The future of gaming live streams: Twitch and beyond
Gaming streamers are facing new challenges with monetisation and their fanbase. Find out what the future might hold for those choosing to go independent.
Starting a gaming live stream is a daunting task that can feel like stepping into a gladiator arena for battle. Even though some gaming streamers strike it rich with over $66,000 in monthly earnings from subscriptions and ad revenue, competition grows by the day, on Twitch and beyond.
With a staggering 7.7 million streamers going live every single month, Twitch is a huge battlefield where armies of rival streamers are ready to snatch their share of the audience, so it's no wonder that breaking the mould can feel like a monumental task.
Live gaming streamers are stuck on hard mode
We’ve all played a game against the CPU in expert mode before calling it quits. However, in the world of online gaming, there are no cheat codes or easy modes to ease your way into streaming stardom. This is especially true as major live-streaming platforms hold all the cards in the deck. Historically, streamers have faced a plethora of challenges, including ever-changing moderation guidelines, uneven revenue splits and temporary bans that damage earning potential. Live streamers certainly haven’t had it easy.
Some of the most popular gaming live streamers have reported being temporarily banned from their respective platform in recent years. This raises the concern of how risky it is to solely rely on one platform as a source of revenue. It’s left some streamers in a vulnerable position, like that of a sitting duck. Without the ability to aggregate content and diversify their revenue streams, it’s even more difficult.
How will gamers level up?
Have you ever started playing a game, just to gradually lose interest and swap the disc? Well, it’s no surprise that some live streamers are doing just that as they make the switch to. This is no different to artists removing their music from Spotify due to low royalty payouts. In the gaming world, a prime example of this is CourageJD, a top US-based streamer who left his 2.1 million strong Twitch following for an exclusive streaming deal with YouTube in 2019.
However, the prospect of less popular live streamers striking such a deal seems rarer than King Charles working the drive-thru. In reality, most gaming live streamers will be stuck with hefty revenue splits regardless of which platform they switch to. This makes the concept of going independent one of the best options for those looking to increase their earning potential.
There is a stairway to gaming heaven
Envisioning going solo will always be easier than making it happen. But, with no cheat codes in the real world, it’s difficult to avoid the fact that taking such leaps of faith will come at a cost. Luckily, there are solutions which significantly reduce start-up expenses for those looking to launch their own applications.
Rather than building your own application from scratch, which is expensive and complex, go for a solution which offers a set of tried-and-tested applications.
Simplestream can offer this with App Platform, a fully customisable set of applications for the most popular platforms.
Monetisation is possible with subscriptions, advertising, or even a hybrid model, so this serves as a great option for live gaming streamers looking to go independent, whilst avoiding the ongoing expenses of development and QA testing when creating your own apps.
Build your foundation first
The future of live gaming streams lies in the hands of the top content creators – those with an unwavering fanbase of viewers who are willing to follow them to another platform. If more streamers find success when going independent, it could be a turning point for the industry.
There’s a range of opportunities for streamers beyond what they offer when live streaming. Content can be repurposed to create virtual ‘live’ channels, merchandise can be displayed on-screen with purchase just a tap away. Even aggregating their live stream to multiple platforms to draw in new fans, and offering a premium experience with exclusive content to fans willing to migrate to their app. Gaming is only set to get bigger, so the opportunities for streamers are exponential.