In the video game industry, companies are quickly recognizing the market potential in the ever-increasing popularity of video game live-streams. In hopes of tapping into that market, the leading video-sharing website, YouTube, has launched a new website and app for live- streaming video games called YouTube Gaming. The offering joins an ever-crowded field that is now seeing upstarts like Mobcrush get in on the action with live streaming offerings.
YouTube Gaming was launched to the public earlier this week after several months of beta testing. The site hosts pages for greater than 25,000 video games. Users of YouTube Gaming can locate fellow gamers live-streaming their games. They can also find all sorts of media related to their favorite games. Additionally, users can upload their gameplay live-streams to the service for others to view.
Google, the owner of YouTube, first announced the new service earlier this summer when the company stated that the service is “built to be all about your favorite games and gamers, with more videos than anywhere else.”
Google also seeks to compete directly with the live-streaming video game service, Twitch. Google reportedly try to buy Twitch in 2014, but Amazon outbid Google and purchased the service for about $970 million.
A rapidly expanding market within this space is mobile game live-streaming - a facet of the live-streaming experience that does not exist quite yet. And relatively unknown company Mobcrush is looking to become the market leader.
Mobcrush is a community focused service that offers a way for users to stream and watch mobile gameplay from their handheld devices. Its a service similar to YouTube gaming or Twitch but with a focus on mobile-only games, which are usually more casual yet can still be highly entertaining.
The service also focuses on live streams, where users watch in real time rather than view the archived clips.
Since there are about one billion mobile gamers that play, Mobcrush recognizes the industry as having significant growth potential. In fact, the company has raised $11 million in its first significant round of venture capital fundraising. Mobcrush boasts that it had about 20,000 simultaneous viewers, watching a total of one million minutes of gameplay, during a Hearthstone tournament recently held in Boston.
With all of these forays by large companies into the video game live-streaming industry, it illustrates just how much people across the globe are willing to commit to their favorite games and underscores the rise of a whole new form of media.