New Streaming Platform Focuses on E-Sports
January 6, 2016 Leave a comment
Streaming live play of video games is a relatively new business, but one that’s doing pretty well for itself. The market is currently dominated by Twitch.tv, which pretty much invented the market, so it makes sense that they’re still on top. They’re the Netflix of streaming video games.
But the market is starting to get more interesting. Last year YouTube got into the scene with YouTube Gaming, but the streaming side of that hasn’t really taken off yet. Not the way the likely want it to. Part of the problem seems to be that YouTube hasn’t pulled on their home team celebrities enough, or found a niche that Twitch doesn’t dominate.
Now a new platform has entered the competition. It’s called Azubu and it recently raised $60 million in bonds to grow the company. Azubu was founded in 2011, has over 75 employees, and gets about 9 million unique viewers a month. 93% of those viewers are watching live video game tournaments, especially those played in South Korea and Brazil. Those countries currently dominate their service, and they’re looking to branch into tournaments with more Western appeal, something Twitch still controls.
Their main plan is focusing on e-sports, competitive gameplay, often team based, which is huge in South Korea and has a massive online following. While they aren’t the only platform that covers e-sports, they have signed a number of contracts that allow them exclusive contracts with tournaments that have a big draw.
The new cash infusion will be used to expand the company, but also to improve its platform so that, when they expand into new markets, they can do so as seamlessly as possible. Keeping technology up to speed is essential for services like this, which can take a nosedive in viewership with even a day of poor service or an outage.