When it comes to on-demand streaming video services, there is none bigger than Netflix at the current point. However, Amazon seems to be the most promising candidate to thrive in the streaming wars because it acquires Twitch to reach new customers from the live-streaming field, which enables them to increase user growth.
With Amazon-owned Twitch dominance in the live-streaming market and its notable cultural shift to expand a broader range of audiences, Amazon appears to be competitive in the streaming wars even if Amazon Prime has 53% of the on-demand market in comparison to 87% of Netflix. Twitch represents an exclusive territory that Netflix or other rivals can hardly achieve. Owning 75.6% of the live-streaming market, Twitch is holding stable viewership. Although the jump shift to Microsoft-owned Mixer of Ninja and Shroud revealed some issues regarding Twitch’s partnership with streamers, it did not pose a fatal threat to Twitch. Defying the classic perception of being a gaming platform, Twitch has been digging in non-gaming content for years. Just Chatting is a category for a conversation on Twitch with no requirement to focus on gaming, which is the only category in 2019 to increase in hours watched. Just Chatting not only provided a diverse mix of content but also offered a test for Twitch to see how non-gaming content performs on the platform gathered by gamers. The result is positive, and most of all, Twitch is trying to convince consumers that it is for more than games; this strategic move will undoubtedly impact the stream wars.
The on-demand streaming market has hit a saturation point, so exploring new possibilities from the streaming landscape becomes the most crucial task. If the fight for content libraries is going to happen, it is inevitable to include digital streaming rights. Integrating live-streaming service and on-demand streaming services seems to be a new front on the ongoing streaming wars. Amazon has original scripted shows, films, and television and a broad base of subscribers and channels from Twitch. Fox has exclusive sports and music rights that other services do not have and acquires Caffeine as a social live-streaming platform. YouTube has its countless amount of hours of video content, and its rising Youtube Gaming live streaming service.
Among the companies mentioned above, Amazon had a savvy move to utilize Twitch. Twitch held a test on the new feature Watch Parties among its Prime members, which allows streamers to show Prime Video movies and TV series on their channels so that they can interact with their audiences while watching TV shows. Although it was just a test, it showed Amazon’s intention of bringing Prime Video to Twitch. Moreover, Twitch allows people that have Amazon Prime to become Twitch Prime members by just connecting their account to Twitch. That is, Amazon is trying to combine the viewership of the live-streaming service and the on-demand streaming service.
In conclusion, aside from creating original scripted shows, Amazon uses Twitch as a content generator since every streamer is seen as a content source that provides a certain amount of views. However, Netflix lacks this type of content resource, so it needs to invest an enormous amount of content cost. As a result, I consider that Amazon is best positioned to prosper in the streaming wars.