Written by: Roshan Dwivedi
Video gamers who live-stream their matches online and the throngs of fans who tune in daily to watch them swarmed a first-of-its kind convention in San Francisco on Friday, as interest swells in the medium of online video game broadcasting. There have been similar events before but TwitchCon 2015 was the first time fans, aspiring broadcasters and the virtual stars they watch will come together for a two-day conference dedicated solely to online game broadcasting. All this meant just one thing. e-Sports was to become the next big thing for live streaming in times to come.
e-Sports? What’s that?
Electronic sports, more commonly known as eSports, is the term used to describe playing high-level games and spectating of digital games in a competitive atmosphere.
eSports consists of many game genres, including real time strategy (RTS), first person shooters, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) and arcade style fighting games. The eSports community is made up of professional and amateur gamers, teams, commentators, sponsors, spectators and fans. Similar to traditional sport players, professional gamers are especially skilled and participate in intense training regiments. Pro-gamers generate their income through tournament winnings, sponsorships, coaching fees and revenues earned from advertisements on their esports live stream. Online live video streaming, also recognized as Social TV, allows gamers to attract tens of thousands of unique viewers daily.
Streaming gameplay is a relatively new phenomenon that has exploded in recent years, attracting hundreds of thousands of unique viewers daily. Twitch TV, a live video streaming platform, has been at the forefront of this success with 34 million unique users a month.
The Perfect Spectator Sport
The most valuable asset of live online video streaming and Twitch TV is the spectator. The spectator is defined as the person who follows the in-game experience, but not a direct participant in the game.
The primary difference between traditional sports and eSports spectating is that the vast majority of eSports events take place exclusively online. In addition, the community surrounding eSports is familiar with the Internet and various social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Twitch TV and other web platforms similar to YouTube.
The research found that eSports and the live online broadcasting that follow with it are an emerging Internet community and marketplace with a vast and dedicated following. The implementation of IPTV in the eSports industry has directly influenced the growth of its online viewership. Providing an easy to use platform without the need for any additional software or hardware resulted in a substantial increase in eSports broadcasting and viewership online. In addition, IPTV has provided an additional medium for income for professional gamers outside of sponsorships and tournaments.
The implantation of IPTV has also influenced how gamers interact with their community. Social engagement is at the heart of IPTV and live streams, breaking down traditional boundaries associated with passive entertainment consumption. The combination of active chat functions, an enthusiastic user base, and a community based user-generated content, coupled with the fact that this audience is only reachable through the Internet and IPTV platforms, provides for a unique social community that gamers actively seek out and consume. Live streaming eSports competitions and gameplay have grown to become a dominant media channel many males aged 18-34 would access. The interactive and social aspects of IPTV provide an unparalleled platform for the eSports community, which traditional broadcasting lacks.
Twitch TV, Competition & Ideas
In June 2011, when Twitch started as a branch of the streaming platform Justin.tv, the company initially just wanted to outsource its rapidly growing gaming section. At the end of 2013, they had 45 million unique viewers per month who each averaged 106 minutes of viewing time.
Justin.tv Inc. was renamed into Twitch Interactive Inc. and was bought by Amazon in the spring of 2014 for more than $900 million. In February 2014, Twitch accounted for 1.8 percent of total U.S. traffic on the Internet, placing it fourth behind Netflix, Google and Apple, prompting Forbes to proclaim Twitch the “ESPN of video games.”
Recently, YouTube announced its plans to rival Twitch in its own territory with its own game streaming service called ‘YouTube Gaming’. This is also a signal that the live streaming industry will soon rally behind this new aspect called e-sports. Given the sheer volume of its participants and spectators, the potential for generating revenue is also immense.
What if you could too own a platform like Twitch and stream gaming competitions from your locality? What would it take for you to stay out of this new live streaming revolution? Even if you wanted to have your own Twitch, how would you do that?
Precisely the questions we’re here to answer. By leveraging Amazon’s revolutionary CloudFront technology in the Muvi platform, you can have your own game live streaming platform with a custom DRM package, end-to-end streaming solution, Mobile/Tablet/Smart TV/OTT box apps, in-built CMS, geo-blocking and even additional features like analytics with reporting feature, on-demand streaming and marketing tools like blogs.
Game for it?