When it comes to streaming games, every game lover knows that Twitch is the platform to get the best experience. The platform, owned by Amazon, is created to stream video games, musical performances, and sports competitions. Hence has all tools and features needed for influencers and viewers to share content and interact effortlessly.
The tech giant acquired the platform in 2014 and now can boast of more than 40 million users across the globe. With Twitch, Amazon is set in the gaming industry. Besides, they proved they have come to stay in business with the successful release of their first video game – New World.
The success and rapid development could be because of the platform’s fantastic features. And it could also be because of the little or no competition in the business. However, that’s about to be tested as other tech giants are also getting into the business.
What other companies?
Facebook (now Meta) is one of the contending companies in the industry. The former social media network, but now a tech company, got into gaming in 2018. It launched its gaming platform the same year and has attracted many content creators and game streamers. Presently, Facebook has its gaming app and is also developing its games.
Netflix is another tech giant forcing its way into the gaming industry. In order to keep its subscribers and compete with other streaming platforms, the movie streaming platform decided that developing games would be the winning move.
As of the point of writing, every Netflix subscriber has five games on their streaming app at no additional cost. Also, the company has acquired its video game studio, and maybe in a few years, their subscribers will have more games and be able to stream games on the platform.
It seems business is about to change for Twitch. Perhaps, it has already changed with the presence of the new tech giants. Let’s see how the presence of Facebook and Netflix in the gaming industry will impact Twitch streamers and marketers.
Can these companies be a threat to Twitch?
Netflix is not much of a threat presently, as the company is yet to include game streaming services. However, Facebook is making big moves that could put them in the same position as Twitch in a few years. It seemed like yesterday when the company launched its gaming platform, who could have thought they would have taken over Mixer from Microsoft in two years.
Facebook gaming hit one of its most significant achievements a few months ago when Streamlabs Report showed that the platforms beat YouTube gaming with watching time for the Third Quarter of 2021. The report, which covered the data from July to September 2021, showed that Facebook received a total watching hour of 1.29 billion while YouTube gaming had 1.13 billion.
The report revealed that Facebook has a lot happening on its gaming platform and might have gained solid ground for itself in the industry. But what is the secret to this rapid growth?
What’s the reason for Facebook gaming’s rapid growth?
It must be the app?
According to viewers and content creators, the Facebook gaming app is simple to understand and use. The app is built exclusively for gamers. Therefore, a content creator could select a game on their mobile phone and play it for their viewers.
It’s better than other platforms in the sense that you could share your phone screen, which means that you could create content just with your phone. However, viewers will only see the game you’re playing and no live webcam video of the gamer. This is unlike Twitch in which the live streaming camera is designed to take the selfie video of the content creator. Besides, it also supports quick interactions between viewers and creators.
It must be the Analytics and measurement tools?
Facebook has comprehensive analytic tools for the content creators to measure their performances and get insights into the future. The analytic tool is designed so that creators can control the timeframe for which they want to have data. They could set it to yesterday, past seven (7) days, or twenty-eight (28) days.
It must be their monetization scheme?
Facebook gaming currently offers the best monetization scheme in the streaming industry. It’s even better than Twitch because its monetization scheme is open to new influencers with few followers. Moreover, they pay higher than Twitch. Until 2023, Facebook is paying all 100% subscription profit to content creators. It implies that a gamer who owns a Facebook channel is entitled to the full subscription fee paid by a subscriber, except for those paid through Google Android and iOS devices. Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) take 30% of the revenue for in-app purchases.
It must be because of the extensive fan base?
Unlike Twitch, Facebook gaming is still a place for growth. New influencers could still compete and thrive on the platform. Besides, you can easily create a huge fan base by sharing your content to groups on the main Facebook social media app. You can get as many followers and subscribers as possible with good content on your channel. You could make something out of the 2.8 billion active monthly users.
How’s Twitch still leading the competition?
Twitch has been in the industry for a long time.
You can’t expect less from a company that has been in the business for more than seven years. The platform already has millions of users, even before Netflix games and Facebook gaming. They already have people’s trust, so it will be hard for any company to displace them from the leading position. It’s every content creator’s number one choice because viewers are guaranteed.
Video game partnership
Twitch has more partnerships than every other company in the video game streaming industry, and that’s because of the enormous streamer community present on the platform. Businesses love to advertise on the platform because they are very sure of meeting potential buyers and clients. Also, content creators love it because there are chances of getting partnership deals from companies.
Twitch is also leading with its customization ability. The platform has partnered with many third-party applications and open-source programs such as the Streamlabs OBS. These extensions and applications offer unique customization features that allow influencers to design the channel to their taste. People love it when they have complete control.
Other platforms are doing great in this aspect, but none has beaten Twitch live-stream interaction. It’s so enhanced that viewers can chat with content creators during live streams and get responses immediately.
Impact of Netflix and Facebook presence on Twitch streamers and marketers
As mentioned earlier, Netflix is not much of a competitor presently. The platform has already announced to the general public that it won’t be leveraging its gaming activities for ads and marketing. It implies that presently, the platform is not a go-area for game developers that plan to earn more through in-game advertisement. Besides, until the platform supports live-streaming of games, it’s yet to be a meeting point for game influencers and viewers.
However, the presence of YouTube and Facebook in the game live-streaming business has impacted Twitch. And some of its streamers and marketers have migrated to the new platforms. Twitch lost some of its most notable streamers due to its monetization policy and the tough competition in the environment.
One of them is Tyler Blevins, popularly known as Ninja in the streaming industry. After streaming a Fortnite game he played with Drake, Travis Scott, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, he became famous. Tyler Blevins was a content creator and influencer on Twitch and gathered many followers during his time on the platform. He left in 2019 for Mixer because of his ambition in other careers.
Blevins claims he detests how his channel always loses thousands of followers anytime he takes a break on the platform to care of his other career. Other Influencers that left the platform include Jack Dunlop (Courage), Mike Grzesiek (Shroud), and Jeremy Wang (Disguised Toast).
However, not all left because of the competition on Twitch. Some left to sign exclusive deals on other platforms that pay more than their earnings on Twitch. Moreover, as some leave the streaming platform, thousands of new influencers are joining Twitch. So, for now, it isn’t perfect to conclude that the presence of Facebook in the streaming industry has affected the growth of Twitch.
However, that doesn’t mean Twitch hasn’t been feeling the presence of a competitor. Their total streaming hours have been declining after the first quarter of 2021, and according to Streamlabs Q3 reports. Twitch’s total watching hours also declined by 11% compared to their total hours in the second quarter.