Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of January 27, 2020
Leak suggests Ninja’s exclusive Mixer deal was valued at $20 - 30M
TL;DR - The leak came from the CEO of the talent agency working with Ninja, so it’s being viewed as highly credible within the industry. Ader CEO Justin Warden claims the deal was worth between $20M and $30M across “several years” for the exclusive streaming rights. To put it into perspective, Ninja took in about $10M in 2018 alone on Twitch. Other agency executives quoted in the story claim that streamers with 10,000 concurrent viewers or more could potentially be offered upwards of $10M by a platform, with smaller streamers possibly seeing deals closer to $1M.
YouTube may be mirroring Twitch Prime benefit with new “free subscription” perk
TL;DR - It’s being reported that some YouTube users have been given an option to redeem a free channel membership, similar to what Twitch Prime members receive as part of that arrangement. YouTube channel memberships are worth that same, about $5 per, and renew monthly just as they do on Twitch. Given the limited availability this is likely a test by YouTube on something we may see more broadly deployed later this year. What is clear is that YouTube is ratcheting up its offering to lock in more of the viewers it plans to siphon away from competing platforms.
Mixer makes good on promise to remove spam channels from directory
TL;DR - Mixer had shared several weeks back that it would be taking steps to remove spammy 24/7 and follow-farm channels. This week it made good on that promise, after updating its “Rules of User Conduct” accordingly. Among the new policies are rules requiring streamers to only stream their own content (i.e. no re-streaming), content they have permission to stream, and total bans on “empty networking” and currency farming channels. Needless to say, Mixer streamers and viewers alike are celebrating the move.
StreamElements launches merchandising platform for streamers
TL;DR - SE.Merch will give streamers the ability to hawk their merchandise through a virtual storefront. The feature is completely free to streamers and, according to StreamElements, easy for them to set up quickly. The beta is open to Twitch streamers only at the moment, but naturally that will evolve over time. Other benefits include alerts, panels, commands, and timers that streamers can integrate into their broadcasts natively if they’re using StreamElements.
New chat moderation tools deployed on Facebook Gaming
TL;DR - Facebook Gaming, in partnership with the Fairplay Alliance, has expanded the rule set by which content creators on the platform are governed. Along with these new rules, Facebook has also deployed a set of chat moderation tools to bring it more into parity with platforms like Twitch and Mixer. The new rules range from “keep it clean” to “no profanity” and “don’t criticize”. Moderator tools include deleting comments, banning viewers, and access to a mod dashboard.
Call of Duty League inaugural YouTube viewership held strong
TL;DR - The Call of Duty League launched this past weekend, a first for the league but also a first for the new Activision-Blizzard arrangement with YouTube. Viewership peaked at just over 102K concurrents, which is fairly typical for a Call of Duty event but a good indicator nonetheless. A dip in comparative viewership after the move from Twitch could reflect negatively on the platform and the deal, but holding consistent is good for both for the time being.
Viewer rewards confirmed by Activision as part of new CDL / OWL streaming deal
TL;DR - Activision-Blizzard confirmed this week that it is exploring ways to reward viewers on YouTube for watching its Call of Duty League and Overwatch League esports events. The company is looking to capitalize on a trend that has contributed significant lifts to viewership for other titles in the space. They’d done something similar with the OWL during the 2019 season when it was streamed on Twitch and it seemed to work well. YouTube shared that a drops system similar to that of Twitch’s in “on [their] roadmap” but offered little details on what that actually meant. This latest deal with Activision will likely accelerate that development.
Esports Integrity Commission takes aim at talent agencies with new initiative
TL;DR - The ESIC has called in talent and player agency leaders to begin forming the framework for a series of regulations aimed at ensuring players and content creators are adequately protected. Leadership from agencies like Evolved Talent, FTW, and Prodigy have been assigned to a sub-committee to share their feedback and experience with ESIC commissioner Ian Smith. The ESIC has recognized the importance of such a framework given the nature of the relationships and influence these agencies have over a young cadre of up-and-coming professional athletes and entertainers.
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