What are the ambitions of Youtube and Google in the video game?
At Youtube, we consider video games to be a huge part of entertainment. So many people are playing it and watching it is very important, as a video platform, that we pay attention to this audience. We therefore offer content that meets all expectations as it is the case for other themes, for example music, on Youtube. Gamers and video game fans need to be able to come to YouTube and feel at home in a community where they identify with peers and friends.
What does the video game weigh in Youtube?
I can not reveal the revenues of Youtube and even less the proportion related to the video game. But the audience is a good indicator. Of the 1.9 billion YouTube users, 200 million people watch video games every day on our platform. This is obviously a very important part of the business of Youtube, in terms of turnover, but also commitment of Internet users. That's what matters most. The video game on YouTube represents 50 billion hours of viewing, compared to the 7.5 billion viewing hours claimed by Twitch in 2018. And that's as much as the time spent on Netflix.
How is Youtube different from its competitor Twitch, the subsidiary of Amazon?
Twitch specializes in live streaming, while Youtube specializes in video. It's in our DNA. If you accumulate the time spent on all video platforms, fans spent 61 billion hours watching video games in 2018. But only 17% of that time was spent watching live video. We see that video on demand brings the user to live video. If you want the public to watch good live programs, you must also offer programs on demand that are of such good quality. We have both.
From an advertising point of view, what do you say to the brands that appreciate the high level of engagement of Internet users in front of Twitch's live videos?
All the people who go on Twitch are also watching videos on Youtube. The direct asks to be present and to devote time. But when the event is over, the spectators find it on Youtube. An advertiser therefore has an interest in focusing on Youtube to reach the audience of live and that of videos on demand.
How are the creators of video game content paid on Youtube?
Most of the income goes to the creators. We share advertising revenue. And we have developed what we call "alternative ways of monetization", specific to the world of video games. For example, creators can sell different subscriptions to their fans. These premium offers include merchandising or access to live chat sessions. Creators can also direct their audiences to online sales sites. Some creators make a very good living.
How does e-sport, or competitive video game, contribute to the growth of Youtube?
When I think of the value that e-sport can bring to Youtube, I do not think about money. What's fascinating about e-sports is the live content and the commitment or enthusiasm of the fans. Competition is in human nature. The video game is no exception. The biggest opportunity we have is to introduce e-sports to players who do not yet know this facet of their passion. E-sport videos are only a small part of video game videos that are online.
But again, does Twitch's strength on the line not play to your detriment?
People are concentrating on live broadcasting because it is obviously the most important moment of e-sport. It's like in traditional sport. But if you're really passionate about football, you'll be interested in club history, rivalry, and more. These contents do not all have their place during a direct. The actors of e-sport must not forget this facet of their story-telling.
Could Youtube organize an event or an e-sports tournament?
For now, we help creators organize their own events by broadcasting. We have never done it before because we are a platform that allows video game organizers and publishers to create the content on Youtube. If we started our own tournament, the situation would be complicated. I would not want an e-sports operator to feel embarrassed by posting content on Youtube because he thinks that Youtube is a competitor for him. If we ever did it, it would be in partnership with the publisher of a game.
You also run the virtual reality part of Youtube. Who looks at this type of content while the dedicated helmets have not yet democratized?
You are right but we are experimenting. Youtube is available on all major virtual reality headsets. But we have also developed a concept of "magic window" where you simply move your smartphone or the screen of a webcam so that the image on the screen follows the movement. We had the opening ceremonies of a League of Legend tournament filmed at 365 degrees. But virtual reality is not just about video game content. The National Geographic channel is a model. We can also immerse ourselves in a concert by Elton John.