Subscriptions for YouTube's hundreds of video game channels tripled from 2012 to 2013

Google is looking to up advertising revenue via increasingly-popular gaming videos on YouTube.

According to Reuters, Google has realized the potential of gaming videos and hopes to use YouTube to tap into that world as a way of collecting more ad dollars. More specifically, it will try to bring produced content to YouTube in addition to the trove of amateur videos already available. 

PewDiePie is an excellent example of YouTube talent rising to wild popularity. PewDiePie -- the YouTube name for 24-year-old Felix Kjellberg -- plays video games on his channel and offers humorous commentary. He currently has more than 25 million subscribers, which is more than Beyonce's and President Barack Obama's channels combined. 

Last week, Walt Disney Co. bought Maker Studios for $950 million USD. Maker Studios is one of YouTube's largest production and distribution networks, and PewDiePie is Maker's biggest star.

PewDiePie [SOURCE: Deviant Art]

Zefr, an online video marketing and rights management company, said that two of the 10 most-subscribed channels and four of the most-viewed channels on YouTube are gaming channels.

This turned on a lightbulb for Google, realizing that its own YouTube platform -- which it bought in 2006 -- could be home to many more gaming stars and videos, and that fans would eat up anything these videos advertised if they grew in popularity. 

Questions remain about the profitability of video production outfits like Maker Studios, and even the revenue of YouTube channels (Social Blade, a YouTube analytics firm, said PewDiePie's 2013 revenue is anywhere from $1.6 million to $16.1 million -- a huge range), but with subscriptions for YouTube's hundreds of video game channels tripling from 2012 to 2013, Google is willing to take that chance. 

Google has reportedly started offering audience guarantees and reserved ad slots to advertisers on some of its most popular videos in exchange for spending commitments.

Source: Reuters

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