Competition between streaming game platforms heats up with the growing popularity of games and esports. Indeed, Twitch is still the number one platform, controlling three-quarters of the market, but they are starting to lose momentum because their star streamers – such as Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek and Jack “CouRage” Dunlop – have decided to move to other platforms such as Mixer from Microsoft or YouTube Gaming.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Activision Blizzard has just announced that it has made YouTube Gaming an exclusive partner for broadcasting their leagues and professional esports events. In addition to the Overwatch League, the Activision esports tournament also includes Call of Duty League, Hearthstone Esports, and World of Warcraft Esports.
“Our mission is to provide quality entertainment that can be watched by our fans, both live and as on-demand content. And we want to also make our professional players superstars. This collaboration allows us to fulfill this mission, “said CEO Activision Blizzard, Pete Vlastelica, quoted from PC Gamer. Activision said, through collaboration with YouTube Gaming, they will also be able to access various AI tools from Google Cloud that can offer curated recommendation content to the audience.
“In recent years, we have worked closely with Activision Blizzard in various mobile games to improve their analytical skills and improve the playing experience of the players. We are happy because now, our cooperation is deeper and we can work with one of the biggest and most recognized game developers in the world, “said Head of Gaming, Google Cloud, Sunil Rayan.
At the end of 2019, YouTube Gaming had a 22.1 percent market share. Getting exclusive broadcasting rights over a number of well-known esports leagues will help them to increase their market share. Doron Nir, CEO of Stream Elements, said that currently the streaming game platform is focused on getting exclusive broadcasting rights over well-known content streamers to boost their viewership. However, the actual league or esports tournament also attracts a lot of spectators.
Nir said, “Esports tournaments usually have the biggest audience. On Twitch, the two most watched channels in 2019 are Riot Games and Overwatch League. This means, Activision Blizzard’s exclusive contract with YouTube will have a significant impact in building their portfolio and demonstrating their commitment to the streaming platform market. ”
Now, Twitch is still dominating the streaming platform market. However, their market share continues to fall. According to the Forbes report, one reason is because Twitch’s earnings were not as much as Amazon, its parent company had hoped.
This month, Twitch reported that they failed to meet the set income targets. They only managed to get US $ 300 million from the target of US $ 500-600 million. In comparison, Amazon’s total revenue could reach US $ 232.9 billion. This shows how little Twitch contributed to Amazon’s total revenue. So, it is unlikely that Amazon will provide large funding to Twitch to get an exclusive contract with a streamer or esports tournament.
Meanwhile, every year, YouTube contributes around US $ 16-25 billion in Google’s revenue. And Facebook has revenues of US $ 16.9 billion per year. Both YouTube and Google can use these funds to develop their live streaming division, for example by making exclusive agreements with content creators or getting broadcast rights over esports leagues. Not only that, Facebook and Google also have better experiences in monetizing content via advertisements.
Currently, Twitch is still successful. However, the trend shows that their dominance began to be eroded by its competitors. Amazon may have to inject large funds into Twitch so that the streaming platform can compete with its competitors.