With New Funding Round, Streaming Service DouyuTV Takes Aim At Twitch.TV

Published: Aug 25, 2016 - Last Updated: Jun 5, 2020

When the topic of streaming live esports games comes up, Twitch is by far the most common service that comes to mind.

The company is an integral part of the esports industry and has been steadily growing for the last couple of years, and that’s without a strong competitor to threaten its position anywhere in sight. But could this change in the near future?

DouyuTV, with its recent development and expansion, could be a serious challenger to Twitch’s further expansion in the online streaming universe.

The Chinese live streaming company has lately been increasing its presence, for now at least in the Chinese market. Last week, it finalized its second round of funding, pulling together $226 million US.

Can DouyuTV eventually become greater than Twitch?

Founded in 2013 and backed by the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China, DouyuTV received its first major funding boost of $100 million USD in March 2016 — most of it coming from Tencent Holdings.

Tencent is a Chinese tech giant that owns Riot Games, the publisher of League of Legends, and a company with major interests in the gaming and social media arenas.

Tencent led the recent funding, with Phoenix Capital Asset Management, Shenzhen Capitol Group, and National SME Development also participating in the $226 million round of funding.

The development of DouyuTV in three years is impressive. As of March, the company boasted 15 million daily active users, roughly 200 million monthly users, and 4 million peak concurrent viewers across the website, figures that result in a market share of 70 percent.

Twitch, by comparison, claims a monthly user base of 100 million.

“The capital markets have been very optimistic about our future potential,” Douyu TV founder Chien Shaojie told China Money Network. “Our deep capital reserve will solidify our leading position to help drive [the] growth of our business.”

DouyuTV has a couple of competitors in the Chinese market, one of which — PandaTV — is a venture created by Wang Sicong, the son of China’s richest man.

Twitch isn’t resting

With DouyuTV coming on strong, it almost seems as if Twitch is in serious danger, but the American streaming company is far from stagnating.

Partnering with various organizations in the esports arena and acting as a consistent event sponsor have deeply ingrained Twitch in the competitive gaming scene. As the service provider that first comes to mind when talking about streaming live games, the company is enjoying a sort of monopolistic position in the streaming universe.

Although competition from other providers (e.g. Google’s new YouTube Gaming app) is present, Twitch has managed to successfully hold its position as the top streaming service provider.

Not long ago, the company made another move toward strengthening its position in the scene. By reaching an agreement to acquire the multimedia technology company Curse, Twitch aims to “help gamers connect, interact, and share information with one another.”

Curse is an online game portal and network of gaming websites with many features. Some of the most important ones are an add-on and modification service (Curse Client), a collection of more than 1,000 gaming wikis (Gamepedia), and a Voice Over IP (VOIP) service (Curse Voice).

The company claims to be the “number one resource for core online gamers.”

A vibrant live-streaming service industry

As we can see, there is no shortage of companies providing the bridge between players and audience.

One of the positive things about multiple companies providing similar services in the same market is the increased choice of consumers to get what they really want — anywhere and anytime.

Dejan Zalik

Since: September 12, 2015

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.

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