Rooter: The Indian Twitch
Gaming, Esports with Live Streaming add to OTT excitement!
Hey Streamers 👋,
Welcome to the 21st edition of “Streaming in India”, your weekly news digest about streaming players, OTT trends and more in one of the fastest growing video markets. If you are not already a subscriber, please sign up and join 2,300+ others who receive it directly in their inbox every Wednesday.
Payal Dhare, known as Payal Gaming, is a talented female gamer originating from Chhattisgarh. With a specialization in games like Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5), she has made a name for herself through her captivating content and engaging streams. Dhare’s journey in the gaming world has been shaped by her passion and self-taught skills, and she has received unwavering support from her parents, who recognized her talent and allowed her to pursue gaming as a career.
Content, Community & Commerce
Even Netflix has Gaming, and we just had to cover this fast growing space, as the lines between OTT, live streaming of esports / gaming & related commerce opportunities converge.
A major facet of the video streaming diamond in India is the burgeoning gaming & esports space which according to the State of Indian Gaming Report, 2022 complied jointly by Lumikai and AWS, is poised to attain new heights of success and profitability in the coming years. The segment which was worth $40 million in 2022 will reach a market cap of $140 million by 2027 with an estimated CAGR of 32%.
The players in the Esports category grew fourfold between 2021 and 2022 (from 150,000 to 600,000) and future projections peg this number to reach 1,500,000 by the end of 2027.
Starting off as a sports community engagement startup to pivoting to streaming during the pandemic, Rooter (check out the video above) has gone on to become India's largest game streaming platform with an enviable army of loyal users ~ 70 million app downloads across platforms. Industry estimates put Rooter’s daily active users at 13.3 million and monthly active users at 19.6 million for June ‘23, representing nearly 9.5 million hours of viewership.
They also have a TV app on the Jio Set Top Box to expand the reach of it’s audience and boost it’s revenue stream.
Rooter’s main revenue stream is through brand associations and sponsorships, an area that is seeing an improvement since the launch of the TV app.
Brands are able to maximise dual screen interaction where viewers can consume the stream on the big screen, and engage with the play on their hand held devices.
Content, Community & Commerce
An Integrated Platform for Gaming Content Consumption & Creation, Rooter offers an intuitive, interactive and personalized UI with a fast growing community of 1.2 million daily content creators.
The commerce bit has evolved as the number of viewers and content creators both have reached significant critical mass.
Advertising, performance / influencer marketing, sponsorship, events and user monetisation are some of the ways Rooter has been making money.
The challenge now is to keep up the tempo. “We have set a target of touching 40 million MAUs by end of next year,” Piyush, Rooter’s co-founder says.
Some of the favorite games being played and streamed on Rooter include Among Us, Battlegrounds Mobile India BGMI (version of PUBG), PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile CODM, PUBG New state, Free Fire, Fortnite, Brawl Stars, Clash of Clans, eFootball, Mobile Legends, Clash Royale, FIFA, GTA, and more.
Screen recording of a live game on Rooter -
^ The streaming revenue model for gamers is basic at best with a requirement of having at least 50 listening hours for your LIVE sessions in your profile to unlock monetization. The maximum payout per streamer is Rs. 4,000 (OR $49) / week for sessions that are broadcast for less than 8 hours. This is also associated with the Platinum level requiring more than 60,000 followers and overall creation of more than 500 hours.
The perceivably low payout structure for gamers is also a reflection of the ad monetization in India which in the absence of tremendous scale does not offer mobile video CPMs of more than a $0.50 - $0.60 on average ($1 - $1.5 for premium video).
In conclusion, Rooter stands at the forefront of India's gaming and esports industry, positioned to maintain its dominance in the rapidly expanding direct-to-consumer segment within the dynamic "eyeball economy." Despite facing challenges associated with low ad CPMs, often falling below the $1 mark, the company is well-poised to navigate these hurdles.
Rooter's strength lies in its ability to cultivate a vibrant community comprising both avid gamers and dedicated fans, showcasing high engagement levels on gaming video content. However, a critical aspect for Rooter's sustained success lies in the imperative to sensitize advertisers and brands about the immense potential of this engaged audience. The company's proactive approach in educating sponsors about the value of the gaming and esports ecosystem becomes pivotal for its continued growth.
Gaming competitions emerge as a key revenue stream for Rooter, providing both the gaming community and streamers with lucrative opportunities to earn. As the industry matures, the prospect of professional gamers rising to prominence becomes increasingly likely, contingent upon the improvement of revenue models.
When viewed in conjunction with the broader landscape of streaming in India, encompassing Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms alongside gaming and esports, a distinctive narrative unfolds. Despite the many challenges and the ongoing evolution of the streaming ecosystem, Rooter's resilience and strategic positioning showcase its potential to navigate these complexities successfully.
As the industry matures, mergers, the presence of regional OTT players, and other developments in the streaming landscape will undoubtedly shape the narrative. Rooter, with its commitment to fostering a thriving gaming community and its adept navigation of revenue challenges, remains a key player in the evolution of India's streaming industry. The intersection of OTT, gaming, and esports in India presents a unique storyline, and Rooter's continued dominance affirms its significance in this multifaceted narrative.
That’s all for today folks. If you enjoyed this breakdown, please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues.
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