Video Advertising by Twitch Influencers

54 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2022 Last revised: 9 Nov 2022

See all articles by Yufeng Huang

Yufeng Huang

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Ilya Morozov

Kellogg School of Management

Date Written: November 8, 2022


We study the effectiveness of influencer marketing in the video game industry. To this end, we collect novel high-frequency data from, a major video game streaming platform, by monitoring live streams every 10 minutes for eight months. Using plausibly exogenous variation in the broadcast hours of Twitch influencers, we show that sponsored Twitch streams generate a small and short-lived increase in the number of players and game sales. We also show that sponsored streams encourage other influencers to broadcast the game organically, amplifying the initial effect of the sponsorship. Additionally, live streams serve as informative advertisements that benefit lesser-known games released by small publishers and games with appealing attributes. Combining these results, we provide back-of-the-envelope calculations showing that although sponsored live streams benefit some games, they are not worth the investment in most cases. This result questions the conventional wisdom that influencer marketing generates higher returns on investment than traditional advertising.

Keywords: Influencer Marketing, Advertising, Video Games

JEL Classification: B41, C14, C51, C52, D8, L82, M13, M31, M37

Suggested Citation

Huang, Yufeng and Morozov, Ilya, Video Advertising by Twitch Influencers (November 8, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Yufeng Huang

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

Ilya Morozov (Contact Author)

Kellogg School of Management ( email )

Evanston, IL 60201
United States

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