In 2019, Chinese live streaming service Douyu filed for an IPO or initial public offering in the United States worth half a billion dollars.
The service, which is mostly used to broadcast live video games, has more than 150 million monthly active users and is one of the biggest streaming platforms in the world.
Backed by major gaming company Tencent, the IPO confirms that there is a huge demand for live-streamed content. The two partners are expecting investors to put up large amounts of money to get into the industry and many feel that they could be right.
Why There is Such Demand for Live Streamed Content
Douyu may be mostly for video game streams but the live streaming industry offers much more than that and it’s the diversity of the content that has got investors spending. In the gaming industry, developers and publishers have begun to develop games that use live streaming, seeing that the connection to players can make the experience more enjoyable. The online casino Genesis Casino offers several live casino games such as French Roulette Gold and Exclusive VIP Blackjack. What makes these games different is that they have live, human dealers and not just computers who hand out cards. These dealers can talk to viewers and make playing the casino game feel like a community.
On Facebook, live streaming has been used for things like game streams as well as local news and shopping broadcasts. The social media site is testing a feature which can sell products during live streams, reveals XanjeroMedia. Small businesses have also used live streams to show customers how they make their products, and newsgroups like The Washington Post have used it as a way to get new subscribers who may not read their articles.
The diversity of the live streaming industry means that it appeals to a wide group of people and can be used for a wide range of things. Putting money into a platform that offers live streams is an important step to reaching these customers.
Who is Douyu Competing With?
Having so many new shareholders could also give Douyu the funds it needs to grow its service outside of China, which can help it to compete with the many other streaming services. In its article about the IPO, TechCrunch explains that Douyu also faces competition from Huya, another Chinese live streaming company that is backed by Tencent, as well as American live streaming service Twitch.
These platforms have huge financial backing and it will be difficult for Douyu. There are also platforms such as Facebook and YouTube which aren’t just about live streaming but have grown their streaming services because of the growth of the industry.
It’s unclear whether Douyu and its IPO will be successful, but many will be watching it. The live streaming industry may have made more than $7 billion in 2018, says a Deloitte study, and Douyu could be a way to access it.