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What Does the Future Hold for Live Streaming in the Gaming Industry?

Live streaming has become ingrained into the online gaming scene. Whether it’s competitive video gaming or competitive online card games, live streaming platforms have provided casual fans with a VIP ticket to the inner workings of this professional arena.

Twitch is one such portal that’s experienced seismic growth in recent years due to the success of its gaming viewership. It’s become the go-to platform for live streaming the biggest Esports events worldwide. As of August 2022, there was a mammoth 7.7 million live streamers on Twitch, covering a plethora of competitive gaming pursuits. It’s little wonder when you consider the most successful live streamers in the gaming scene rake in more than $66,000 a month from advertising revenues, viewer subscriptions, and more.

Twitch hasn’t just become an institution in competitive video gaming. It’s also the go-to platform in the online poker realm too. Poker enthusiasts now regularly tune-in in their thousands to watch the biggest online tournaments and cash games. The biggest online poker rooms like PokerStars have active Twitch channels, showcasing headline events such as the “Sunday Million” and their leading annual series, the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP). In fact, the presenters of the PokerStars Twitch channel have gone on to become poker personalities; such is the demand to get deeper insights into the game at an elite level.

What Does the Future Hold for Live Streaming in the Gaming Industry?

A survey of video game developers by Insider Intelligence in August 2022 found that live streaming would be the platform generating the biggest growth by 2025. That’s ahead of mobile gaming and even the metaverse. Given the rapid expansion of Twitch and other live-streaming platforms for gamers to date, what does the future hold for this sector in the coming years?

Enhanced Monetization

As platforms like Twitch continue to grow their viewership, they become increasingly more attractive to digital marketers and advertisers. Many more long-time streamers will have the potential to monetize their live streams and make a genuine living through their gaming content.

It’s going to become easier for the average gamer to live stream and make money from their Twitch sessions too. The rapid proliferation of 5G technology will make it easier to stream high-definition (HD) visuals and even incorporate interactive facets to their streams, driving viewer engagement.

Deeper Integration with Complementary Platforms

It seems inevitable that the most successful streaming platforms for gamers will integrate more deeply with other complementary brands. In the same way that Twitch embedded itself within Sony’s PlayStation 4 and 5 to improve gamers’ streaming capabilities, it’s likely these platforms will negotiate new and exciting ways to give viewers a way into next-generation gaming content.

Greater Competition

Although Twitch is certainly the driving force for live streaming in the gaming industry, it’s likely to be rivaled by new competitors in the coming years. If reports are to be believed, Netflix is readying its own gaming studio, further blurring the lines between gaming and video streaming.

There’s a little surprise around why Netflix is investing heavily in video gaming. If industry figures from GlobalData are to be believed, the sector will be worth upwards of $470 billion by the turn of the next decade. Netflix is building its own gaming studio in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, overseen by Marko Lastikka, a former senior executive for prominent gaming developer Electronic Arts and social gaming firm Zynga.

With its own proprietary gaming studio, Netflix clearly plans to develop games beyond its original game suite. Building its own Esports titles and branded content would be an effective way to generate long-term user interest.

The cost-of-living crisis has hit subscription-based services like Netflix hard in the last 12-18 months. However, its diversification into game streaming suggests its senior executives believe there is a bright future for this subsector. Its purpose-built studio will help Netflix reach new, untapped audiences, taking a different route to become an all-rounder in the global entertainment industry.

One thing is for certain: the streaming industry is not standing still for anyone, and even the biggest names in entertainment are scrambling to hop on for the ride.