2022 Will Be a Big Year for Streaming

Video Games
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Watching other people play video games may have seemed like an odd concept just a few years ago, but it has blossomed into a huge industry that sees hundreds of millions of hours of content consumed every single month.  

Today, professional gamers make large sums through ad revenue, sponsorship deals, and merchandise sales. On Twitch, the top streamers can earn millions of dollars a year. The site’s highest earners include Summit1g, who has made nearly $6 million from broadcasting his gaming sessions, and xQc who has reportedly earned more than $8 million since joining the platform in 2017.  

While recent years have been very kind to video game streaming, 2022 looks set to be even kinder. Demand for content is growing at a rate of around 73% per year and by the end of next year is likely to consume around 17% of the world’s monthly internet video bandwidth, compared to just 5% in 2017.  

How Does Streaming Work?

If you’re interested in watching online streams, you’ll need to head to a site like Twitch or Facebook Gaming. From there, you’ll be presented with a selection of different games and the different streamers currently broadcasting.  

Opening a stream will reveal a live video that contains the game with the streamer visible somewhere in one of the corners. They’ll be playing the game while commenting on what they’re doing, interacting with viewers who can leave comments in a chat box.  

The streamer may be online for up to 10 hours a day, with viewers able to jump in and out of watching whenever they like, just like with TV.  

Video Games
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Growing Outside of Video Games

In recent years, streaming has become as big as it has thanks to video gaming. However, it’s starting to branch out into other types of content. In fact, the most-watched category on Twitch is currently “Just Chatting”, which doesn’t involve games at all and sees the content creator just interacting with the audience.  

On top of this, other types of games like chess and Dungeons and Dragons can also be found on streaming services. In 2021, Poker News, a leading source of information for the popular card game, broadcast its coverage of the WSOP Online across its Twitch channel.  

These services are also being used to broadcast lower-league sports like basketball and hockey, providing fans of these grassroots teams better access to games than would have ever been possible before.  

A Challenge to the Mainstream

As the line between esports and traditional sports begins to blur, it is likely that streaming services will begin to pick up more content. Amazon Prime Video already carries live sports like tennis, golf, and football, while Formula 1 broadcasts its esports competition on Twitch and YouTube.  

This trend is likely to continue into 2022, helping to attract even more people to these online streaming services. 

Twitch’s revenues have risen from $100 million in 2016 to $1.5 billion in 2019 and $2.3 billion in 2020. A similar step up is expected in 2021 and, with the current trends in the market, 2022 is likely to be an even bigger year for the company. 

And with its parent company, Amazon, about to launch its Steam rival, we could see even more uses for Twitch in the coming months and years.