The LATAM Market
The term “Latin America” (LATAM) can be defined in various ways. One of those ways – the United Nations geoscheme – emphasises the socioeconomic history of the region, and that’s the definition we’ll be using in this post. In terms of data, all socioeconomic data we use (e.g. population figures) come from the UN World Population Prospects database, and all gaming data we use come from the Matchmade database.
LATAM is currently undergoing an access boom. Internet penetration is consistently rising, with about 438 million internet users in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018, up from just over 300 million in 2013. This is particularly true in the mobile sector, due in part to intense price competition, less regulatory pressure and an improved economic environment.
According to research from Americas Market Intelligence, “Latin American users spend an average of 7.5 hours online each day, compared to five hours in the rest of the world,” and “Latin Americans perform 16.3 different activities online each week, compared to 12.9 globally.”
Gaming in LATAM
This surge in activity has been reflected in the gaming industry. In August 2017, there were just over 12 billion total views on gaming videos, compared to just over 4 billion in August 2014 – a 200% increase. More impressive still, in August 2017, there were 10,942 unique active gaming channels, compared with just 2,725 in August 2014. In only three years, that is a jump of 302%.
Fig. 1 – Recent gaming activity in LATAM
Many countries in LATAM have relatively large populations. Brazil, for example, contains around 210 million people and is one of the most populated countries in the world. With the recent growth in activity in the gaming industry, influencers have faced increased competition, which partly accounts for what have become characteristic traits of LATAM influencers.
To better understand the influencer style of the region, let’s take a look at some well-known channels: JuegaGerman, Flakes Power and RobleisIUTU.
Videos in past 180 days: 74
Top games by views in past 180 days: Akinator, The Walking Dead and Battle Simulator: Counter Stickman
Gaming focus in past 180 days: 16%
Germán Alejandro Garmendia Aranis a.k.a. JuegaGerman is a Chilean YouTuber. Perhaps most famous for his other channel, HolaSoyGerman, he is in the rare position of owning two channels in the top 20 most subscribed YouTube channels. At the time of writing, JuegaGerman is the 18th most subscribed YouTube channel. The channel focuses mainly on non-gaming content.
You might recognise JuegaGerman from a Matchmade campaign for Futureplay, in which their game Craft Away! became a top-ten trending game in several countries.
The Futureplay campaign featured many influencers that performed strongly, but JuegaGerman stood out with a high volume of installs and great quality users. Futureplay ended up collaborating with JuegaGerman on a series of videos about their games.
Here is a typical example of his content:
Videos in past 180 days: 218
Top games by views in past 180 days: Fortnite
Gaming focus in past 180 days: 73%
João Sampaio a.k.a. Flakes Power is a Brazilian YouTuber. Originally, the Flakes Power channel was dedicated to Clash of Clans videos, but this focus was later switched to Clash Royale strategy. One of the unique features of Flakes Power is transparency. In a rough translation of his own words, he wishes to “prove that anyone can do well at Clash Royale and Fortnite, even without spending gems.”
For some time now, he has focused heavily on Fortnite, to the point where has been the only game he has played in the past 180 days. Some months are focused on gaming content, others are focused on non-gaming content.
Here is a good example of his content:
Videos in past 180 days: 63
Top games by views in past 180 days: Fortnite, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V
Gaming focus in past 180 days: 65%
Tomás Arbillaga a.k.a. RobleisIUTU is an Argentinian YouTuber. Having started on YouTube with the handle “tutorialero,” he has a huge presence in LATAM, and is prolific enough to have featured in YouTube Rewind 2018.
His content can be roughly divided between reaction videos, lets plays and challenge completions. He also owns a related channel, RobleisJAJA, on which he uploads Fortnite let’s plays.
Here is a good example of his content:
And, though most LATAM influencers reside in LATAM themselves, this is not always the case. There are notable exceptions worth mentioning.
Videos in past 180 days: 328
Top games by views in past 180 days: Fortnite, Minecraft, Mortal Kombat 11
Gaming focus in past 180 days: 97%
Samuel de Luque a.k.a. VEGETTA777 is a Spanish YouTuber and is currently the second most subscribed channel in Spain, though the majority of his fanbase lies in LATAM. He pays particular focus to making his content narratives “muy peliculero” (“like a movie”). His focus is mainly on gaming content, and though he plays a wide variety of games, he focuses mainly on Fortnite and Minecraft (which, combined, account for 84% of his total views).
