Twitch announces new tools, features, and its first game at TwitchCon

TL;DR - The TwitchCon keynote this year was packed with reveals of upcoming features and updates. One of the most well-received new features was Squad Stream - essentially allowing up to four streamers to simulcast, with viewers able to bounce between “main” streams and engage with different chats. Twitch also announced it’s dipping its foot into game publishing with Twitch Sings, a karaoke-style game in which viewers can interact and influence the stream in a wide variety of ways. In terms of tools, Twitch will be rolling out updated mod tools, and a better highlight editor. Streamers will be able to assign certain viewers VIP badges which will unlock privileges for them, and sub badges will take into account how many total months a viewer has been subbed, regardless of any lapses. Check out the article for the full details on these features, and for a few more. It was a busy keynote!

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Fortnite viewership down 30% since early summer

TL;DR - Fortnite’s Twitch viewership peaked in July, and has since trended downward. During that month, the game saw nearly 151 million hours watched. However since then that number has been decreasing at around 20 million hours monthly. Still impressive, and still enough to claim the top spot, but clearly viewers are beginning to seek out more variety in their content. Additionally, the change is also likely due to major updates to games like World of Warcraft, and the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 which includes a battle royale game mode that’s proven quite popular already.

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Ninja booked for Fortnite from Times Square on New Year’s Eve

TL;DR - Ninja revealed at TwitchCon, during a chat on stage with Twitch CEO Emmett Shear, that he’ll be streaming Fortnite from Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Details are still forthcoming, but expect an event like this to bring even greater global awareness to Twitch and live-streaming in general.

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Streamlabs and Intel team up on “stream-ready” mini PCs

TL;DR - Streamlabs, Intel, and a slew of other OEM manufacturers have paired up to bring easy access streaming to the masses with their new stream-ready mini PCs. The first models are being showcased by Acer at TwitchCon this weekend, and they’ll include SLOBS pre-installed, along with a handful of preset optimizations meant to make hitting “go live” even easier.

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New report indicates YouTube may be closing the gap on Twitch

TL;DR - A new “state of the industry” report from StreamElements reveals YouTube may actually be gaining on Twitch. At the start of 2018, YouTube owned roughly 15% of market share in terms of viewership. By September, that number had grown to almost 25%. This of course is being measured in terms of total hours watched. Twitch is still solidly on top, with about 750 million monthly viewers and 813 million hours watched in September alone. Compare that to YouTube’s 226 million hour watched and Mixer’s paltry 13 million, and there’s still quite a ways to go. The report also indicates growth at the top levels of Twitch has stagnated and, in some cases, even declined. It would seem many of the top 100 streamers on the platform have reached critical mass and have stalled out, albeit at the top.

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Epic Games successfully concludes $1.25B funding round

TL;DR - The round consisted of private equity funding from firms such as KKR, aXiomatic, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and others - seven in total. Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney will maintain controlling interest in the company, but this latest investment round places a rough valuation on the company of about $12.5B. Tencent already owns 40% of Epic thanks to an investment in 2012, joining the likes of minority shareholders Disney and Endeavor.

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In case you missed it…

We’re fresh back from TwitchCon and the time we spent in San Jose this weekend was beyond remarkable. Expect a full recap soon, but some of the highlights include meeting some of the most talented and humble crafters and artists in Artist Alley, and enjoying top tier Black Out and League of Legends gameplay in the esports arena.

We met loads of up-and-coming talent on Twitch which only reinforces the purpose behind our mission at StreamKick - to get the perfect content in front of the right viewers. View count shouldn’t be a hindrance to streamers and viewers and the conversations we had in San Jose only motivated us more to build the best damn discovery platform the industry has ever seen.

We’ll share some in-depth highlights and photos from our time at TwitchCon in the coming days and weeks, but be sure to drop into Discord and connect with the incredible community we’re building. Hope to see you there!

Have a great week!