Reports indicate that Amazon Twitch is leading other game streaming platforms as the sector continues to grow. In 2017 the game streaming sector is expected to generate revenues totaling $4.6 billion. Amazon bought Twitch in 2014 at a price of $970 million.
Currently it is estimated that game streaming enjoys an audience totaling approximately 665 million. This is far higher than viewership of ESPN, Netflix and HBO combined. With such an impressive audience reach, investments are pouring in from the likes of Twitter, Alphabet and Microsoft though Amazon has an early lead.
A report by Streamlabs indicates that in the third quarter the number of total streamers increased by 20% across the leading streaming destinations including Amazon’s Twitch, Twitter’s Periscope, YouTube Gaming and Microsoft’s Mixer. Twitch was the leader during the quarter with concurrent viewers numbering 737,000. The number of concurrent viewers on YouTube Gaming was 281,000 while that of Microsoft Mixer was 10,000. Twitter’s Periscope recorded the biggest growth with the number of concurrent viewers having increased at a rate of 80% to reach a figure of 41,000.
During the previous two quarters, Twitch had recorded stagnant growth but growth resumed in the second quarter when the number of monthly active streamers increased by 54%. In the third quarter growth slowed to 16% though the number of concurrent streamers rose by 67% suggesting engagement on the platform is healthy and growing.
Earlier in the year Twitch introduced new features which were aimed at making the discovery of new content easier for viewers. The new features were also aimed at enabling the video game being viewed to be easily purchased on Amazon.com. Other improvements and enhancements were intended to give tools to new streamers enabling them to build a base of followers as well as giving them the power to monetize their stream.
Some of the strategies Amazon has employed to fuel Twitch’s growth include integrating the Prime membership program. Twitch has also inked a collaboration agreement with Activision Blizzard.
Twitch’s market leadership coincides with a Reuters price study indicating that there is a shrinking gap between prices offering at Walmart.com and those available on Amazon. According to Market Track, a retail data analytics firm, Walmart.com’s prices are now just 0.3% more expensive vis-à-vis Amazon.
“What we have started seeing recently is Walmart lowering the gap with Amazon to a point where it is a photo finish. Consumers can’t tell the difference anymore,” said Burt Flickinger, the managing director of Strategic Resources Group, a retail consultancy.