Streamers and their Influence on Gaming Trends


More than three million people use Twitch at any given time according to research firm Statista. In its early days, the Amazon-owned platform was strictly a gaming website. These days, you can find all sorts of content on the site and watch Influencers play different video games or promote their favorite brands.

One streamer might be racing in the streets of Los Santos in GTA V Online. Another one could be holding a QA about dinosaurs. Someone else could be teaching you how to cook.

And if you’re a casino lover, you can watch DiceGirl play her favorite Tom Horn gaming slots. In other words, Twitch is slowly becoming like YouTube—a platform for all sorts of video content.

We can’t fault Twitch for expanding beyond gaming content. However, gaming still remains its core business. The platform has over eight million streamers. When you sum up gaming streamers on social media and YouTube, the figure doubles.

Why are there so many gaming influencers? Do these people actually influence gaming trends?

Changing Online Trends

Not so long ago (2005), TV was the main source of entertainment for billions of people around the world. Now, more people spend time on the Internet than on TV and radio devices.

Millennials and Gen Z-ers, in particular, make up 60% of mobile users. What’s more, these two demographics are the largest consumers of gaming content. The world has more than three billion people who are 35 years or younger, meaning the gaming industry has tremendous potential.

Young people consume gaming content in much different ways than older generations. First, they play their favorite games on mobile devices, consoles, and PC devices.

Secondly, they watch gaming content online. Most of the people who spend hours on Twitch fall into the demographic of youth. Sure, some older Gen X and Baby Boomers also watch streamers. But they reflect a smaller percentage.

The Rise of Social Media

Twitch is a streaming platform for the passionate. However, not everyone loves gaming enough to visit the streaming platform daily. Some people would rather spend their time on social media.

Speaking of which, social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are supporting gaming content. In fact, Facebook pays its top content creators for streaming gaming on the platform.

Watching a streamer on Facebook isn’t different from watching the same content on Twitch. It’s beneficial to casual fans. You can watch a stream for a few minutes and scroll to watch something different.

Another way social media promotes gaming influencers is by connecting players from across the world. YouTube is the most popular social network for gaming influencers. Instagram, Facebook, X and TikTok follow.

Social media allows content creators to create awareness about their brands. They can promote streams and attract new followers. In turn, this increases their influence in the gaming sector.

Extensive Variety in Gaming

Another reason the streaming community keeps growing has a lot to do with the wide variety of gaming choices online. Twitch does an amazing job of categorizing different gaming products.

Still, there are more gaming choices than any single player can handle. Think of any type of gaming content you would enjoy and there’s a strong chance you can find it on Twitch.

If you’re a fan of competitive games, you can follow famous streamers like Ninja to watch Fortnite, Call of Duty, CS: GO, and League of Legends streams. If you enjoy mobile games, you can also find streamers who provide this sort of content.

The huge variety of games online means that there’s great potential for content creators who niche out. Not everyone can grow their platforms to be like PewDiePie or Shroud.

But if you target a small group of gamers with quality content, you can win them over. This explains why there are so many streamers online—the gaming market is huge, which allows every potential streamer to have an active audience.


A Great Source of Income

Another reason the streaming community is increasing can be linked to the potential for income. Top-tier streamers make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Some streamers make up to a million dollars per year.

The huge potential for making money is a great reason for people wanting to become influencers. Streamers generate money in a variety of ways. Twitch supports subscriptions, adverts, and affiliate marketing.

On YouTube, advertising is the primary money-generation method for streamers. However, the platform now also offers subscriptions and donations. If you have a large audience, you can also make money through affiliate marketing or by selling merchandise.

As we mentioned, some streaming platforms, including Twitch and Facebook, also pay top content creators. Then some brands pay influential people huge sums of money for endorsements.

Low Barriers to Entry

When you think about it, you can stream gaming content with just a couple of devices—a smartphone and a gaming machine. You can record your streams using your phone and use the machine for gaming.

If you’re a mobile player, you don’t even need to spend money on a gaming PC. You just need video streaming equipment—a tripod, a video camera/another smartphone, and a ring light for optimal lighting.

Opening a Twitch, YouTube or Facebook account is free. The challenge comes in attracting people to your streams. Some people spend months streaming to no one on Twitch. Due to that, the majority of video game streamers don’t make money.

Are Gaming Influencers Influential?

The short answer is that some influencers are influential. A case in point is Ninja, who not only has millions of fans but also makes a lot of money selling merchandise.

Ninja has also made suggestions to several video game developers and his suggestions were enforced. That said, some influencers have very little influence. The explanation is that not every content creator on Twitch has enough followers to influence gaming trends.

An influencer’s influence depends more on engagement than follower counts. Someone who attracts hundreds of comments, shares, and likes is more likely to influence people than a streamer who relies on likes alone.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Staff

Your friendly staff at GamesHedge, bringing you news, reviews, previews and hardware information from around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *