Twitch is America’s most used live streaming site

Big-hitting live video sites such as WWE, Ustream and MLB are trailing in the wake of the phenomenon that is Twitch.

A Qwilt report about live streaming usage reveals that Twitch claimed a 43.6 per cent share of the live video streaming audience in the US for the week of April 7th ahead of WWE (17.7%), Ustream (10.9%), (7.2%) and ESPN (6.3%).

Furthermore, Twitch now ranks amongst the top five video entertainment sites in a host of key markets including the US (5th), UK (5th), Taiwan (3rd) and Brazil (4th).

It adds that 71m people watched competitive online gaming last year. 58 per cent of Twitch viewers spend more than 20 hours a week on the site.

67.4 per cent of those using Twitch on desktop use Chrome followed by Firefox (16.3%), iPad (4.9%), Safari (2.5%) and Apple (2.5%).

Today, live events are streamed by content providers and commercial CDNs that send a long distance unicast stream to each and every viewer,” it adds. These redundant streams are massively inefficient as they require a dedicated HTTP session for every subscriber.

These streams consume enormous capacity on operator networks and, when the event is popular, can slow traffic on the network to a crawl. It’s no surprise, given how live streams are handled today, that many consumers are disappointed with the live streaming experience.

In early 2014 Twitch moved its delivery infrastructure to HTTP Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR), primarily HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology, from the proprietary RTMP it used until that time.”

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