In the middle of the battle of an individual maker, Amazon’s Twitch, the Microsoft Mixer and Google’s YouTube poured millions of dollars into the biggest streamers on the room. Now, YouTube tries to capture another indoor segment: the mobile sporting market.
On Thursday, YouTube revealed that the Call of the Duty League, the Overwatch League and the Hearthstone league are to stream games on its website. Then there are three online sports organizations. The three leagues that belonged to Activision Blizzard, a joint videogame publisher, were primarily broadcast on Twitch to date. Wyatt said in an interview with Wired that negotiations started in 2019, but either YouTube Game Director Ryan Wyatt or Activision Blizzard had no information on the details of the deal.
Such leagues are not small. According to Nielsen, the Overwatch League averaged 313,000 viewers per minute in 2019 and increased 18% compared to 2018. The research firm estimates that more than 55,000 of the crowd were in the United States alone. The Call of Duty League, while brand new, has also seen its ancestor, the International Call of Duty League. According to the Esports Observer, it had 2.7 million hours seen on Twitch. Averaging 66 000 simultaneous viewers were drawn to the CWL World Championship, the Observer reported, touching a record of 182000.
The business doesn’t know how to gamble on talent. YouTube has reached distribution deals with such major developers as Jack Dunlop ‘ CouRage,’ Rachell Hofstetter ‘ Valkyrae,’ Elliott Watkins ‘ Muselk’ or Lannan Eacott ‘ LazarBeam.’ With every streamer, thousands of live audiences are drawn, but also millions of views of premium builds posted as VODs to YouTube. YouTube has been the only website with a common VOD segment (as most people use YouTube) for a long time when expanding its Live Streaming feature.
Today, YouTube seeks to corner the market through the big electro leagues by bringing whole sectors of the population to the market rather than relying on several popular streamers. The use of technical ties to promote the development of audiences is not a new concept; YouTube employs the same tactic that mainstream broadcasters have used for decades in major sport rights fights. The only distinction is YouTube wishes that online sports will continue to grow as quickly as they, with the help of the web, which is far more relevant in the process, drawing more viewers.
Twitch has in the past paved the way for online sports streaming, but for the various leagues Youtube is a driving force. StreamElements CEO Doron Nir said that “online sports competitions are often the biggest customers, and the Riot Games and Overwatch League were the two most viewed on TWitch in 2019. Internet users consume more and more on the three channels, rising from 293 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2018 to more people watching live broadcasts.