Hey Sports Tech Fans,
Following on from last week’s note on issuing the newsletter on a more frequent basis to make the digest, well, more digestible :) a few people got in touch and suggested a Wednesday & Friday release for the newsletter, so thanks to you for helping to shape the community!
In an ideal world it would be daily but being one man, the extra workload would be too much!
This week I want to talk about the Streamer Wars. This is very different from the streaming wars we have covered every week of the digest, that sees tech companies and media companies in stiff competition to control the distribution of live sports in a world that is increasingly streaming based.
The streamer wars are what we are seeing taking place in the world of video game streaming in recent months that was kicked off by Ninja moving from Twitch to Microsoft’s Mixer.com and added to with the move of Shroud and Gothalion to Mixer and CouRage to Youtube in recent weeks.
The excellent Devin Nash on Youtube (video below on CouRage’s move to Youtube & the future of Youtube Gaming) has some great insights into the industry and the recent moves of big streamers to Mixer and to Youtube.
The TLDR of his analysis is that streamers like Ninja, Shroud and Gothalion are moving for big money which increases the time they have to create other content and thus their brand whilst not having to game for 10+ hours a day to build that brand.
It’s about money but not only about the money!
The details of the deals remain a secret but Shroud previously said that he would only leave Twitch for Mixer for $50 million. Whilst this might not be the actual figure it is clear that the size of the deals are for significant amounts of cash.
The streamers are foregoing higher viewership numbers in return for their sweet deals as well as having a direct influence on the future of Mixer features, UI, tools and community, etc.
Them having more time to create other content like videos, Vlogs, blogs, infographics, etc. allows them to diversify from live streaming which is not a sustainable model long term. These guys are in their 20s but having more strings to their bow is a smart move and getting paid to do this and experiment is a win win for them.
From Mixer’s POV they have attracted the biggest names in the game that are advertiser friendly which will result in higher CPMs on Mixer than the likes of Twitch.
With Microsoft having Windows and XBox, they have a ready made gamer community to funnel into Mixer. Giving them a huge advantage over Twitch who don’t have as an effective funnel to attract new users.
Youtube has almost 2 billion users or 79% of internet users. A recent tweet from from Ryan Wyatt, head of gaming and VR at Youtube, said that 200 million people are coming to Youtube for gaming content every day!
With this big of an audience already interested in gaming content, they have a huge advantage in gaining new users to add to their 17% market share of video game streaming (Twitch 75% Mixer 3.2%).
Youtube is the defacto Video on Demand platform in the world and with a significant share of the live video streaming market already, the two together offer a great experience for streamers as their content can live on forever.
If Youtube start to algorithmically showcase live streams when a user searches for related gaming content then the returns could be massive, for streamers, advertisers and for Youtube itself.
Devin also maintains that the advent of Stadia could be the ace up Youtube’s sleeve as it promises high end gaming with no hardware requirements which would increase the number of streamers dramatically, all inside the Google ecosystem where users can live stream with the tap of a button and with VOD content created automatically.
This is a massive battle ground that has really started to heat up in recent months. It has a long way to run but the assumption that Twitch is the perpetual top dog in the world of video game streaming seems to be an outdated POV. as companies with massive reach and deep pockets look to disrupt the industry and whittle away the first mover advantage that Twitch has and resulted in a 75% domination of the market.
Have a great sporting weekend,