Online entertainment services during the pandemic

Online entertainment services during the pandemic

Author: Viktor Lebedinets

25 Mar 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic limited our access to favorite pastimes and people were forced to search for online entertainment services. The number of users for various online gaming, sports betting, dating and gambling platforms skyrocketed, not to mention the growth of subscriptions to various media streaming platforms and gaming consoles. What is most important — the end of the pandemic is yet far, there still are hundreds of millions of untapped potential customers globally, and these users will be here to stay once the restrictions are lifted. This article highlights the trends in online entertainment services during the pandemic and how Spintech can help your business jump on the hype train and ride the wave.

First, let’s have the numbers speak for themselves:

  • self-isolation forced people to stay inside for weeks, and many of them decided to subscribe to online video streaming services like Netflix, or the latest addition to the club, Disney+. As a matter of fact, more people subscribed to Disney+ than to Netflix during the same time.

  • Online gaming platforms and consoles also saw the numbers of paid subscriptions rise rapidly. For example, by 2021 Twitch grew to nearly 3 million concurrent viewers at any given moment.

  • PS4 sold more than 114 million units worldwide as of November 2020

  • PS5 sold 5.3 million units by March 2021 and is forecast to sell over 66 million units by 2024

  • During the quarantine, many people finally found time to play their favorite games on their consoles, not on PCs/smartphones only. According to research from SafeBettingSites, the three leading subscription gaming services (PlayStation Now, Xbox Game Pass, and EA Play) revenue grew 142% YoY as compared to October 2019. Game publishers are increasingly shifting to this model to ensure a stable recurring revenue stream. With PS5 and Xbox Series X hitting the shelves, gamers are bound to bring in millions to play the best existing and new titles.

  • Steam grew to nearly 25 million active users in 2020. The numbers of new users spiked in the spring, then people relaxed a bit in the summer, but when the second wave of the pandemic came in the autumn, people returned to Steam.

  • Blizzard’s Battlenet grew to nearly 400 million users in Q3 2020, outperforming the company’s expectations by far.

Thus, people have invested time and money in eSports and other forms of online entertainment. Where the money goes, the business follows, and several new online entertainment services also grew, from matchmaking and scoring to achievement rating.

Spintech was also a part of this process. One of our customers was an eSports tournament, matchmaking, and rating platform that encountered performance issues when the numbers of active players grew rapidly in 2020. Spintech replaced REST API integrations with GraphQL ones, rewrote legacy PHP code with Golang, and rebuilt a monolith app into a microservice architecture ensuring scalability and great performance under a heavy workload.

As of today, this eSports platform not only enables the players to compete with their teammates in a fun and friendly atmosphere but also serves as a kind of a trampoline for players aiming to enter the cybersports world. This community includes hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic players aiming to win and join cybersports top leagues, as well as pro-players, streamers, and gaming companies.

Most importantly, there is no reason to think people will abandon their online entertainment subscriptions when the limitations are lifted, so the businesses can get lifetime customers before the end of the pandemic. The eSports and online entertainment market is thriving right now, while also being quite new and not overpopulated.

Thus, if you are planning to enter the online entertainment services domain, it contains a ton of new possibilities, requires fewer expenses as compared to other niches, and quickly returns your investments. Spintech is ready to help you build great eSports and online entertainment products, so contact us for a free consultation and let’s start working on your next project!