Rodrigo Russano Dias, PR and social media manager of Nimo TV Brasil
Rodrigo Russano Dias, PR and social media manager of Nimo TV Brasil. Photo: Nimo TV/ Courtesy.

Born mobile-first, Nimo TV invests in exclusive esports events to win over PC's streaming users

Why? Because 73% of its users watch PC gaming championships, even though they only have smartphones. The company's main battlefield for this is Brazil, its primary market

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As Amazon‘s Twitch thrived with streaming for PCs and is now moving towards mobile, Nimo TV is going in the opposite direction. Created by Huya – which together with DouYu are the largest game streaming services in China – Nimo was born as a mobile-first app, allowing live sessions directly from cell phones. Now, the company wants to expand its ecosystem to the gamer community that streams from PCs.

The platform, which operates in Brazil since 2018, grew 25% globally last year. Nimo TV is also present in Mexico and Argentina, but Brazil alone accounts for more than half (60%) of the platform’s audience, with around 15 million active unique users.

Brazil is the main responsible for Nimo TV’s growth; it is the platform’s largest audience worldwide

Rodrigo Russano Dias, PR and social media manager at Nimo TV in Brazil.

According to Dias, “Huya’s perspective was precisely to expand to other countries, but as this name was very complicated, they created Nimo TV for these emerging markets, mainly for Brazil.”

TV Nimo surfed the wave of Free Fire, the great success of Singapore-based Garena, to accelerate its entry into Brazil‘s mobile segment. The game became Nimo’s flagship, winning in all the categories that competed in the eSports Brasil’s Award.

“The 25% growth starts with the COVID-19 pandemic because more people at home started to consume more content in all different ways, and live-streaming was one of the markets that benefited the most from this. Free Fire’s growth combined with the platform’s rise in this period culminated in an audience killer combination for us,” says Dias. According to a survey by App Annie, Free Fire was the most downloaded game worldwide in 2020, and also in Brazil.

Nimo hired more people for its Brazilian operation in 2020. “It’s not just games that Nimo deals with; we have content that goes much further, like ‘do it yourself’ features, cosplay, music. So we increase this team responsible for looking for new talents and also esports.”

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The platform 2020’s growth is directly linked to 200 events that Nimo promoted. After two years of operation in the country, the firm developed an esports structure to bring professional and amateur events closer. “This type of event is also the one that most retains gamers. We have developed some partnerships, such as the one with LBR (one of the main amateur Free Fire championships) and Copa das Aldeias (an exclusive Free Fire championship among Brazil‘s indigenous communities). I think that the combination of these factors helped our growth a lot in 2020.”

Partnerships are, in fact, the icing on the cake for Nimo TV. Recently, the company announced an exclusive partnership with Riot Games to broadcast esports tournaments for the brand’s games in 2021 and the opening of official channels on the platform focusing on LOL (League of Legends), Teamfight Tactics, VALORANT and its latest launch, League of Legends: Wild Rift.

“Nimo was born with the mobile proposal, but we needed to enter other markets, other fronts, mainly esports. So we are very strong with LOL, VALORANT, Counter-Strike and the tendency is to scale it up, especially concerning PC,” comments Dias.

How does Nimo TV works

Nimo prospects prominent streamers and closes exclusive contracts for live streams. A common Nimo contract provides for a set number of hours transmitted per week or month and participation in events organized or supported by the company. 

There are individual streamers and professional teams, managed as companies and with players dedicated entirely to the live-streaming, such as LOUD (a team of Free Fire players founded in February 2019 by streamer Bruno PlayHard and businessman Jean Ortega). The amounts paid by Nimo are fixed but are not disclosed.

In addition to this revenue source, streamers at Nimo also receive virtual items from viewers that can be exchanged for real money, which gives aspirants a chance to earn some money without depending on the platform’s centralized, direct payment model.

“We offer many advantages for those starting as streamers. We have a program in which the person has a series of goals set. They don’t need to be hired by Nimo, but if they reach these very realistic goals, they have a monthly income that it can grow; it’s a really cool gamification. We see who is working on the platform, and we reward that; if the streamer stands out, he or she can get a contract with the company.”

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Today, Nimo TV’s team of exclusive streamers features El Gato, Mucalol, Keilemeg, Piuzinho, Tutsz, and iLoveWinter, streamers that can have up to 20,000 viewers. Yet, according to Dias, Nimo is not only after big names for contracts, but also performance and potential. “A feedback we have from the streamer community is that Nimo is a very open platform for those who have no name and are just starting. Today we have more than 100 streamers with exclusive contracts from different games and platforms, and we are changing the lives of many of them.”

Nimo versus Amazon’s Twitch and other platforms

Nimo has big rivals competing for the same streamers’ market. In March 2021, Twitch had its best month in history with an annual growth of 105%, according to the latest report by consultancy StreamElements, which monitors the volume of hours watched on game streaming platforms.

Also, according to the survey, Twitch reached a new record: more than 2.055 billion hours watched. The platform that belongs to Amazon also has one of its main markets in Brazil. The Brazilian Gaulês was the third most-watched streamer in the world in March within the platform, behind only the French-Canadian xQcOW and the American Ludwig.

Who plays what in Brazil, and why Nimo’s potential in the country is so great

The recently published Pesquisa Game Brasil 2021, carried out by Sioux Group, in partnership with Go Gamers, Blend New Research and ESPM, shows that most Brazilians play some type of game and that almost half of these players come from the middle class and the bottom of the country’s social pyramid. Lower-class Brazilians do not have the resources to buy a gamer computer, nor consoles, which ends up raising the potential of mobile in the country.

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A survey by Nimo itself in February shows that 73% of gamers prefer to play with friends, while 27% do not mind playing with strangers. The choice of the game is also in line with the audience that responded that they prefer to play in groups: 78% like multiplayer games (with two or more players) versus 22% who prefer single player (with only one player).

“Not that the multiplayer game was no longer super popular, but in the pandemic, the game was perhaps the maximum relationship that some people (those who respected the lockdown) had to talk to friends and family,” stresses Dias. He says that 73% of the 9,000 gamers interviewed by Nimo said they follow PC game events, even if their only device is a cell phone.

“There is a huge potential for this type of audience also to start consuming other platforms. It is not that we want to quit mobile; quite the contrary, mobile for us is very important. But as a platform, as a product, we want to expand to other possibilities, even consoles, that we say little about it in Brazil precisely because access is costly. ”