Video gaming is one of the smallest YouTube content categories in South Africa.
This is according to the latest social media landscape report released by World Wide Worx, which shows that gaming is 10th in the top 10 list of content categories among South Africans.
Globally, gaming ranks in the top 5, along with comedy, music, entertainment or pop culture, and “how to” videos.
The reason gaming videos on YouTube are smaller in South Africa is that there are few creators capable of making high-quality videos locally, said World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck.
“The problem is they are up against the best in the world. They have to up their game,” he said.
There is nothing differentiating a South African video about games from one by an international content creator, which makes it difficult for local gamers to achieve success.
Goldstuck said that while there is a local gaming industry a YouTuber could focus on, it is a drop in the ocean.
The report’s findings then raise the question: must South African creators on YouTube appeal to an international audience to be successful?
“You don’t have to actively appeal outside South Africa, but you have to be world class,” said Goldstuck.
A global appeal will achieve the best traction for your videos, but it is the quality of the videos that is most important.
A recent development which could aid local YouTubers is the launch of Telkom LIT.
LIT allows for zero-rated data usage on certain video and music streaming platforms – including YouTube.
Providing unlimited YouTube streaming gives many South Africans access to local and international content on the platform, which will help local creators receive more views.
It gives creators a much larger potential South African audience to make videos for, which should help develop the local scene – and potentially make it more lucrative.
The graph below shows the top 10 content categories on YouTube in South Africa.