The growth of streaming platforms is insane. How? Consider the Television set up in front of you, as simple as that, and then consider watching a live stream from the comfort of your tiny device known as the mobile phone. That also requires a streaming platform. Hence, every sort of media communication that requires a live stream or normal stream of any media product requires a streaming platform, and hence the rise of live streaming platforms is almost out of this world! Live streaming has been essential for the growth of all forms of media content creators, and that is why you see many new applications popping up every day (1).
Streaming can be of any kind. Streaming can be from Gaming to OTT platforms that cast movies, series on their platform (2), or even tele-streaming that involves watching live cricket matches or a show that repeats every often. Streaming is a very peculiar business and is much fun as well. By the way, even you can do it too, want to know how? We’ll get to that soon. Today, over 60 plus applications stream your content onto the platforms, and 20 plus sites host your streams. Remember, these are two different things; One plays while the other hosts. For example, OBS casts your stream, while YouTube or Twitch broadcasts it. It is as simple as that. The only difficulty would be the setting that requires you to do a bit of research before meddling it if you want a good stream.
Streaming is a huge business as it attracts millions of new users. If you have a good Internet connection, a computer or a laptop, and a probable to say, a better system, you can stream. That is why many new users start streaming every day. Many have taken the opportunity to use streaming as a source of income. Full-time gamers play every day on gaming sites like Twitch and youtube (3). The rise of gamers is due to the chance of streaming. Earlier, streaming wasn’t available for Indian users, but then slowly, it was implemented, and later on, it boomed as a source of fun and entertainment for both sides. Streamers like MythPat, Pewdiepie, Markiplier, Scout had emerged as the best overtime for their inquisitive and better style of delivering streams neatly and professionally.
Nowadays, if you stream well, companies would come to you seeking advertisements and so on, and that is how these streamers make their income for stuff like giveaways. For the other style of streams that usually work for television and so on, the stream doesn’t just work on the network. Satellite and radio waves communicate data that is transmitted back to the station for a clear-cut visual. That is how you can see a movie or a soap-opera without any glitches, unlike a normal stream that works based on the erratic nature of wireless networks and routers. Streaming is the new deal for e-sports and all kinds of live events, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Church masses, funerals, and even birthday parties were live-streamed.
Rise of Streaming in gaming
The gaming streaming market is expected to register a CAGR of 9 percent during the forecast period 2021-2026. As per the World Economic Forum, eSports viewers spent 17.9 million hours watching their gaming heroes on different channels, such as YouTube’s gaming channel or Twitch, in the first quarter of 2018. The eSports industry is in its early stages. With growing audiences and increasing popularity, it is expected to offer a strong potential to capitalize on the gaming streaming market in the future. Furthermore, mobile game streaming is a recent phenomenon expected to thrive on the market exponentially (4).
The streaming market consists of streaming content of video games via the Internet, including live gameplay or pre-recorded gameplays. According to Streamlabs, some 4 lakh streamers were active on streamlabs in June 2019, a growth from 1.5 lakh active mobile streamers worldwide in June 2018. Therefore, it is expected to drive the market in the future with the increased penetration of smartphones and mobile streamers. However, the high cost of creating content and lack of awareness will limit the market growth. The streaming market is divided into regions like North America, Europe, etc. (5).
Major enterprises rely on monthly subscription fixed revenue over other models of revenue. The subscription model also offers many data to the development of the game, including the most used arms, in-game, and game modes. Games like Counter-Strike and Dota 2 focus more on the data generated in the game. Twitch and Youtube are the most important platforms for live streaming. The new StreamElements report shows Twitch viewers streamed live a total of over 2.72 billion hours in the second quarter or 72.2 percent of all hours watched in life compared to 735.54 million or 19.5 percent in the second quarter of 2019 compared to 735.54 million or over one million hours on YouTube Live (6)
In 2018, youTube opened its sponsorship template to exchange exclusive benefits such as ad-free streaming, chat features, special emotions, badges, and access to archived and personal streams (7). Twitch’s most robust monetization tool is the subscription feature, like Netflix. This growth further supports the increase in the digital payment base. Mastercard, for example, signed a multiannual partnership with Riot Games in September 2018. This agreement made Mastercard the sole global payment partner for global sporting events. The market for game streaming is at its initial stage, and the market is, therefore, a little competitive. While eSports leagues are very popular, companies enter the market to gain a competitive advantage and expand their geography. The primary growth strategies adopted by those companies for the sustainability of competition are product launches, high research and development costs, partnerships and acquisitions, etc. Amazon.com, Inc., Douyu TV, and YouTube Gaming are key players in this market (8).
