Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of May 4, 2020

Reality programming reportedly in the works at Twitch

TL;DR - Twitch is reportedly working on producing a collection of “unscripted” programming that may take the form of game shows, dating shows, talk shows, and sports and music content. According to the report, Twitch is planning to spend anywhere from $50,000 - $250,000 per week on the endeavor, equating to about 4 - 10 hours of content. Also in the report, Twitch specifically disqualified escape room content. Whatever form these new shows will take, viewers can expect to see them air about 2 - 3 times weekly.

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Watch Parties earns its own dedicated Twitch directory

TL;DR - Watch Parties are a “social viewing experience” on Twitch in which streamers can broadcast certain titles from the Amazon Prime Video catalog to their audiences. That feature isn’t super new, but it didn’t previously have its own directory on the platform. This week that changed, meaning all Twitch Partners, Affiliates, and US viewers have an easier way to share the Watch Parties experience. And Twitch has made it easy for streamers by including a picture-in-picture feature that puts the video front and center, while keeping the streamer present for audience interaction.

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Twitch begins rolling out upgrade to Channel pages

TL;DR - Twitch announced last year it would show some love to its much neglected Channel pages for streamers. Now the first round of those updates is going live over the next several weeks. The enhancements include making streamers’ avatars and hero images more noticeable, and the inclusion of a channel trailer. Streamers will be notified via email about the update as it’s gradually deployed.

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YouTube locks in PewDiePie with exclusive live-streaming arrangement

TL;DR - YouTube made the move this week to secure its number one individual content creator along with his 104M subscribers. While details are scarce (they usually are), what we know is that PewDiePie will live-stream exclusively on YouTube - the current home for his pre-recorded video content which has amassed more than 25B views since 2010. It was roughly a year ago that Pewds signed a similar deal with streaming platform DLive, where he acquired more than 820K followers in record time.

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Latest Q1 industry report hints 2020 could be live-streaming’s breakout year

TL;DR - Stream Hatchet’s Q1 streaming industry report dropped this week, adding some concrete insights to just how much the industry has benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the quarter, nearly 5B hours of live content was consumed - up 35% versus the same time the year prior. Weekly viewers were up about 70%, with the bulk of that growth occurring as the stay-at-home orders were extended over the past several weeks. Twitch managed to capture 50% of overall viewership, but Facebook made major strides - growing viewership by an incredible 900% in the same period. Two of the most impactful events during the time were the beta release of VALORANT and Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert.

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Soundcloud announces new Twitch series aimed at helping musicians grow

TL;DR - Soundcloud is leveling up its involvement with Twitch, announcing this week it would be launching an official Twitch channel. Billed as a “home for all artists, creatives, and listeners”, the channel will feature four different, themed shows airing at scheduled intervals either weekly or bi-weekly. Studio Sessions with Soulection will surface hidden talent available on Soundcloud and give aspiring artists an opportunity for a shoutout. Fresh Pressed will cover new music coming to the platform. Cloud Bar will focus on issues in the industry that affect today’s artists. And Fast Track will challenge artists to create a beat in 60 minutes, which will then be made available for other artists to incorporate into their work.

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