Jul 14, 2020 - Economy

Upstarts challenge YouTube and Facebook's live-video dominance

Data: Magid; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios
Data: Magid; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Three years ago, a survey from TV analysis company Magid found that consumers cited YouTube Live and Facebook Live most often as theplatforms they use to stream live video, Today, that live video duopoly is being challenged by upstarts, including Twitter, Snapchat and Twitch.

Details: The survey doesn't measure hours watched on each platform but rather which platform people say they use, and respondents could select multiple services.

  • Twitch's hyper-loyal users, mostly gamers, view by far the most live-streamed hours, but according to the survey, fewer total people say they use it for live video.

Today, roughly one-third of people say that Facebook and Google-owned YouTube are where they go for streaming live video, compared to mid-40 percentage ranges for both platforms three years ago.

  • Of note, survey respondents have checked fewer options overall for how many services they say they use to live-stream video. That suggests they are beginning to consolidate their viewing among fewer platforms.

Flashback: Facebook launched Facebook Live widely in 2016, only to find that the service was very quickly exploited to showcase murders and other atrocities.

  • The company has since improved artificial intelligence filters to block such content, but the platform is no longer considered the go-to destination for live-streaming, in part because live-streaming on its sister app Instagram has also improved dramatically since 2017.

Be smart: Gaming could have a lot to do with this shift, says Matt Bertz, vice president of games at Magid. "There's a generation coming up in which connectivity is a central part of their lives. They've been playing interactive games with friends, like Minecraft and Fortnite, that required live connections. Live-streaming in general is just an extension of that."

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