Why the coronavirus pandemic could be a defining moment for Amazon’s Twitch – Motley Fool


It’s a complicated time for Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). Markets are enjoying great success as the COVID-19 crisis worsens and unemployment figures soar. When most people can’t shop in stores and malls, Amazon’s tech giant’s e-commerce and delivery service seem more essential, but Amazon also deals with labor and PR issues so that he clumsily tries to fight the efforts of workers’ organization. Amazon’s Amazon Fresh food delivery service has also become vital for many customers, but the service is struggling to meet delivery requests.

In all of this, a clear and clear sector for Amazon is its multimedia streaming activity. The new normalcy of social isolation and quarantine has led to an increase in streaming on a variety of platforms, including Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Alphabetit is (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) YouTube and, of course, Amazon’s streaming offers. Especially interesting is Amazon’s e-sports streaming service Twitch.

A video game fan applauds the screen while watching an electronic sport event.

Image source: Getty Images.

Downstream of the streaming revolution

With just about every measure, Twitch is doing better than ever in the midst of this crisis. In March, the number of Twitch viewers increased 23% – an absolutely massive increase for a service that already resulted in nearly a billion hours of use in a typical month. In March, Twitch viewers recorded more than 1.2 billion hours watching video games.

One of the simple reasons for Twitch’s success is the boom in home streaming. Streaming is on the rise for virtually all streaming services and platforms in this crisis, and a rising tide is lifting all boats.

When the crisis hit the US, Nielsen predicted a 60% increase in television during widespread isolation. We assumed that the increase would be proportional for streaming services, and these predictions and assumptions have so far been largely confirmed.

But Twitch’s big month isn’t limited to a general increase in streaming and Twitch’s resemblance to services like Netflix and Disneyit is (NYSE: DIS) Disney + doesn’t go much further than the fact that all of them are streaming services. Like Google’s YouTube, Twitch content is user-driven; sign up for Twitch and you can host your own streams as well as others. Twitch mainly focuses on live streaming shows of the type that is part of Facebookit is (NASDAQ: FB) appeal (YouTube also offers live streaming, but its catalog is much more demand-driven than Twitch). And Twitch is focused on games and gaming, including electronic sports.

The relatively unique appeal of Twitch – live streams of video games and game competitions, often created by players and users themselves – is well suited to this time of streaming.

The only game in town

One of the reasons why Twitch’s positioning is superb right now is its focus on electronic sports. Electronic sports – mainly video games considered to be related sports – have long been popular with young viewers and in some countries, such as South Korea. Observers have long predicted that their popularity would one day rival that of more traditional competition.

One wonders whether an electronic sports revolution has been underway or not; Electronic sports certainly remain much less common and culturally relevant in the United States and Europe than traditional sports, and it’s easy to find statistics that show how popular physical sports are with viewers than video games. On the other hand, high expectations may mask something that would be quite remarkable in itself: the fact that a peak audience of 3.9 million viewers is the same League of Legends tournament in 2019, for example.

And if there has ever been a great moment for e-sport, it’s now. The NBA suspended its season in mid-March, and the league may well cancel it entirely. The MLB season, which was supposed to start on March 26, is nowhere in sight. In Europe, football competitions have stopped; in India the cricket season has been postponed.

Sports enthusiasts are desperate. Fans of the competition watched classic games (networks like ViacomCBSowned by CBS and Disney-owned ESPN (two examples only) broadcast games from years past instead of canceled sports content) as well as a series of YouTube videos “Marble Race”, which have seen a sharp increase in the number of Private public sports viewers who devour the videos with varying degrees of irony and despair.

There are certainly many fans of traditional sports who will never become fans of e-sports. But those who are open to e-sports can be drawn to them now, and fans who liked both can now only watch one. Regarding the live competition between qualified pros, video games are currently the only game in town.

A man plays video games

Image source: Getty Images.

Twitch and its competitors

Speaking of being “the only game in town”, Twitch is very close to that of video game streaming. According to the hours seen in 2019, the main competitor YouTube Games barely has 22% of the market share against 73% for Twitch, while Microsoftit is (NASDAQ: MSFT) Mixer and Facebook Gaming on Facebook each have a meager 3% market share. And Twitch is only expanding its lead as streaming increases: the 23% increase in viewing hours in March is unmatched by competitors. In March, viewing hours increased by 15.9% for Mixer, 10.7% for YouTube Games and only 3.8% for Facebook Gaming.

This is all good news for Twitch. The video game streaming platform is above electronic sports and live video game streaming because a wave of streaming makes this position more important than ever. He had a grip on electronic sports at a time when electronic sports were the only sports available. If there has ever been a time for Twitch to increase its power and audience, this is it.