Jeremy “DisguisedToast” Wang, is the latest star streamer to abandon Amazon’s Twitch for a smaller platform: He’s now signed exclusively to Facebook Gaming, per CNN. The Canadian gamer will continue to upload videos to other platforms — like his Offline TV YouTube videos that feature him and other popular live-streamers — but all of his live gaming content will go straight, and only, to Facebook Gaming.
The video game streaming wars are heating up — Wang is the third major star to abandon Twitch for a different platform since August. The site lost its biggest star, “Ninja,” to Microsoft’s Mixer first. Ninja had nearly 15 million followers on Twitch — making him the most followed streamer on the platform — and he brought a ton of publicity to the platform with streams featuring stars like Drake and DJ Marshmellow. And just months later, the second-most-followed streamer on Twitch, “Shroud,” also abandoned the platform for Mixer.
Both streamers cited two reasons for the switch: Mixer’s more open approach to their building a brand outside of pure gaming and increased access for their fans, likely due to its smaller size. This heightening competition between digital broadcasters is both fueled by and fueling plenty of growth in the space: The video game live-streaming industry is projected to top $13 billion in 2019, up from $10 billion in 2018, per StreamElements.
Star power breeds live-streaming success, and while YouTube and Twitch still boast most of those stars, smaller streaming sites are ramping up efforts to both steal and mint new powerhouse gamers. Beyond Mixer, Facebook Gaming and the relatively nascent Caffeine are pulling out all the stops in their attempts to lure stars from the bigger players.
Facebook is capitalizing on its global reach of 2.4 billion people to appeal to streamers. As Wang said upon announcing his move, “One of my favorite things about streaming is that I get to engage with viewers from across the world. My move to Facebook Gaming will give me a larger platform to share my voice with a global audience and hear their perspectives on the gaming landscape.”
The company has additionally been ramping up on signing international high-potentials: It inked deals with two Spanish-speaking Fortnite streamers, NexxuzHED and Lolito FDEZ in the past month, and is working to sign streamers in Europe and Latin America.
Caffeine is banking on super-famous talent to appeal to audiences and build a celebrity-studded brand. The most recent of video game streaming platforms signed an exclusive streaming deal Migos rapper Offset last month. The platform also inked deals with basketball player LaMelo Ball, and rappers The Game and Lil Xan.
The platform’s goal is to act as a site for more than just game streaming, and is working to pull rights from Fox and Disney. Founder Ben Keigran told TechCrunch that those rights are “part of the secret sauce that attracts athletes and hip hop artists — they can stream sports content and video games with a better community filter, chat, new monetization with no ads.”
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