AHEAD OF THE GAME
The gaming streamer wars are heating up
The gaming industry is currently valued at $120 billion, with experts projecting it to generate $196 billion in revenue by 2022. Companies are cashing in on this top passionate point among today’s youth, sealing deals and inking partnerships that they hope will capture the attention of today’s young gamers.
Microsoft is hoping to attract gamers to its new live video streaming platform Mixer with the influence of Fortnite star Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. Blevins, who was previously signed to Amazon’s Twitch, was offered a precedent-setting deal to stream exclusively via Mixer. While the exact terms of the deal haven’t been released, Blevins was reportedly paid between $20 to $30 million to leave Twitch for Mixer. Three months after Blevins left Twitch, another top gaming influencer Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek was also offered a deal to leave Twitch and stream exclusively on Mixer. By snagging two of Twitch’s top live streamers, Microsoft is hoping to draw more eyes to its new platform and compete with the biggest name in video game live streaming.
YouTube is entering the streaming wars with a major win. The video streaming platform signed a multiyear deal with gaming publisher Activision Blizzard to be the exclusive streaming partner for Activision’s eSport titles, such as Overwatch and Call of Duty. YouTube’s partnership with Activision is a big deal for the video streaming platform, whose attempts at getting into the gaming space have been less successful. Last year, YouTube had to shut down its YouTube Gaming app, which users found confusing, and has since launched a gaming video hub where users can more easily find popular live streams and gaming content. Along with streaming Activision’s eSports leagues, YouTube’s cloud platform will provide game hosting and other technical necessities.
While Twitch is the largest site for video game streaming, its growth over the last year can actually be attributed to the proliferation of non-gaming content on its platform, showing promise for diversification of streaming content on the service. According to a report from StreamElements, a new genre for non-gaming streams called Just Chatting has grown four times as fast as Twitch itself since it was created in September 2018. The genre has even topped viewership for both League of Legends and Fortnite streams. While content around cooking and art have gained some traction on Twitch, Just Chatting videos of streamers talking to their audiences and responding to their comments and questions are the most popular non-gaming streams.
The Cassandra Daily Newsletter will be on hiatus in observation of Presidents' Day on Monday, February 17th, and will resume on Tuesday, February 18th.