Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of February 3, 2020
Mixer rolls out a bundle of new features and enhancements
TL;DR - Mixer began rolling out a series of updates aimed at keeping both streamers and viewers returning to the platform. Buying Embers bundles will now result in more actual Embers per purchase, with increases of 20 - 7,000 depending on the bundle size. Verified and Mixer Partner accounts will start seeing a revamped icon next to their names across the full Mixer ecosystem soon. Mixer is also testing an auto-host feature which it expects to launch in short order, bringing the platform more in parity with Twitch. The Mixer iOS and Android apps are getting some love too. And Mixer app users on Xbox will soon have to use the native Mixer experience on their console, as Mixer is notifying users the app will be removed entirely in the near future.
Amazon reportedly considering licensing Twitch’s streaming technology
TL;DR - It’s being reported by The Information that Amazon may be considering selling Twitch’s streaming technology to other businesses. The company would likely monetize its streaming tech similar to how it operates AWS, which accounts for about half of Amazon’s revenue. Twitch fell short of hitting its ad revenue goal last year by a few hundred million dollars, which could be the inspiration for this move.
Twitch nabs another Spotify exec to head up APAC region
TL;DR - Twitch has tapped the Spotify well once again, this time hiring its VP of revenue for the APAC region to head up Twitch’s efforts there. Sunita Kaur will be tasked with growing the Twitch community in the region, and overall improving the service for its users and partners. While at Spotify, Kaur was responsible for growing the company’s presence in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
Nvidia joins the cloud gaming club with launch of GeForce now
TL;DR - Nvidia GeForce Now is officially live, bringing another cloud gaming service to the market. During an introductory launch period, subscriptions are available for $4.99 / month, but Nvidia has been clear the price will eventually increase. Where GeForce now differs from other cloud gaming services is that it syncs with Steam and the Epic Game Store, allowing its users to continue to enjoy games they’ve already purchased without the need for buying a different version of the same game (looking at you, Stadia). Initially there are about 1,000 games available, all RTX-enabled. There’s also a free tier which includes 1-hour sessions and standard access to the game catalog.
Monday night League of Legends’ viewership struggles on Twitch
TL;DR - It may only be a few weeks in, but Riot Games’s foray into Monday night broadcasting isn’t quite stacking up against its weekend counterparts. While weekend viewership sits comfortably around 85,000 - 100,000 concurrent viewers, Monday night’s broadcasts have only averaged about 46,000 concurrents. It’s likely due to the lateness of the broadcasts, something especially challenging for Riot’s European audiences. The games are likely even too late for some NA audiences since it’s a weeknight, which could explain the massive difference in viewership.
Esports Arena expanding to 18 Walmart supercenters for new semi-pro league
TL;DR - The Esports Arena Series E will kick off in May this year at 18 Walmart Supercenters throughout the United States. The series will launch with competitive Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gameplay, and will feature forty sponsored competitors. The inaugural series runs for twenty weeks, with players represented by brands such as Intel, Nerf, Cheez-it, and G Fuel. The Walmart Supercenter arenas are to be fully equipped with PCs and the necessary consoles, along with a retail element - naturally.
Streamer GLADD takes top subscription spot for a solo channel on Twitch
TL;DR - Destiny 2 streamer Sean “GLADD” Gallagher became the most-subbed to solo channel on Twitch last week, collecting over 32K subscriptions to his channel. This puts him about 2K subs ahead of xQc and summit1g, who rank as numbers 3 and 4 respectively. The most subbed-to channel on Twitch currently is GamesDoneQuick, with over 36K as of this report. If TwitchTracker is to be believed, ALL of GLADD’s subscriptions are paid, as in none of them are Prime subs. And almost 22K of those have been gifted.
YouTube reportedly cleared $15B in revenue in 2019
TL;DR - According to its latest earnings report, Google’s (actually Alphabet’s) YouTube took in $15.5B in revenue last year, accounting for about 10% of the parent company’s revenue for 2019. The bulk of that revenue was generated by ads, which was a 35% increase over the prior year. With a warchest like this, it’s highly likely YouTube will make more talent acquisitions in 2020 to strengthen its position against Twitch, Mixer, and Facebook Gaming. Streamers who’ve recently moved to the platform have noted areas that could use improvement, and it seems YouTube is taking them seriously.
Amazon launches Amazon University Esports
TL;DR - Amazon University Esports is a new competitive series that will kick off this year in the UK, Spain, and Italy. Amazon has teamed up with GGTech Entertainment and The Nuel to bring the program to over 200 universities in its first season. The initial slate of games consists of League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, and Clash Royale. Amazon University Esports will be based within GGTech’s HQ in Spain, with GGTech overseeing the Spanish competitive series.
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