Here is a good example of his content:
The LATAM Style
While it is important to highlight the unique features of each influencer, LATAM gaming content does have some common themes. One such example is that videos are characterised by energetic performances. As can be seen in a recent video from JuegaGerman, dialogue in LATAM gaming videos is rapid, with quick edits creating the sensation of a faster pace and more excitement. The editing in this particular video is so heavy that there are hardly any parts during which there is an absence of speech.
The demeanour of LATAM gamers is also quite melodramatic. That is – as well as an exaggerated form of speech, all other forms of communication (e.g. facial expressions) are also larger-than-life. If you look at the videos page for Flakes Power, almost every thumbnail contains an image of the YouTuber himself with a magnified expression.
As well as increased competition, a unique cultural factor comes into play when thinking about the LATAM influencer style. A form of entertainment called the telenovela became popular in Latin American countries in the 1970s and 1980s. This form of television serial drama was fast-paced and melodramatic, and its lasting influence on subsequent entertainers is clear.
Trending Games in LATAM Right Now
When we look at a comparison of the top 10 games for both the LATAM region and the world as a whole, there are some familiar trends. Minecraft and Fortnite perform roughly as well in LATAM as they do in general. ROBLOX and Grand Theft Auto V also make expected appearances as some of the most YouTubable games on the market.
However, we can also spot some key outliers in the LATAM games, notably the Free Fire series, Cristiano Ronaldo: Kick ‘n’ Run, PAC-MAN and Portal2.
Fig. 2 – top 10 games in LATAM and Fig. 3 – top 10 games globally
- The Free Fire series is currently doing well in LATAM, with both Free Fire: Survival Battleground – Firing Squad and Free Fire – Battlegrounds in the top 10 most-viewed games in the past 30 days.
- Free Fire: Survival Battleground – Firing Squad is by far the biggest game in LATAM right now. This is particularly true for Brazil, which in the past 30 days has had the most total views for the game, at 141,223,604. Other trending countries for Free Fire: Survival Battleground – Firing Squad are Panama (54.55% video share) and Venezuela (38.60% video share).
- Free Fire – Battlegrounds has a video share of 30.77% in El Salvador, and a view share of 11.33% in Peru.
- A popular trending game in LATAM that doesn’t appear in the global top ten is Cristiano Ronaldo: Kick ‘n’ Run. This game has seen a 117% increase in views in Peru in the past 30 days, but most overall views come from Mexico, at 24,308,265.
- Views for PAC-MAN in Brazil have skyrocketed an incredible 5,248% in the past 30 days.
- Portal2 is currently trending in Mexico and Brazil, with 16,613,337 views between them in the past 30 days.
The Bottom Line
LATAM is a serious player in the gaming industry, and should be of interest to advertisers. When you look at the data, it has been consistently overperforming. With such high activity and engagement, the region is a great opportunity for advertisers right now.
Matchmade conducted some data analysis earlier this year which showed that, “despite US-based mobile gamers [being] commonly known to have a higher LTV, CPM-based influencer marketing campaigns that target Latin America and Europe drive a higher return on investment (ROI) as they cost less and have higher conversion rates.”.
For some perspective, we can compare LATAM and global data:
Fig. 4 – Engagement rates by region
- LATAM contains 8.39% of the world’s population, yet it generated around 12% of all views and videos in the past 30 days – an overperformance of 3.66%.
- In the past 30 days, Brazil had the second highest video count in the world (at 12,242) and the second highest view count in the world (at 849,759,868).
- In terms of engagement in the past 30 days, LATAM engagement was 3% above the global average. Compare that with western countries that are classically sought after – their performances are around 4% to 7% mark.
- In the past 30 days, Aruba, Guatemala and Honduras were not only the top three places for engagement in LATAM, but also globally.
- Even though LATAM accounts for 12% of video uploads, it has an engagement rate of 10.2%. Globally, only Northern Africa performed better, and that was by 0.03%.
- In general, prices in LATAM are cheaper, and yet content creators are more responsive.
Numbers Don’t Lie
At Matchmade, we use data to bring together advertisers and influencers for targeted and measured campaigns. We mine YouTube and help advertisers find their optimal audience by trusting the numbers.
As we have seen, the numbers for LATAM are impressive. Activity has been steadily rising, there are a variety of influencers on the market that truly get through to their audiences, there are unique game types that do particularly well in the region, and audiences in the region are among the most responsive in the world.
There are clear, unique opportunities for advertisers in the LATAM market. Sign up with Matchmade and we can help you find the right influencer for your campaign.