League of Legends topped the charts last year, with over 1 billion hours of content viewed – almost double that of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
A Counter-Strike: Global Offensive match shattered a Twitch viewership record Sunday, reaching over 1 million concurrent viewers during the exciting finish of the ELeague Major.
ELeague’s Twitch channel hit 1.026 million concurrent viewers while live broadcasting the grand finals of the 10th CS:GO Major — put on by Turner and WME | IMG — between Virtus.pro and Astralis, breaking Twitch’s previous single-channel concurrent viewer record of 890,000. Continue reading ‘Counter-Strike’ match breaks Twitch’s streaming record
The fruits of Amazon’s Twitch acquisition will be front-and-center later this month at TwitchCon.
Twitch CEO Emmett Shear spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt on Wednesday morning in San Francisco and said that his live streaming company will make a “big announcement” related to Amazon at its conference in San Diego on Sept. 30.
Amazon paid $1 billion to acquire Twitch in 2014, swooping up a site lets people stream their video game sessions and attracts more than 100 million users and 1.7 million broadcasters per month. It’s described as the “ESPN of the video game industry” where viewers go to watch live footage of video games being played. The platform is now expanding beyond gaming into new verticals like arts and music.
Since then, Amazon has quietly grown its Amazon Game Studios team and recently acquired gaming content platform Curse. The company is also now streaming its original TV shows on Twitch. But it hasn’t released anything new that fully integrates Twitch’s platform — until now.
“I’m really excited to say that we figured out a really cool way to join them up,” Shear said of Amazon and Twitch. “I could not be more excited for us to finally launch our first really deep product integration with Amazon.”
Shear said that two years ago, he knew there would be huge value that could be unlocked by building products that bring together Amazon and Twitch, which was nearly acquired by Google before Amazon paid $1 billion to purchase the company.
“We had this huge population of some of the most dedicated gamers in the world, and Amazon is the center of shopping and increasingly all kinds of media and hardware,” he said. “We thought there had to be a way to connect these two things. It’s so obvious.”
Though Twitch is owned by Amazon and now gets to use products like Amazon Web Services, Shear said that his company is still run “very separately from the rest of Amazon.” He did note that he’s noticed how Amazon is run differently from any other tech giant.
“It feels like a collection of young, scrappy startups loosely held together,” he said. “It’s the idea of leaders who should be single-threaded and should be able to own their entire area.”
Asked about recent reports detailing Amazon’s move to acquire streaming rights for live sports content and whether Twitch is involved, Shear said he hadn’t even heard of that.
“One of the fascinating things working for Amazon is that it’s so big and is doing so much stuff, that this is the literally first time I’ve heard of Amazon buying those rights,” he said. “But I totally believe it and it makes total sense. I can totally see how that would fit in really well in a lot of the things Amazon is working on. But it’s news to me. It’s not my team.”
Shear addressed a number of other topics during the 20-minute chat, including how Twitch moderates its live streamers and comments from users, acquiring eSports teams, and the popularity of new verticals like social eating. He also talked about the growth of live streaming in general, noting how it’s become a “permanent part of the internet.”
“It’s not temporary and it’s not a live streaming bubble,” he said. “We’ve added live streaming to the vocabulary of the internet.”
Given that growth, should Twitch have waited a bit longer to be acquired by a company like Amazon? Shear isn’t second-guessing that decision.
“Amazon has been a spectacular home for Twitch,” he explained. “If we held out longer, could we have made more money? It could have been likely. The space is continuing to get hotter and is seeing growth. The problem is, there’s also this chance that everyone would go build their own and we may have been undercapitalized compared to the competition and we would have struggled and not had as good of an outcome.
“That’s one of those things where it’s easy to second guess your decision,” he continued. “But all I can do is look back at where we are today and say, well, it worked out really well for me, for the rest of the team, for our employees, and it’s working out well for Amazon. I feel really good about it. I think we made the right decision.”
The payment company has updated its terms in some countries, but it doesn’t make a difference to Twitch streamers. Here’s why.
Ambiguous wording in PayPal’s recent update to its user agreement in some countries left the Twitch community wondering if the company was finally doing something about chargebacks on donations. Continue reading Twitch donations and PayPal: Everything you need to know about chargebacks
The company wants a piece of the market.
Twitch, the popular game-streaming site, has a funding problem. Not related to the company — it’s owned by Amazon and is just fine — but its streamers. Like on other video platforms, creators are paid based on ad views and subscriptions, and by all accounts not at a very high rate. While popular streamers make a living — helped in part by sponsorship deals and the like — it can be hard for smaller channels to make ends meet. That’s why the sub-economy of donations and tips exists, and today, Twitch is trying to formalize that economy with a new feature it calls “Cheering.” Continue reading Twitch introduces ‘Cheering’ emotes for tipping streamers