As we move further and further into the metaverse, the old order is steadily changing. Nowhere is this change more dramatic than in the way that we’re moving from owning to streaming.
Today more and more people are abandoning CDs in favor of music streaming services and binning their old DVDs and Blu-rays and using services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ instead.
But perhaps leading the way is gaming and the figures tell their own story. It’s estimated that the number of people who regularly stream games will hit the 1 billion mark next year, rising to around 1.4 billion by 2024.
Much of this has been driven by the inexorable rise of eSports with its ever-growing global audience, and the watching of others playing games, and displaying players’ own skills, has become something of a phenomenon.
It’s also reached out into many other areas too. For example, it’s never very difficult to find a poker live stream to watch. With experts showing off their skills and sharing their strategic tips, these have huge followings all around the world.
So it’s no surprise that there is an ever-expanding selection of streaming platforms out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, including these seven examples.
It’s hard to believe it, but Twitch has been going ever since 2007. Back then, it was called JustinTV, and today around 31 million people visit the site every day. It’s also expanded way beyond just featuring the streaming of games to create a huge global community.
Today it’s owned by Amazon, so it even lets Prime members support their favorite streamers with a monthly contribution. Because there are scheduled times for streams, just like TV channels, this also helps to attract new users who know in advance when their favorites are due to be streamed.
As part of Google, YouTube Gaming also has a massive fan base, although not as large as Twitch by a fairly wide margin. But it does feature a huge range of streamers ready to give their followers exactly what they want.
The channel’s background in enabling people to post videos means that it offers plenty of tools to make video game streaming easy. The fact that there is always a great deal of audience interaction also makes it a very vibrant platform to use.
In the last few years, Mark Zuckerberg and Co have really thrown their considerable weight behind gaming, including launching their own streaming service. It seems to be paying off, with billions of hours of live game streaming being notched up every year. What also works to its advantage is the links it has with the social media side of Facebook. So, as soon as you start streaming, you already have a ready-made audience of your contacts. It also offers three distinct ways to generate income from streaming: you can earn “stars” that have a monetary value, ask for donations, and also receive monthly fan support.
Tik Tok Live
Still best known as a social networking platform, Tik Tok is also making great strides in the world of game streaming. It has recently added a feature where users can host live events to promote live streams, and it also makes it easy for viewers to find the streams that might interest them the most.
However, it’s not really meant for those who are totally new to gaming and want to make money. That’s because one of the conditions is that you need to already have at least 10,000 existing followers.
The name stands for Any Free Broadcasting, and this began life as a streaming service based in the gaming hotspot of South Korea. Initially, it just transmitted TV shows, but now you can upload videos, chat with followers, and live-stream games. You may well have heard of it through its sponsorship of a leading League of Legends eSports team.
It also has a very unusual earnings model. Followers can pay streamers in a digital currency called Star Balloons, which can then be exchanged for cash. The only catch is that the streaming service takes a cut that can be as much as 40%.
One of the big benefits of Bigo Live is that it is not restricted to any particular geographical region, so it has a genuine worldwide reach. It also works on both mobile and PC platforms, unlike other streaming services like Tik Tok Live.
Another plus is its use of both AI and augmented reality to enrich the viewer experience. This is important because you want to raise as much revenue as possible through collecting “beans” that you can then change into cash.
Many players who are new to streaming head for Caffeine because of its easy-to-use interface that lets you stream with the simple click of a button. The downside is that it doesn’t allow you to create clips, save footage or rewatch streams.
On the plus side, it makes it easy to earn money using its simple sticker system: the audience pays for them, and when you become a Caster Program member, you can cash them in as soon as their value has reached at least $200.
So check out all of these services, and you’ll soon find the ones that are just right for you. It could be time to turn yourself into a true streaming star!