Facebook may have made the world aware of live streaming when it introduced it to the platform in 2017, but there are numerous other industries helping in the push to make the technology mainstream. The online casino industry, in particular, was an early adopter and has developed ways to make live streaming appeal to people in different countries. The availability of sports and the rise of eSports are also driving the technology forward.
Online Casino Industry Catering to Specific Countries
Online casinos introduced live streaming a long time before it went global on Facebook. In 2018, there were 3.5 billion live broadcasts on the social media site, highlighting how the tech was then breaking into the mainstream. However, around five years prior to that, the first live games had shown up at online casinos to the delight of players. It started off with video links to crowd-pleasers like roulette and blackjack, which gave players a sense of the casino atmosphere in their own homes. Because these games were so well received, developers moved onto other offerings as a way to attract more players.
There has even been a focus on bringing specific games to certain countries in an effort to raise awareness about live streaming to the people there. For instance, the rapidly growing market in India has been identified as a point of focus. One of the games geared towards players in the country is Andar Bahar, which is a traditional Indian card game played with a single deck of cards, that presents a 50/50 chance of winning.
Availability of Sports
Live streaming has been highly beneficial for sports, and it has made a vast number of previously untelevised leagues and divisions from around the world available to a greater number of viewers. A lot of betting sites are now giving bettors the opportunity to live stream the matches that they are betting on, so people in the UK can get access to cricket in Finland, for instance. More than half the world’s population watch sports and this number could increase further now with the many more options in terms of what to watch.
The great thing about live streaming sports is the fact that viewers can watch the games on the move from their phone or tablet. This is particularly useful for matches that are played over a long period of time, such as cricket games that take place over the course of a day or more.
At the same time as online casinos were jumping onto live streaming, another offshoot of the gaming industry was making use of the technology. Twitch began in 2011 and provided players with a platform on which to stream their gameplay on a variety of games in real-time. Viewers could log on and watch the videos, and even comment and contribute to how they were played. This was a catalyst that sparked the eSports industry, which is thriving in 2020 with revenues of more than $1.1 billion.
The growing popularity of eSports is helping to boost live streaming, as a lot of the events take place over real-time connections online. One of the biggest eSports live streaming events was the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational in 2018, which was watched online by 60 million people.
Live streaming is booming and seems set to be enjoyed by more people in the years ahead. Online casinos, traditional sports, and eSports are helping the technology reach a greater number of viewers. This, in turn, is making the entertainment industry even bigger.