Twitch’s hold on the streaming world is getting weaker and weaker

As this decade comes to a close, we are continuing to see a shift in the video game streaming industry. Twitch’s stronghold within the market is becoming less and less prevalent heading into the 2020s.
Twitch logo
Twitch has had a drop in its viewing numbers this year. Photo: Twitch Interactive, Inc. via Wikimedia Commons

Since Amazon’s acquisition of the company in 2014 for nearly $1 billion, the streaming platform’s popularity soared. It became the go-to website to watch live streams on. With over 3 million users creating content each month and 15 million visitors a day, it seemed that the firm is untouchable.

The game is changing

However, this year, there has been an emergence of strong direct competition to Twitch. Mixer’s rebranding in 2017 transformed the company into a pure streaming service.

Since then, the company has developed rapidly and is taking some of Twitch’s most popular streamers with them on their journey. The likes of Faze Ewok, Shroud and Ninja have all jumped ship to the rising star.

Along with this, Facebook has heavily invested in its gaming services. Not only is it launching various development projects, it is also placing and importance on its Facebook Gaming platform. Celebrity gamers such as Disguised Toast have put their faith in the service.

Even though Twitch still has the biggest slice of the pie, it is showing signs of slowing down. The Gamer reports on a study made by StreamElements. The report shows that Twitch holds 73 percent of the market share for hours viewed this year. However, this is down from 75 percent last year. Meanwhile, Mixer and Facebook’s share grew by two percent each over the same period.

Facebook Gaming
Recently, Facebook has been heavily pushing its gaming branch. Photo: Facebook

Switch from Twitch

Ultimately, the defection of many of its most popular content creators could be pushing this shift. Strict rules, lack of communication and tougher contracts have all been reported to be issues between Twitch and its top streamers.

With these switchers having such popularity, they are taking their millions of followers with them. Therefore, this audience is providing the company’s competitors with more viewing time. This point holds greater importance when considering the fact that 75% of Twitch’s views come from its top 4,000 streamers.

However, it isn’t just Twitch that is losing ground in the gaming realm. YouTube’s market share for hours viewed on its gaming content has also dropped. Their share has gone from 22 percent in 2018 down to 21 percent in 2019. Like Twitch, YouTube has also been scrutinized for its hungry approach, leaving many content creators lumbered with its strict policies.

Facebook Gaming and Mixer have both seen massive year on year growth of 210 percent and 149 percent respectively. Meanwhile, Twitch’s growth has slowed down to 20 percent while YouTube Gaming is at 19 percent.

Shroud Mixer
Popular gamers such as Shroud have taken many of their fans with them to Twitch’s competitors. Photo: Mixer via Facebook

This could just be the beginning

Altogether, this shows that the industry powerhouses are losing their control. Of course, Facebook is by no means an emerging company but it hasn’t had the grip in the gaming industry that it has hoped for until now.

With its digital counterparts losing ground, we could see Mark Zuckerburg’s company become a leader within the live streaming industry during the next decade. Furthermore, Mixer has been owned by Microsoft since 2016, giving it the needed finances and resources to compete at the highest level.

Just like how Microsoft competes with the likes of Sony and Nintendo in the console market, it is also competing with major powers in the game streaming industry.

What do you think of the shift happening within the live streaming industry? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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