MGR eCommerce Edge Weekly | June 23, 2020
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Twitch_vs_YouTube - MGR Blog

The Future of Livestreaming: The Most Important Battleground No One is Talking About

The battles to own the platforms and audiences of the future are never ending, but one of the most important but least talked about is the battle for user generated live stream content.

The reason I’m writing about this today is because yesterday one of the major players, Mixer (owned by Microsoft), announced it was shutting down. This is significant for three main reasons:

  1. Last year Mixer made two groundbreaking mega deals with the two largest streamers on Twitch at the time, Ninja and Shroud, for $30M and $10M respectively to leave Twitch and exclusively stream on Mixer. However despite being the biggest spender and most willing ink big deals with creators, they were not able to acquire the audience growth they were hoping for and are now giving up.
  2. Twitch (owned by Amazon) was able to maintain user growth and its status as the largest streaming platform in the face of losing their two largest creators, showing the power of their platform and community.
  3. A major avenue in the future of eCommerce will be live stream shopping, and by Amazon owning Twitch they will be positioned very strongly in the space if they play their cards right.

I’ve discussed in the past that while Amazon is an incredibly strong platform, their biggest weakness is that they do not have any plays in social commerce, which will take over eCommerce in the coming years. Twitch is their golden ticket to change that, but they need to make changes to platform in order for it to become a part of the mainstream.

The biggest chasm Twitch is currently trying to cross is erasing the stigma of being a video game streaming platform to being a anything streaming platform, which they are doing.

When browsing what to watch on Twitch, streams are broken down into categories based on content. In the past video games like League of Legends, Counter Strike, Call of Duty, and others would battle for the top spot, however for over a year now the largest category by far has been “Just Chatting”.

“Just Chatting” is a category where streamers go to host live podcasts, reality shows, talk shows, and stream a wide variety of content that has nothing to do with gaming. And this isn’t to say that the audience for gaming streams has gotten smaller, it continues to break viewership records on a monthly basis, but the non-gaming content is growing even faster.

If Twitch can grow beyond gaming and into being ‘the’ streaming platform in the age of social commerce, fully connected to Amazon’s back end infrastructure fro fulfillment and payments, the sky’s the limit for what the platform can be.

Other Notable Links:

1. Consumer behavior has shifted, they are now willing to pay more for products online if they can avoid going to the store – MARKET WATCH

2. Tik Tok owner ByteDance, has launched an internal eCommerce division – KR ASIA

3. Lego has long been one of the best at media x commerce, now they’ve done it again in announcing a new Super Mario collab – TECH CRUNCH

4. Consumers are saving their cash, US savings rate is at a 60 year high – THE ECONOMIST

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