Logitech International was established in September 2019. Agreed to purchase streamlabs for approximately 89 million dollars in cash, making a live streaming application Streamlabs OBS. The purchase would improve the product portfolio of Logitech. Twitch launched Twitch Studio in August 2019, designed to help new streamers get streamed as quickly as possible. Today, the platform plays host to video game streams, but it extends into other live entertainment areas, such as sports and music (9).
Rise of streaming in India
According to a Deloitte India report published on Tuesday, the online gaming industry is expected to grow from 1.1 billion dollars in 2019, at an annual compound rate for the growth of 40 percent to 2.8 billion dollars by 2022. Most of the rapid growth is expected to strengthen the sector’s share of the total media and entertainment industry by 4 to 5 percent, thanks to smartphones, affordable data, and increased disposable income. Covid-19 has further increased its growth as users are tied to online gaming platforms while locking down in the absence of entertainment options. During the initial national lockdown, the time spent on gaming applications increased by 21 percent, and the total customer base was 300 million users (10).
India is among the world’s top five mobile gaming markets with a 13 percent share of the global gaming sessions, and 40 million online gamers are expected to join by 2020 to 2022. India’s revenue forecast is also high for the online gaming industry. This is the same in the Deloitte report (11). The Indian gambling industry has grown exponentially, generating substantial incomes, creating new jobs, ensuring responsible play, and restricting and removing illegal activities, such as match-fixing and money laundering, if formally regulated and rationally taxed. The report states that the gaming platform business model has also changed.
It is well known that so many people in India are giving and receiving lectures today through live streaming services. According to a recent report, 96 percent of people have watched videos explaining a product or service. The sports games for the Indians like cricket, football, and others were easily viewed by Live Stream. The number of visitors to live stream videos is estimated to grow steadily year after year. People who play live on their video games are called streamers. Some people like ordinary hobbies stream video games, while others like it professionally. Some people also watch other people play online video games and possibly bet on those games’ outcomes. There are popular streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Hitbox, and many more.
In India, the live gaming industry is exploding, with almost all young adults having access to smartphones or computers streaming games via various streaming platforms. According to the consultancy firm EY (12), India had 160 million streaming video spectators at the end of 2016. About two dozen streaming providers in India and digital subscribers increased by 50 percent to 3.9 billion in 2017, expected to reach 20 billion by 2020. A live stream platform where live casino streamers could be found, Twitch, recorded an estimated 212 million viewers in 2017, reported a 67 percent increase in concurrent streamers for the third quarter of 2017.
Rise of OTT streaming platforms
No news is that most Indians are avid sports enthusiasts. Since Hotstar started streaming live to the Indian Premier League, viewing has increased from 41 million in 2015 to 110 million in 2016, from 130 million in 2017 to 202 million in 2018. This shows that there was an increase of 55 percent between 2017 and 2018 alone. Hotstar recorded 10.3 million concurrent viewers in the Chennai Super Kings vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad Final (13). Video streaming reaches twelve thousand crore rupees by 2023, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The industry would grow by 21 percent at the CAGR to get to that point. It is said that the OTT video industry would have the highest growth in entertainment and would increase by 11 percent to four lakh crore. In 2018, India was the tenth largest OTT market globally, with total revenue of four crores.
Subscription-based video-on-demand platforms would grow by 23 percent to ten thousand crore rupees between 2018 and 2023. Mobile is undoubtedly the preferred video streaming device. Almost 144 million consumers in India visit popular video streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney in February 2019, 87 percent of which were mobile users, while 6 percent used their desktop. Netflix argued that 100 million of its subscribers would come from India. Apart from Netflix, Amazon, and Disney’s Hotstar, there are new streaming services on the Indian market, including Sony Liv, Voot, Zee5, Wynk, and many others.
Streaming startups in India
Now, Doofy, an Indian startup established by two Indian entrepreneurs, seeks to bring game streaming to Indians, regardless of the platform they use. Doofy is a game streaming service where you can log in with a simple username and password, access a game store, choose what you want to play, and start with it right away; no fancy hardware is required. Doofy currently resides in your browser, where you can log in to your account, subscribe to daily, weekly or monthly plans, and access Doofy’s cloud streaming service (14).
Indian game streaming platform Loco has signed an agreement that stands as one of the largest of its kind in India to date, onboarding global sports giant Fnatic as a partner on its game streaming platform. As part of the deal, gamers and streamers from Fnatic India will broadcast their gameplay, commentary, and other content directly to Loco, offering the former Indian audience a platform apart from global streaming majors. As an Indian venture built by Pocket Aces, Loco aims to take on global rivals by offering more locally contextualized gaming content, thus targeting India’s ever-growing mobile gamer ecosystem.