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People are more likely to watch Minecraft on YouTube than Frozen or Beyoncé

The sandbox game was the second-most popular search term on YouTube in 2014, with only the term ‘music’ beating it.

MINECRAFT, THE POPULAR sandbox game was the second most popular search term on YouTube in 2014, beating the likes of Frozen, Drake and Beyoncé.

In a post from Think with Google, the game, which was purchased by Microsoft for $1.9 billion last year, was only surpassed by the generic term ‘music’,  a popular category which resulted in YouTube releasing its own answer to Spotify late last year called Music Key.

Other search terms that trailed behind Minecraft included ‘movies’, ‘happy’ (relating to the popular song from Pharrell and subsequent videos inspired by it), Pewdiepie, and Eminem.

What was noted about the popularity of Minecraft and games wasn’t the number of views such videos get, but the level of engagement and time spent with them.

think-gaming-content-is-niche-think-again_articles_01 Think with Google Think with Google

“Sometimes watching someone play a game can be as much fun as playing yourself,” said Google’s insights lead on pop culture and gaming, Gautam Ramdurai. “This isn’t surprising because we engage in similar behavior when watching the Food Network. Even though we can’t taste the food being prepared on shows such as Chopped, the process, tension, and competitive nature make for great entertainment.”

Gaming has woven its way into all areas of pop culture—sports, music, television, and more. Its appeal goes far beyond teenage boys (women are now the largest video game–playing demographic!). So it’s no surprise that gaming content has taken off on YouTube. Why? As one gaming creator put it, “You don’t have to play soccer to enjoy it on TV.”

More than 20 of the top 100 YouTube channels, in relation to subscribers, are gaming channels with PewDiePie having 33.5 million subscribers. Some of the reasons for its popularity are the reactions and commentary on games as well as creating a shared experience with favourite channels and creators.

Minecraft has sold more than 54 million copies worldwide, and allows players to both create structures in a sandbox environment its popularity has led to a significant number of dedicated YouTube channels dedicated to the game such as StampyLongHead and Little Lizard Gaming.

TeamMojang / YouTube

Read: Almost 2,400 classic MS-DOS games are now playable on your browser >

Read: This Irish mum set up a Minecraft convention. The response has been absolutely crazy >

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