When it comes to streaming services, one company has an almost complete monopoly on mindshare – Twitch. Launched in June 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear and purchased by Amazon in August 2014 for around $1 billion, it’s has been the leading light in video game streaming services for years.
Today, Twitch welcomes more than 15 million unique users daily who pour onto the platform to find top-level competition, learn new things or simply kick back and take in an expert playthrough of their favorite video games.
For many viewers though, they visit Twitch for one reason: the personalities on the show. The internet has birthed a new generation of stars like Ninja, Sinatix, and Tfue. However, there are few with the mainstream appeal of PewDiePie.
Currently the fighting for his status as the best YouTuber in the world and with sizable followings across virtually every platform, he commands a huge amount of respect in the streaming community.
So, when he announced that he was throwing his weight behind DLive – a virtually unheard-of new live streaming service – eyebrows were raised. DLive would be his exclusive streaming platform, making it the #1 destination for the over 94 million subscribers to his YouTube channel.
On April 14th, PewDiePie made his debut on the platform, handing out tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of ‘Lino Points’ to other concurrent live streamers on the platform to encourage others to join him.
It was a serious shot across the bow of Twitch and instantly made DLive into a viable Twitch competitor, but does it have what it takes to eat into Twitch’s considerable market share? In our opinion, yes. Here are three huge reasons.
Competition Is Already Thriving
Twitch might be the biggest name in streaming, but it’s not the only name. Google’s YouTube has thrown considerable funds behind a live streaming pivot, Microsoft has launched Mixer and older competitors like Livestream and Ustream continue to play a role in the market.
More niche streaming services like CasinoGrounds have sprung up too. First launched in 2016, the site combines casino streaming (a popular subset of Twitch’s streaming output) with a community, casino guides and a focus on social features.
What they may lack in sheer scale, they make up for in unique features. Clearly, there’s room for more than one streaming service on the block.
DLive Seems More Creator-Friendly
Making money with Twitch is more than possible, but it’s not without its hoops to jump through. You need a certain amount of traffic, streaming hours and subscribers before they’ll even consider you. And when you are approved, you’re faced with a 50/50 revenue split.
DLive, in comparison, offers its creators 100% of the profits they generate. For streamers trying to make a living, that’s a huge pull – especially when big names are hopping on board too.
Big businesses are slow to react, and when it comes to streaming, few are bigger than Twitch. Gentle evolution of the platform has been the name of the game under Amazon’s stewardship and their inflexibility has irked some streamers.
A genuine alternative with a small staff and the ability to turn on a dime and focus on the wants and needs of streamers? Well, that might just prove appealing.
Whether DLive can continue to live up to its creator-friendly early promises is yet to be seen – big streaming platforms have big monetary demands, after all. And although the impact from PewDiePie’s transition may be huge, it could be ephemeral. But if it can hold on tight to these initial successes, Twitch may find itself with a battle to hold on to its (remaining) biggest names.
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