Streaming giant Twitch is in a lopsided battle with its competitors for overall viewership, retention of current streamers, and acquisition of a new audience. With Twitch’s domineering business plan and foothold in the industry through Amazon funding, up-and-coming streaming platforms increasingly seem doomed from the start.
According to Streamlabs’ Q1 2020 census, Twitch lays claim to 2/3 of the time viewers spend watching streams anywhere on the internet. Youtube follows behind at 22%, while all other services combined result in the final 13%. Mixer, an up-and-coming streaming site, was included in the Q1 stats despite its public, embarrassing collapse earlier this year.
The question has shifted from whether Twitch is the most dominant streaming service to whether other services even stand a chance. On the chart, many other services don’t even register due to the fact that they are too new, too small, or simply too unused. These services— some of which boast that they are going to be the “Twitch Rival—” typically gain some hype via social media or small communities on Discord only to be forgotten in a month or two.
All streamers want to make it and be the next HUGE internet figure. In order to retain longevity, these services have to tap into that energy, incentivizing their current creator base to stay with them. There is only so much success a creator could see on a small platform before they are simply out of resources on that platforms’ locale. When streamers hit this plateau on a smaller service, they sometimes make the jump to another service that can provide them with those resources— IE, Twitch— and wind up hurting themselves, losing the support of their grassroots communities.
Without a huge backing by Amazon, brand new up-and-coming streaming platforms just can’t compete. Take for example an apple tree that has been in your front yard since you were born, which you have watched grow bigger and bigger. As time went on, this same tree grew to such a gigantic size that it needed more water than the trees around it, halting their development and growth. Because it got more water, this tree had more roots, thicker branches and larger apples. You look at the smaller apple trees growing around the massive tree, that, at this point, have actually begun growing from a seed of the larger tree. Over time, the original smaller trees have melded into the larger tree’s roots and clung unto its growth solely in order to survive.
Simply put, a great idea to take over the industry just can’t compete with the business plan of a gigantic company developed and formed in the roots of gaming. It’s unfortunate that there are no longer any actual competitors to the live streaming tycoon, but a successful business plan tried and proven so many times over doesn’t leave room for a brand-new platform. It’s too late for anyone to “take over the streaming world;” it’s already been taken.
I don’t think that Twitch is going anywhere any time soon. Twitch will hold the title of the largest streaming service in the world for a long time to come.