Live-streaming platform Twitch has finally returned to India with their Mumbai and Chennai servers going live today. IGN India had recently reported that Twitch is possibly eyeing the Indian market again after its departure in 2018. The live streaming platform originally entered the Indian market in 2016 but abruptly shut down its operations in the country. The lack of Indian servers back then meant that Indian content creators could not offer a seamless experience to their viewers via the Amazon-owned platform. Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming have seen tremendous growth in the country since Twitch’s departure in 2018, as well as local platforms like Loco and might make it difficult for Twitch to establish itself in the country.
Lower Latency for Viewers and Content Creators: The addition of Indian servers means that the community will have access to better connectivity to the Twitch servers which were previously notorious for lag on various Indian ISPs.
Partnerships With Indian Content Creators: Twitch may be looking to partner with Indian content creators to compete against the likes of Loco, Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming in the country.
Potential Addition of Prime Gaming: Prime Gaming may finally become available in India as part of Amazon Prime. Currently, the service is not available in the country and it prevents Indian viewers from experiencing ad-free content and access to free subscriptions.
Twitch-partnered Tournaments and Events: Twitch had previously partnered with Tekken 7 and Rocket League during its brief period of operations in India and we may get more esports events or conventions hosted by Twitch in the future.
With Loco, Garena, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube Gaming being the major players in India currently, Twitch is eyeing local agencies and streamers to create partnerships, according to IGN India. The platform is known for its exclusivity deals that tie streamers to a platform for a contract's duration. Twitch has not yet laid out any official plans for the country, and the community will have to wait and see how they invest in the country.
Multiple Indian ISPs, including Jio blocked twitch, recently due to pirate Indian Premier League streams being aired on the platform. During the platform's previous stint in India, the viewing experience was not up to the mark, and a lot of ISPs were not able to offer a great viewing experience. That may change with the local servers offering lower latency and potentially a lag-free experience for Indian viewers.
Riot Games entered India officially to work with the Valorant community, and esports organizations like Team Vitality are working with Indian content creators. Twitch has previously worked with Rocket League and Tekken 7 communities during its previous stint in India. It remains to be seen how they approach the Indian gaming and esports communities again.
Amazon Prime is available in India, but its bundled Prime Gaming service for Twitch in most countries is not available in the country. The service allows users to experience content ad-free and also get one free subscription to a channel of their choice. Viewers also get virtual goodies for games like Valorant, Siege, Sea of Thieves, and more. The lack of service in India can make Twitch far less appealing to the Indian audience.