It’s common knowledge that online gaming has proven to be one of the fastest growing and most lucrative industries over the past decade, but the exact nature of this growth isn’t always easy to pin down in concrete terms. According to a recent U.S. study from analytics think-tank Statista, the total value of the market is forecasted to hit $2.14 trillion by 2020, which represents an increase of $400 billion from the 2015 figures.
That said, these stats only tell half the story. Not only is the online gaming industry growing year after year; it’s also becoming more diversified. In addition to established formats such as free-to-plays, MMOs, and iGaming, we’re starting to see new branches like social gaming and mobile gaming that have quickly gained global popularity.
With rapid expansion and improvements in both WiFi and mobile bandwidth and graphics come new levels of investment for both new and veteran gaming developers and operators alike. Advances in technology are being utilized across all forms of online gaming, and we’ve noticed one form of innovation that has quickly come to the forefront in recent years, largely thanks to improvements in connection speeds and camera technology: live streaming.
Let’s take a look at two key areas of the online gaming world in which live streaming is already making big waves.
Online Video Games
Live streaming is arguably one of the biggest developments to hit the online video game community in recent years. By using dedicated streaming platforms like Amazon’s Twitch, YouTube or even Facebook, avid gamers can broadcast their gaming exploits to the entire world.
Gamers with a loyal fan base and regular viewers are able to attract advertising revenue – so they are effectively getting paid to do what they love best! And before you go thinking otherwise, it’s not too difficult to set up a stream and it’s certainly not all about being the absolute best at a particular game; viewers are attracted just as much to a strong personality and humor as they are to skill.
From online casinos to sports bookmakers, almost all iGaming operators are taking live streaming technology into account when looking for ways to improve their service offering.
For online casinos in the UK like Mr. Smith, a clear strategic aim is to introduce live video streams across all traditional table games. Their live roulette game, for instance, allows players to log in to their account and not only watch but actually participate in a live stream of a real roulette table with a real dealer who conducts the game. It’s pretty much the closest you can get to the casino floor without actually being there.
Given the current rate at which both iGaming and online video games are integrating forms of live streaming into their service offering, we fully expect to see the technology to carve out a bigger space for itself over the next year. Right now, we’re starting to see a bigger focus on mobile platforms, so how will live streaming evolve in line with this consideration? We can’t wait to find out.