Is streaming video games the future of entertainment? Well, if you ask me, yes it is and I truly believe that, would you like to know why? There are a few reasons. The first is that as time has gone on, big television networks like Sky have made it increasingly more expensive to watch live sports on TV, which has led to a massive increase in questionable streaming sources and IPTV sales. Not only that but if you want to watch a game in person and you’re a fan of a Premier League club for example, you’re going to be paying an arm and a leg JUST to watch your team play.
Secondly, this reason is kind of grim but bare with me because it’s true. The youth of today were born and raised in a generation of technology. You can access betting platforms on your mobile phone, you can order your shopping online, and video games can be downloaded in minutes, no need to pop to the local shop to pick a cartridge up for your N64.
And because video games are readily available and competitive video games are becoming increasingly popular among the younger generation, it’s becoming the new thing to watch. As the older generation who never really had access to all of this technology as youths slowly dies out, that leaves less people “solely interested” in traditional sports and more people who have varied interests among Esports and “real” sports.
And last but not least, as mentioned, technology is more readily available than ever, to a point where mobile gaming is at a crazy high standard now, there are even large scale tournaments with big prize money available for MOBILE GAMES these days. So with everybody having access, is it any wonder why people are so interested in watching the best of the best stream video games?
And that’s what we’re here to discuss today! With streaming becoming more and more popular as time goes on, it’s about time we took a look at the most popular game streaming platforms right now. Whether it be for casual streamers who play a variety of games, or for more competitive gamers who compete in esports tournaments..
There are some honorable mentions like Facebook and Steam which now have built in live streaming. However, there are two particular platforms that I’ll be talking about today. Those platforms are TwitchTV and YouTube.
An example of some of the most popular categories currently streaming on Twitch. Source: Twitch
Everybody and their dog knows about the first two platforms I’m going to talk about today, but when it comes to video game streaming, one name stands above the rest, TwitchTV. This platform began life as Justin.tv, but after rapid growth, the creators (Justin Kan & Emmett Shear) split the site into 2 branches in 2011, Justin TV being primarily ‘real life’ streams and Twitch.TV being created primarily for video game streams. The popularity continued to rise after huge events like Twitch Plays Pokemon went viral, getting to a point in 2014 where Twitch was purchased by Amazon.
While Amazon hasn’t exactly run Twitch the way gamers would like for it to be run, the platform is still at the forefront of video game streaming and every other platform continues to play catch up. However, in recent months with issues like content creators getting randomly copyright struck due to music in games as well as the massive increase of somewhat toxic trends like hot tub streams, Twitch has slowly been losing credibility as well as some of their biggest names.
Twitch is still a LONG way from being a dead platform and with the right decisions made by the top brass it will remain at the top, but it seems to me like they got complacent being number one and just didn’t think about the future. Which brings us to our next platform;
YouTube gaming was a video game focused section of YouTube that launched in 2015. Source: YouTube Gaming
We all know YouTube, the video sharing platform run by Google. YouTube has been around since 2005 and was the home of many viral videos, classics like Charlie Bit my Finger and a video of Ronaldinho volleying a football into the crossbar at the Camp Nou in Barcelona. But fast forward to 2011 and Google saw fit to add live streaming to YouTube and then fast forward a little more to 2015 allows us to see the launch og YouTube gaming, which is a gaming focused section of YouTube, primarily for video game content and live streaming, very similar to Justin/Twitch.TV right?
While Twitch has proverbially s*** the bed over recent months, YouTube have been signing up some huge content creators, like Dr Lupo and TimTheTatMan, they’ve been looking to give creators freedom to listen to music on their platform while gaming, they’re looking out FOR THE CREATORS and this has kind of piqued the interest of a lot of the streaming community.
I personally stream on Twitch however if I was one of these bigger creators who uploads video content alongside streaming? YouTube is becoming more and more of an attractive platform. The only real flaw realistically is that YouTube doesn’t do a lot to help small content creators, it’s rather hard to get noticed, so without an already established audience you’ll probably find it hard starting out.
There you have it, a little bit about why streaming is increasing in popularity and the two most popular platforms for video game streaming. Regardless what kind of video game content you’re looking for, whether it’s chill group gaming, streams of professional Esports tournaments or even gaming related podcasts, you’ll find it all on the platforms listed above. Have you tried your hand at streaming before? Feel free to share your links with us!
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