The boom of the streaming industry, esports, and even cosplay, continues, even though mass amounts of money has already been amassed, and utilized to sign streamers to exclusive deals, and Twitch looks to be just getting started, according to a new forecast from eMarketer that arrived this week.
The forecast indicates that Twitch, the Amazon-owned streaming service for content creators, is set to surpass 40 million monthly active viewers within the United States by 2021, and by 2023 is will reach 47 million viewers, showcasing the incredible growth and the viability of twitch channels as the industry booms.
While it seems that the projections are all good news for Twitch, the report went on the say that the growth has been slowed by the increased competition from YouTube, and Microsoft, who has invested a lot in their Mixer platform, including dishing out millions to land big streamers to exclusive deals.
Twitch has been losing a lot of premium talent as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek were some of the names that left Twitch and signed with Mixer.
Furthermore, Facebook Gaming has been getting more and more competitive, and WWE superstar and MMA legend Ronda Rousey announced earlier this month that she would be exclusively streaming on Facebook, a big boon for female streamers within the industry.
Despite all of this, Twitch will still boast 14.3% growth from 2019. The numbers are strong, but are down from 23.5% last year, and the forecast says that the slow is projected to continue, with numbers dropping to 6.3% by 2023.
Twitch, like YouTube, has honed in on being a variety platform, whereas platforms such as Mixer are strictly known for gaming. For example, Twitch’s “Just Chatting” category was the most watched category, more than any game, on Twitch in December 2019, and came in 2nd in January 2020, according to Forbes’ Matt Perez.
“Twitch…is now too big for the internet giants to ignore”eMarketer forecasting analyst Peter Vahle said. The big platforms, owned by the likes of Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, are competing to sign big deals with popular streamers and esports leagues. Twitch will have to find ways to encourage streamers — and viewers and advertisers — to stay on its platform now that other attractive options exist,”
Vahle went on to discuss how Twitch can continue it’s impressive growth.
“One way Twitch can continue to grow its platform is through nongaming content, which began driving significant traffic in 2019,” Vahle said. “Its platform is designed for live streaming video and streamer/viewer interaction; these features are certainly intriguing to content creators outside of gaming.”
And while the competition has certainly heated up, Twitch is still King when it comes to video game content. That certainly is helped by the number of esports teams that stream events and competition on Twitch.
“Twitch is by far the largest platform for streaming video game content, well ahead of YouTube, Mixer and Facebook Gaming,” Vahle said. “As the pioneer in this space, Twitch has built a loyal and engaged audience by allowing viewers to directly interact with their favorite streamers.”
According to TechCrunch, Twitch can also boost growth by leveraging it’s parent company Amazon more, pointing to Amazon’s Fire TV and how Twitch can better integrate the two.
“Last year was actually our biggest year ever in terms of growth of Twitch on Fire TV,” Amazon’s Fire TV head Marc Whitten said of their 2020 plans, in an interview with TechCrunch in January 2020.
Twitch does a fantastic job of marketing, and perhaps highlighted most by their own streamers, who endlessly promote their channels, and even flock to the annual TwitchCon event to network, promote, and interact with the growing community.
It appears things are just getting started, and the money is piling up. But, as the forecast report clearly indicates, competition is heating up and that’s good news for all streamers.