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State of the Screens

Fortnite’s two-day outage was the game’s most popular event of the year

By October 24, 2019No Comments

The big deal: Fortnite went dark for over 36 hours last weekend and, people freaked out!  The crazy part is that this was 100% intentional!

Why this happened: Sunday marked the end of the 10th and final chapter of season 1.  Before launching season 2, Epic chose to take the game offline during one of their busiest times rather than doing something boring like launching the new version at 3 AM on a Tuesday.  This caused a panic, which led to far greater buzz/interest than any marketing campaign would have generated.

Audience size for Fortnite’s ‘The End’ event:
1) YouTube – 4.5M+
2) Twitch – 1.5M+
3) Twitter – 1.0M+

FYI:  The average Fortnite player spends 21% of their free time playing the game!

Flashback: Top ‘Live-Streamers’ Get $50,000 an Hour to Play New Videogames Online

Quick math on watching people play video games vs. reading:
1) 16.8 
minutes/day/person reading for 15+
2) 102 hours/year/person reading for 15+
3) 251M individuals 15+ in the U.S.
4) 25.7B hours/year of reading for all 15+ individuals in the U.S.
5) 8.9B 
hours/year of watching other people play video games (assuming all 15+ AND U.S.)
6) Total reading time is 2.9X total time spent watching other people play video games

Obvious caveats for above Twitch numbers:
Some hours are outside the U.S.
2) Some hours are for under-15

More #1: Brands are stuck paying for declining audiences for sports. They need to figure out a way into games like ‘Fortnite.’

More #2: Hollywood’s Video Game Blind Spot

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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