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July 2, 2020
Netflix and chill might have defined streaming trends for years, but it is video voyeurism which is capturing the attention of the youth nowadays.
With every new generation, there is a new technology or activity which baffles those from yesteryear. The Millennials embraced social media, must to the distain of Generation X, and now it is time for the Millennials to be gobsmacked by technology, as the digital natives of Generation Z start to push streaming in a new way.
Twitch, Mixer, Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming Live, these might all sound like niche applications, but streaming platforms for gaming content and esports is becoming big business. This segment is growing rapidly, and it is certainly worth paying attention to.
According to analysis from research firm Streamlabs on the second quarter, more than 7.49 billion hours of gaming and esports content was viewed by users on the four aforementioned platforms. 251.9 million hours of this was live streamed on more than 16 million different channels. The numbers are quite baffling, and it appears Twitch is still the market leader by some way.
Total hours watched
Total hours streamed
Total unique channels
Average Concurrent Viewership
YouTube Gaming Live
*Figures in thousands
The big news from this industry in recent weeks was the merging of the Mixer and Facebook Gaming platforms. Although the numbers do look attractive for Mixer, the platform run by Microsoft, it does appear resources are going to be directed elsewhere. This would have been a different type of business model for Microsoft, one which is much more suited to Facebook as it is incredibly similar to the core social media platform.
While Twitch is in the lead for the moment, and YouTube Gaming is sitting comfortably in second, the combination of the two remaining platforms under Facebook’s aggressive gatekeeper/walled garden business model could be very interesting.
In the long run, the service which wins out is likely to be the one which marries experience with commercial. This is a segment which is driven by influencers as they are effectively the content creators.
Although the financial were never officially unveiled, industry analysts estimate Ninja, a popular influencer and content creator, was paid between $20-30 million to exclusively use the Mixer platform. A roster of popular content creators means attracting users and viewing hours, which is where the money is made. As the saying goes, ‘you have to spend money to make money’ and few are better at making money from the gatekeeper/walled garden business model than Facebook.
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