But viewership of the 2019 ESL One New York tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn dropped after the move to Facebook. Afterward, the deal was reworked to be nonexclusive, and ESL One content appeared on both Facebook and Twitch. But to really compete with Twitch, which has reported that it has 140 million monthly users, Microsoft needs to do more than spend a few million dollars on a star streamer, said Doron Nir, the chief executive of StreamElements. Unfortunately for Microsoft, bringing on Mr. Blevins has done little to raise Mixer’s view count. Mixer maintains just 3. 2 percent of the live-streaming market and grew only 0. 2 percent in the third quarter, according to the industry analytics firm StreamElements. And Twitch increased its viewership during the quarter, despite losing Mr. Blevins in August.
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“Twitch is a rounding error, ” Michael Pachter, a research analyst for Wedbush Securities, said in an email. Amazon is not going to reveal Twitch’s revenue anytime soon, he said, but it is probably about $250 million a quarter. Amazon did not break out the revenue of Amazon Web Services until it grew to $1. 5 billion a quarter. At the moment, even with all the multibillion-dollar companies competing, the live-streaming market is still small.
Twitch encourages the sense of community, engaging with users and giving them more tools to let their language thrive. And that community spirit extends to charity; Twitch viewers donated over $40 million in 2018 through various campaigns. The platform had one billion tweets about gaming last year, and 2019 is likely to be even bigger, with a 20 percent increase in conversations so far. But Mr. Levine acknowledged that Facebook helped ESL reach a new audience and target its existing fans more effectively.
And it made its boldest move this year by going after one of Twitch’s biggest stars, signing an exclusive deal with Tyler Blevins, better known for his online alias, เซ็กซี่บาคาร่า Ninja. The terms of the multiyear deal were not disclosed, but influencer agents and industry analysts estimated that it was in the double-digit millions.