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South Africans’ Most Popular Video Game Sites Revealed

Main Image_Twitch_02.jpg

Let's start by predicting that it's probably not who you think. I’m also willing to bet most came to have a gander at this article expecting to see locally-hosted sites at the top of the list. However, the list of the top sites visited by South Africans in May 2015 (via SimilarWeb’s  Industry Analysis Report for sites falling into the “Video Game” category filtered for South Africa) revealed that local sites don’t feature in the top five. It also offered up an intriguing insight into South African gamers on the internet, and it seems that:

a) South Africans appear to love casual games (and I had no idea what baakav.com was).
b) Local gaming sites are not as frequently visited.
c) And Twitch is more popular than anyone else. Yes, it was number 1.

It was the (slightly unexpected) first spot of Twitch that prompted a little more investigation into the actual numbers and the growing support for Twitch in South Africa. Obviously, the streaming website is a key part of the current eSports scene in the country, and pretty much no tournament goes by without content hitting the broadcaster. Luca Tucconi of tournament organisers Orena says:

“I definitely feel twitch and all LIVE or non-live video content coming from South Africans is vital to the growth of our e-sports and general gaming community. With more eyes on our local stars, the unavoidable footprint we leave behind will eventually put investors in a position where they become obligated to get involved, at least from a financial point of view.”

But just what numbers are being spoken about exactly? In May, Twitch boasted 1,477,380 impressions (or page views) with a total of 17,006,400 minutes (or 283,440 hours) of footage watched by South African visitors. That’s a pretty staggering number in its own right, but according to the numbers offered up for this article, each unique user watched an average of 19.57 hours of content on the site. In this day and age, if any gamers are like me, that’s more time than is spent watching TV, making Twitch (even in South Africa) a more than viable marketing tool.

This is a sentiment echoed by Garth Rhoda, from Detonator Media, who have significant experience in running media campaigns for multiple brands in South Africa on Twitch. For Detonator Media, Twitch is a key part of their overall gaming media strategy that they have taken to market.

“Twitch has showed excellent growth and the campaigns we have run across media have proved to work very well for brands from an engagement perspective, specifically the video and pre-roll elements on the platform.”

Of course, Twitch will have a competitor coming in YouTube Gaming, and do in fact already have one or two existing broadcasting competitors out there, with Hitbox being the first one to spring to mind. However, it would be fair to assume that it will be Google’s entry into the race that will most likely compete head-to-head with Twitch.

South African YouTuber and all-round tech junkie Grant Hinds offered his thoughts on Twitch and the potential of YouTube Gaming:

“Twitch is an incredible platform and it's done amazing things for gamers. I think it'll continue to serve gaming and create opportunities for creators to showcase their content and drive how that content is made. YouTube Gaming may very well compete as it already has an established audience of gamers and content creators who are hungry for variation and innovation. And Google are well known for taking innovative risks.”

Whether Twitch will be number one for South Africans in a few months time will remain to be seen, but at the moment, there’s plenty of content live right now on the site, both international and local in flavour, and I’d reckon you will find something infinitely more entertaining than the repeats offered on TV these days.

The Top 5 Video Games Sites Visited by South Africans:

  1. twitch.tv
  2. bakaav.com
  3. ign.com
  4. gamefaqs.com
  5. oceanofgames.com

This data is based on May 2015 information from SimilarWeb.

About SimilarWeb


SimilarWeb is the leading international online competitive intelligence provider. SimilarWeb PRO is the platform which unlocks the traffic statistics for any website, mobile website or app, and is the only platform to offer global data at country specific levels. SimilarWeb PRO data is also available via API. SimilarWeb’s proprietary classification algorithms create unmatched industry benchmarks and insights into competitive marketing strategies.

SimilarWeb’s wealth of data combined with intuitive discovery tools uncover the pulse of the internet, that’s why SimilarWeb insights are often used in leading publications including Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall St. Journal, TechCrunch and AdWeek. 

SimilarWeb is used every day to help businesses, publishers, marketers and analysts to benchmark performance and find successful marketing strategies driving more traffic and opportunities. Companies that use SimilarWeb include Travelocity, Google, PlayBuzz, KPMG, eBay and UBS.

Try SimilarWeb for free at SimilarWeb.com or get the full platform at SimilarWeb.com/Pro.


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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd

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