New data shows which gaming brands are dominating sponsored influencer posts on YouTube and Instagram

  • The influencer-marketing platform CreatorIQ scanned thousands of Instagram and YouTube posts to find out which gaming brands appeared in the most sponsored posts in September.
  • The company identified 2,700 sponsored posts that featured video game companies last month.
  • Twitch was the most prolific gaming brand, appearing in 426 sponsored posts by 131 YouTube and Instagram creators, according to CreatorIQ's analysis. 
  • Sony's Playstation was the second most prevalent gaming brand in CreatorIQ's data set, followed by Nintendo, Nvidia, and Microsoft's Xbox.
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Video game companies have flourished in 2020 as demand for their products has spiked among at-home consumers.

As interest (and competition) have heated up, gaming brands are hiring influencers to post thousands of sponsored posts on YouTube and Instagram, according to new analysis from the influencer-marketing company CreatorIQ.

CreatorIQ detected around 2,700 sponsored posts from 870 creators for gaming brands on YouTube and Instagram during the month of September.

Twitch was the most marketed gaming company among influencers. The streaming app, which has recently expanded outside of gaming content, appeared in 426 sponsored posts from 131 creators last month, according to CreatorIQ's analysis.

Sony's PlayStation was a close second in CreatorIQ's data set. The video game brand appeared in 423 sponsored posts from 116 creators in September. 

Competitors Nintendo, Nvidia (which sells game hardware and operates a cloud-gaming service), and Microsoft's Xbox rounded out the top five in terms of total sponsored post appearances in September: 

  1. Twitch: 426 sponsored posts from 131 creators.
  2. Playstation: 423 sponsored posts from 116 creators.
  3. Nintendo: 361 sponsored posts from 97 creators. 
  4. Nvidia: 245 sponsored posts from 49 creators.
  5. Xbox: 238 sponsored posts from 87 creators. 

For its analysis of sponsored posts, CreatorIQ used keywords and hashtags like #ad, #sponsored, and #partner to differentiate paid mentions from organic influencer posts. It identified specific gaming brands in sponsored posts by looking for instances where a creator tagged a company's social handle or brand-specific hashtags.

Video game brands and gaming creators have been leaning into influencer marketing in 2020 — particularly as mobile gaming has taken off. The esports company ReKTGlobal formed a partnership with the TikTok talent-management firm TalentX Entertainment in May to expand the influencer portion of its business.

"We have clients that pay us on retainer, we have clients that pay us on project, we have clients that pay us per spec, and then obviously there's influencer deals where we'll take a percentage," Amish Shah, founder and chairman of ReKTGlobal, told Business Insider earlier this year. "So everything you would think of that gets done in the agency world on the brand side, that's how we operate."

Here are the top gaming brands that appeared in sponsored posts on YouTube and Instagram in September, according to CreatorIQ's analysis: 

  1. Twitch: 426 sponsored posts from 131 creators.
  2. Playstation: 423 sponsored posts from 116 creators.
  3. Nintendo: 361 sponsored posts from 97 creators.
  4. Nvidia: 245 sponsored posts from 49 creators.
  5. Xbox: 238 sponsored posts from 87 creators.
  6. PUBG Corporation: 147 sponsored posts from 50 creators.
  7. Steam: 141 sponsored posts from 25 creators.
  8. Tencent: 62 sponsored posts from 30 creators. 
  9. Supercell: 61 sponsored posts from 7 creators.
  10. Activision: 52 sponsored posts from 28 creators. 
  11. MoGi Group: 44 sponsored posts from 9 creators.
  12. 2K: 36 sponsored posts from 11 creators.
  13. Square Enix: 34 sponsored posts from 19 creators.
  14. Electronic Arts: 30 sponsored posts from 15 creators.
  15. Bungle: 28 sponsored posts from 4 creators.
  16. SEGA: 20 sponsored posts from 10 creators.
  17. Wizards of the Coast: 18 sponsored posts from 4 creators.
  18. Codemasters: 14 sponsored posts from 1 creator.
  19. Epic Games: 14 sponsored posts from 10 creators.

For more stories on how gaming brands are breaking into the influencer space, read these other Business Insider posts: 

  • A veteran talent agent says TikTok is the next frontier for gamer houses and esports teams — and she's betting her career on it: The veteran gaming and esports agent Amber Howard recently took the helm as TalentX Gaming's head of talent. Here's how she plans to grow the agency.
  • The top 16 managers and agents for gaming YouTubers, streamers, and esports competitors: These power players help their clients diversify their online brands and build partnerships with companies through influencer-marketing campaigns.
  • Ninja just signed a multi-year contract that keeps him exclusive to Amazon-owned Twitch: Ninja is back on Twitch, and he's got a new multi-year exclusivity deal with the Amazon-owned video game streaming service.

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