In 2011, the online streaming platform Twitch was launched. It was later acquired by amazon in 2014 for uS$970 million. Jumping into this streaming arena, microsoft acquired mixer in 2016 and facebook also launched a facebook gaming video channel in 2018.
According to Statista, by 2022, there will be almost 300 million frequent viewers of esports worldwide, with some 347 million forecasted occasional viewers by 2022.
The biggest game streaming platform, Twitch, is free to watch while a subscription to get rid of ads costs uS$8.99 per month. Broadcasters on Twitch earn money through the Twitch partner or Affiliate programs.
Twitch Affiliates are given access to Bits (a form of mini-donations from viewers) and a percentage of game sale revenue made through their profile. Twitch partners also get these perks in addition to video ads, paid subscriptions options, custom badges, and emoticons.
COMPETITION AND EXCLUSIVITY
As game streaming gains popularity, other players want a piece of the pie; Microsoft Mixer has begun poaching Twitch streamers to their platform.
Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, and cory "King Gothalion" Michael all announced their moves to Mixer in 2019. When Blevins made his switch, he had 14.7 million followers on Twitch and had told CNN that he was making uS$500,000 per month, split between Twitch, YouTube and sponsorships.
Blevins was reportedly paid US$1 million to play and promote “Apex Legends” at launch by Electronic Arts, according to an unnamed source of reuters. rather than conventional media campaigns, companies are increasingly willing to spend millions ensuring their games dominate Twitch and similar services.
YouTube brought over Jack “courage” Dunlop and Lachlan power, who between them commanded about 3 million followers on Twitch. Meanwhile, Facebook Gaming signed Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang, a popular card game and auto chess streamer.
Not to be outdone, Twitch signed deals with some of its top streamers to keep them on its platform. DrLupo, TimTheTatman, and Lirik will now stream exclusively on Twitch, raising the prospect of a new streaming landscape with their own distinct content, culture, and personalities. Twitch has responded quickly to the departure of Ninja, Shroud, and King Gothalion, and it’s clear that it understands the risk to its viewership and culture as popular streamers leave.
This parallels the way Netflix, Amazon prime Video, and Disney+ are carving out niches for themselves in the video streaming world.
LOOKING TO THE EAST
Esports streaming is also extremely popular in china over platforms like Huya and Douyu.
What they have done to combat talent poaching is developing their own “talent development programs” to quickly replace poached talent. They also sue players who swap platforms.
In a report, it was said that Douyu pay top gamers like Liu “PDD” Mou at least US$4 million a year to retain them exclusively, says Liu. He also redeems money from virtual gifts from followers, from which Douyu gets a cut. Liu streams up to four hours a day to his 10 million Douyu subscribers.
In the wake of Ninja’s decision to switch streaming platforms, many people are asking themselves if they should stream on other platforms. Most data gleaned from analysts seems to indicate that many streamers are beginning to recognize the value in streaming to less saturated platforms. But it is hard to say how much longer this interest in streaming will continue. HWM