Covid-19 has upended the traditional Sunday service, taking sermons from the pulpit to the screen. It’s sparking a long overdue digital awakening for churches across the country and investors are taking notice.
The pandemic has given more people a reason to seek solace in God and faith-based communities at the same time that houses of worship were forced to close their doors. Pastors have resorted to streaming on YouTube or Facebook Live in a bid to keep congregations engaged. Membership in spiritual apps has surged. The top Christian meditation apps raked in 2.3 million downloads in the U.S. from March to August, up 325% from the same period a year earlier, according to mobile data and analytics company App Annie.
Traditionally secular venture capitalists have largely shied away from religion. In Silicon Valley, “no one wanted to touch religion five years ago” says Peter Pham, co-founder
(Bloomberg) — When Microsoft Corp. shut down Mixer in July, the company encouraged the livestreaming service’s stars to move to Facebook Inc. Instead, the majority have migrated to Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch, including Tyler Blevins, the gamer known as Ninja.
Twitch’s market share of hours streamed jumped to 91% in the third quarter, up 15% from the second quarter, according to a report from streaming-software provider Streamlabs, which used data from Stream Hatchet. Before its shutdown, Mixer held a 14% share of livestreaming content.
Meanwhile, Facebook Gaming’s market share for hours streamed increased by only 1%, and YouTube Gaming’s actually fell by 1.2% in the third quarter. In recent months, star players such as Shroud and FaZe Ewok moved back to Twitch. Blevins, who has 16 million followers on the site, returned to the service in September.
Streamers like Ninja were on Twitch for years before being lured to