Kyle Friedman shares his opinion on content exclusivity

May 14 2020 2 min read

Kyle Friedman shares his opinion on content exclusivity ⚡⚡⚡ Esports news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

Esports commentator and analyst Kyle Friedman recently shared his opinion on content exclusivity as it relates to Dota 2

Part rant, part lecture, Friedman goes into an explanation about a few options tournament organizers have at their disposal for revenue generation. However, he emphasizes broadcast, viewership, and exclusivity deals. Friedman's first lesson details how content monetization doesn't rely on views as much as it does exclusivity. The idea is to have something fans, and the general public can't find anywhere else.

Comparing the Overwatch League to Dota tournaments, Friedman illustrated how Blizzard was able to secure a two year deal with Twitch. They followed it up with a three year deal with YouTube, also worth several millions of dollars even though their Overwatch League viewership declined by 50% since the initial Twitch deal. What both platforms knew was that exclusivity meant fans would have no choice but to watch matches in their space, creating advertising opportunities.

It makes sense that Dota should have a similar setup with Twitch, and it does, but unlike the Overwatch League, Dota events can and are streamed by other content creators. These creators tend to have sponsors and partners of their own, so even though a tournament organizer has penned one or more advertising deals, their content could be available on numerous other channels displaying ads for the event sponsor's competitors. It gets worse since tournament organizers end up losing a percentage of ad revenue because they refused to stick advertisements right in the middle of matches. 

Its clear Friedman is fighting for the tournament organizers and Dota 2. Still, with the way things are structured right now, Valve's game will always be on the losing end until something is done about content exclusivity that will allow tournament organizers to keep the lights on and continue to produce exceptional events.

The alternative is a world without competitive Dota if tournament organizers can't afford to keep running their events as they can't offer partners anything special. His closing words are haunting.

"I know how it feels to watch the death of a favorite game. I don't want to do it again."


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