It would have been hard to conceive that live streaming services would have become so popular in the gaming community a few years ago but there are now millions of people watching live game streams all over the world. Twitch and YouTube have established themselves as the top dogs in the game live streaming business but their popularity in this area is attracting interest from a large new player who has the potential to overhaul the current live streaming service.
Facebook will have no doubt seen the success of the video games industry and as a result, are now trying to crack the live streaming business. Twitch and Youtube already have a stronghold on this market, ruling with an iron fist as their apps are available across every gaming console and PC. Quite simply, they control and dictate how this market currently operates and grows so, with Facebook now entering this market, we may soon see a shake up in how gamers will be able to broadcast video games live to their audience.
Facebook intend to enter the live broadcasting market in collaboration with Blizzard and their blockbuster title; Overwatch. Using the new Facebook Live API gamers will be able to broadcast live footage of their gaming exploits whilst viewers will be able to watch and leave real time comments. The potential of Facebook entering this market is huge, with approx. 650 million people playing Facebook connected games; over 6 times higher than the amount of people currently using Twitch! It all comes down to how they deploy their competing service.
If Facebook want to crack this market and jump straight to the top, they will need to ensure the live streaming service is available across all game compatible devices including IOS and Android. By doing this, they will open up the possibility for gamers to live stream games across a wide variety of platforms, some of which are not currently not available through Twitch and Youtube. There are also some features that should be available at launch if they hope to tear live streamers away from their current Twitch and Youtube profiles. This includes the ability to export videos to Youtube and managing live stream clips to create a VOD library for users to view when gamers are not live broadcasting.
It is yet to be seen whether Facebook will be a market leader in the live streaming business but they definitely have the tools to take these services to the next level.
What next for Youtube and Twitch?
With a potential fierce rivalry now in the balance between Amazon’s Twitch, Google’s Youtube Gaming and Facebook Live, Twitch and Youtube will need to do something to keep their user base loyal to their cause.
This year’s E3 event looks poised to unveil exciting news regarding the live streaming services and Twitch has already revealed its live streaming schedule, offering information on co-streaming and international feeds. These additions look like they could really help the current live streaming user base improve how they reach their audiences and embed Twitch as the largest video game broadcasting service worldwide.
Youtube, on the other hand, has been adding in extra features including its new events hub which allows users to view coverage from live gaming events. Gamers will be able to enjoy catching up on all the news from E3 2016 using this service whilst chatting with other games and voting on their favourite game trailers from the event.
With both Twitch and Youtube having already set the foundations in live streaming and adding new features to enhance the experience for its users, Facebook will need to enter this market with a uniquely desirable edge. What that will be and whether Facebook are capable of executing this is yet to be seen. Rest assured, if you are a live streamer, keep your eyes peeled as things are about to get interesting.