Twitch ups Article 13 battle with Mario Kart invitational for EU Parliament
TL;DR - This week Twitch invited EU Parliament members from Germany to play Mario Kart on the platform’s official channel and discuss the potential impact of the new legislation. Article 13 has already been approved, but the final language won’t be finalized until later in March or April. Twitch’s aim here is to educate voting members in the hopes of limiting the scope of the law and limiting the company’s liability for the content its users create.
Twitch announces its first Twitch Sings contest complete with $20k prize
TL;DR - Registration for Twitch’s first ever karaoke contest is open until March 5th, and karaoke hopefuls will need to submit their best Twitch Sings performance for consideration. Twitch will select its top eight competitors, who will then be narrowed down by the viewing audience to a final four. Those four will compete at TwitchCon EU live on stage. Viewers will be able to participate throughout by requesting songs and posing challenges to the streamers.
Lightstream secures another $8M in funding due partly to Mixer partnership
TL;DR - Lightstream’s partnership with Mixer has helped the stream production platform grow its user base to nearly 10,000 streamers. Investors, encouraged by the steady growth, have poured another $8 million to fuel further expansion. The new cash infusion will go towards new features and additional employees. The Mixer partnership means Lightstream is very tightly integrated with Xbox One and Windows 10 - streamlining the production process for the end user. Lightstream also shifts much of the processing to its cloud, taking a big load off of streamers’ machines.
Major League Soccer and Twitch enter into broadcast partnership
TL;DR - The new, one-year broadcasting agreement will kick in next month when MLS begins streaming its second season of the eMLS Cup. The event was first unveiled last year as a qualifier for FIFA’s eWorld Cup. Soccer fans can expect to see highlights and exclusive content from MLS teams on top of the games themselves.
Streamlabs rolls out merch extension for Twitch streamers
TL;DR - The new extension from Streamlabs will allow streamers to post up cards with links to their merchandise in their Twitch bios. Viewers can scroll through the full merch inventory while never leaving the stream - an essential component to keep viewers engaged. Even down to check out, viewers can keep enjoying the content and complete their purchase.
MLB commissioner announces esports play for 2019
TL;DR - Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred revealed this week he intends to bring baseball to esports this year. Of all the major sports in the US, major league baseball has the weakest esports position. Manfred noted that team owners from various sports have been investing heavily in esports and acknowledges the MLB can learn from this and make its own move. The esports equivalents of professional, traditional sports are still testing models to get their footing, but Manfred is bullish on the potential. In comparison to native esports like LoL or the OWL, traditional sports have a lot of catching up to do.
G2 Esports lands $17.3M in Series A round
TL;DR - Closing this latest round brings the EU-based esports org to nearly $25M in total funding. The company intends to put the money to work growing its brand awareness globally and to cover the increasing cost of franchise fees for games like League of Legends. Investors this round included the co-founder of Yext, the founder of Doodle, and the president of Topgolf Media - who also announced they would be opening esports lounges in six of their locations.
In case you missed it…
Something we see and hear time and time again from every player in the industry is that streamers who actively engage with their audiences tend to find the most success. Bringing the audience into the broadcast can take many forms, but it is undoubtedly a skill set every content creator should invest in.
Early in 2018 we asked the community at large to rate our StreamDNA attributes in order of importance, in the context of what keeps them returning to a stream - a great measure of loyalty. The results confirmed our hypothesis, but also challenged the widely held belief that a streamer has to be very skilled at a game to build an audience. Ultimately, those attributes all contribute to how entertaining the content is for the viewer, and that’s what matters. It’s clearly a “sum of its parts” situation.
For smaller streamers, and those that play either very fast-paced or very slow-paced games, building a strategy around audience engagement can be a daunting task. Maybe the streamer is more introverted and less inclined to talk when little is happening, or maybe they just don’t feel the content of the game is worth a mention and tend to focus on the gameplay instead. Either can be tricky to overcome.
Ironically, for larger streamers, the issue of engagement is compounded by the fact that the chat is scrolling so quickly that it’s damn near impossible to catch a comment worth a reply. That and the quality of the comments when you get that many people into a single chat are a recipe for low interaction. What you’ll often see instead is the streamer will lean more heavily on gameplay commentary which can be a turnoff for many viewers.
With an understanding of the importance of audience interaction (it’s the entire basis of live-streaming!), and the challenge it poses for a large population of streamers, we’re always looking for ways to give it a boost without creating more overhead for content creators.
This past October we met the team from CrowdQuest at TwitchCon, and discovered they’re passionate about solving this very issue. And just like everything that’s ever been built that’s worth a damn, they’re solving a problem they were facing themselves.
Their platform brings viewers and streamers together in a way that’s both clever and engaging for the entire community. Viewers can propose “quests” for a streamer through the purchase of digital credits via CrowdQuest. Streamers can either attempt the quest or reject it if it’s not their cup of tea. For every completed quest, the streamer can bank the digital credits to convert later into actual money.
What they’ve done here is not only create more interplay between streamers and viewers, they’ve also very cleverly given viewers another way to support their favorite streamers monetarily. On top of that, streamers can glean insights about their community from the sorts of quests they propose. If they detect a pattern, and it’s something the streamer likes too, they could make it a standard feature of the channel. Or mix it with other aspects of the channel to further boost engagement. There are lots of opportunities with this kind of application in the right hands.
I’ve chatted with Jon (CEO) several times since TwitchCon and they’re on to something special here. TwitchCon was one of those critical moments for CrowdQuest as they gauged the community’s openness to this sort of application - and the response was great. They even had a chance to speak with Twitch CEO Emmett Shear when he dropped by their booth. Everyone (Emmett included) who visited with them in San Jose got an early access code to try out CrowdQuest but Jon has very generously extended that offer to the StreamKick community as well.
If any of this resonated with you and you’d like to give CrowdQuest a go, head over to their site and drop this code in when you create your account:
Check these guys out and let us know what you think. You can also find them on Twitter where they share updates via their vlog. Who knows, maybe we’ll catch you on a quest one day. 😉
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