Co-Streaming Research: The key to increased esports viewership

Co-Streaming Research: The key to increased esports viewership

Co-Streaming Research: The key to increased esports viewership

June 2024, by Matias Van der Heijden

What is “Co-Streaming”? Many people, especially those unfamiliar with esports (if you’re unfamiliar with esports I recommend reading my previous article) won’t have heard the term “Co-Streaming” before. “Co-Streaming” is when a content creator or streamer broadcasts an event live alongside the official broadcast. It has been growing more and more popular over the last few years and is really starting to show now. Many large creators, especially higher-level players, are utilising their knowledge and entertaining broadcasts to increase overall viewership of live events.

This was shown recently in the League of Legends mid-season invitational, where one creator, “Caedrel,” co-streamed the event and surpassed the viewership figures of the official English broadcast. Many fans look to streams like his to watch the broadcasts as the creators add their own commentary over the official streams. But some fans will watch co-streams for different reasons.

The language barrier is a longstanding issue for fans trying to watch live events. Many tournaments are doing well with providing coverage of different languages for their broadcasts, but it isn’t perfect. Co-streaming tackles that issue perfectly. Many fans who don’t speak an officially covered language can now find a creator from their region covering the event, from Romanian to Tagalog (which saw 20x more viewership compared to last year); in MSI 2024, 19 languages were covered by a wide range of Co-streamers.

Many different games have been using this now, with League of Legends and Counter Strike being two of the big names implementing it. In Counter Strike, the Brazilian content creator “Gaules” has been around for a while, streaming the events and drawing in massive viewership. Covering a language such as Portuguese, he has been able to become the go-to for Portuguese broadcasts. In 2022, he received a viewership of 684,000 vs the official broadcast’s 114,000 in the PGL Antwerp major. Gaules really showcases the way that a streamer can boost the viewership by covering languages that have little to no coverage.

On the industry’s side, Co-streaming is a win-win: the streamers get increased viewership, and the hosts get to claim those as viewership numbers in their overall totals, likely increasing sponsorship revenue and bringing more attention to the scene in general. However, with as much success as co-streaming has been showing, many tournament organisers seem to be unsure as to the way to go with it. Some events have tested opening co-streaming to the public, but with the number of rules around the sponsorship having to be covered, it’s almost impossible to moderate.

The general way it works is by paying for the broadcast rights or signing an agreement with the tournament organiser. Many millions have been spent on rights in the past, but it appears to be shifting more toward a contract. As long as people don’t have sponsors competing against the tournament sponsors and abide by the rules set out ahead of the broadcast, the organisers seem open to letting people co-stream.

Understanding the public’s sentiment towards co-streaming is central to its future success. Market research can provide valuable insights into how different demographics perceive co-streaming, helping organisations tailor their strategies effectively. For instance, do fans prefer content from specific creators, or is there a demand for broader accessibility, allowing more creators to join in? Are there particular content features, such as in-depth analysis or entertainment-focused commentary, that fans find more engaging?

Identifying which markets desire official language coverage over co-streamer coverage can help organisers make informed decisions. For example, understanding the primary language preferences can optimise broadcast strategies in regions where multiple languages are spoken. Market research can also uncover nuances in viewing habits, such as peak viewing times and preferred platforms, which can further enhance the reach and impact of co-streamed content. Consumer sentiment analysis is another critical aspect. By gathering feedback from viewers, we can assess their satisfaction with current co-streaming options and identify areas for improvement. This feedback can guide organisers on potential partnerships with new streamers, regions to target for expansion, and content formats that resonate most with the audience.

At MM-Eye, we specialise in uncovering these insights through comprehensive market research. By analysing viewer preferences and behaviours, we can help esports organisations and content creators better understand their audiences. Our research can guide decisions on whether to expand co-streaming opportunities and how to optimise language coverage to maximise engagement. To explore these questions further, please reach out to our team @MM-Eye using the form below or email us at