Over the past decade or so, online streaming has become increasingly popular, particularly for those into their video games. Online streaming refers to the process in which media content is delivered to devices such as televisions or mobile phones via the internet. Major increases in technology in the last couple of decades have resulted in many services now going online, with video streaming services such as Netflix also becoming very popular. Let’s delve into just why online streaming and gaming have become so popular over the years.
When online streaming was introduced
Streaming has been around for a few decades now, but it was only really with the creation of Netflix in 2007 that it became more popular. The practice of live streaming video games first occurred in 2001 with the creation of shoutcasting station WSBN, but it wasn’t until the mid-2010s that it really caught on, in part due to increases in technology, but also due to the invention of video game streaming platforms such as Twitch. Since then, online video game streaming services have really taken off. YouTube Gaming was invented in 2015, with other popular online gaming streaming services that have appeared over the years including Facebook Gaming, Caffeine and also Microsoft’s Mixer, which stopped operating in 2020.
Industries that have benefited from online streaming
Esports is just one example of an industry that has become rather popular in recent years, with this being another reason why video game streaming has increased. Massive competitions for multiplayer games are held each year, with huge prizes up for grabs. This has raised the profile of the video games in question and also attracted casual gamers to video game streaming platforms. Another arena in which game streaming has become popular is within the online casino game industry. Poker was originally the market leader on platforms such as Twitch, but a couple of years ago, casino game streaming took over, with many people now tuning in to watch each year through live table games and more that have increased in popularity.
The rise in popularity of video game streaming
Video game streaming is now incredibly popular, with many gamers now choosing to stream online. There are a number of reasons for this – video games have become increasingly popular over the past decade or so – whereas in the past, video games were often considered to be the realm of nerds, they are now accepted and played by most people under the age of 40. This is due in part to the increased accessibility of video games now – more consoles and games are available than ever before, with more affordable price points. Video games have leapt into the public consciousness and are now considered to be a valued part of modern culture, increasing their stature in society.
The advent of digital technology and the internet have also made video games more accessible to all – most people now have a computer or mobile phone, meaning the majority of people in the Western world are now able to play video games if they so wish. Mobile games in particular have increased the popularity of video games across the board, enticing more casual gamers with the games and apps typically available on mobile phones.
The advent of the internet age has also meant that online streaming is now a lot easier – long gone are the days in which multiplayer gaming and online streaming involved a complicated set-up, with many consoles nowadays coming automatically with in-built features to stream games as you play. Over time, especially the last few years, the number of video game live-streams watched has increased worldwide on streaming platforms. According to data from Statista, in the first quarter of 2021 there were over 8.8 billion hours of live streamed video games that were watched across the globe. Another interesting thing to note is that this rise in video game streaming has actually led to an increase in advertising for certain games that would have otherwise flown under the radar – for example, Rocket League sold over 5 million copies after it became one of the most-watched games in 2015 on the streaming platform Twitch!