Twitch is the undisputed ruler of the livestreaming-video space, but competitors are starting to make gains. Mixer and Facebook Gaming are both up year-over-year in terms of market share, according to data-tracking service Arsenal.gg and broadcasting-production-tools company StreamElements.
Mixer and Facebooking Gaming both have 3% of the livestreaming market each in 2019. That’s up from 2018, when they both only had 1%. Their growth, however, is not zero-sum. Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming, and Mixer all saw year-over-year growth in hours watched. So as these sites work to improve their performance and capabilities, they continue to bring in new viewers from around the world.
Here’s how the growth breaks down per site:
- Twitch grew 20% from 7.8 billion hours to 9.3 billion hours
- YouTube Gaming grew 16% from 2.3 billion hours to 2.7 billion hours
- Facebook Gaming grew 210% from 115 million hours to 356 million hours
- Mixer grew 149% from 142 million hours to 354 million hours
Exclusive creator deals aren’t making a difference yet
But while all sites are growing, this isn’t yet about acquiring exclusive relationships with creators. Mixer, for example, has brought in former Twitch stars Ninja and Shroud. Facebook Gaming has even done the same. But most of their growth is just about building up a platform that people enjoy using.
“Mixer and Facebook Gaming are both doing an excellent job at growing their market share,” StreamElements chief executive officer Doron Nir said. “Because of where they are all at technologically, moving forward the talent investments become more critical.”
So while Ninja and Shroud didn’t change the landscape significantly in 2019, they are part of a strategy that will matter more in 2020 and beyond. Just like we see major film and TV streaming services desperately snatching up content, expect the same from the livestreaming space.
“We are at the stage where there is a large enough audience for all platforms to succeed,” said Nir. “But content is king in the same way Netflix, HBO, Prime Video, and Disney+ occupy the same space with their own exclusive shows.”
Matching Twitch is going to take time for Mixer and Facebook Gaming
Mixer and Facebook Gaming are growing significantly faster than Twitch and YouTube Gaming. But that is largely due to their relative size. The smaller platforms are a fraction of the size of their more established counterparts.
Even if Facebook and Mixer maintain something close to an exponential growth rate, it’s going to take years to have a comparable audience to Twitch. And Nir says that this is just how the business of livestreaming works.
“Even with big influencer deals, there has yet to be an overnight success in this space because building a successful streaming platform takes time,” said the StreamElements executive. “It’s a combination of a solid talent-driven content strategy, strong tech with compelling features, and the ability to scale paired with a community of third-party devs. [As well as] creating revenue opportunities for creators from both audiences and brands.”
Of course, StreamElements is one of those third-party devs. And one that provides creators ways to generate revenue from audiences and brands.
Still, Nir is likely correct. And expect to see all four major platforms work to improve the lives of content creators.
“Since platforms get this and understand that over the next 10 years gaming will be a driving force of the global economy, they’re willing to invest a lot in talent because they know brand dollars will be coming,” said Nir.
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