Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of June 29, 2020

Twitch clears 5B total hours watched in Q2

TL;DR - Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet have published their Q2 streaming industry report, and it’s no surprise that Twitch is the big winner yet again. The platform surpassed 5B total hours watched from April - June, nearly a 63% increase from the already record-setting first quarter total of 3B. It’s also a firm 83% increase over the same period in the prior year. Over 192M hours were streamed across an incredible 10M unique channels. Concurrent viewership grew accordingly, reaching nearly 2.5M for the quarter. Ironically, Mixer experienced one of its best quarters ever, with a 30% increase in hours watched over Q1, where it had previously been flat. Unfortunately for Mixer, that was only enough to claim 1.4% of the overall market, despite having 5M unique channels on the platform. YouTube Gaming hit 1.5B hours watched, an impressive 39% increase over Q1. That number spans 1.1M unique channels. Facebook Gaming has succeeded in claiming 11% of market share, with 822M hours watched across just over 200K unique channels. While still small in comparison, that’s almost 50% growth versus prior quarter.

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Tencent taking aim at Twitch with US launch of Trovo Live

TL;DR - Tencent is reportedly planning to release a Twitch competitor in the US market it’s calling Trovo Live. The program is slated to launch with a $30M partnership program, clearly designed to appeal to streamers and content creators that feel they’ve peaked or have been unsuccessful at growing on their current platforms. The platform was originally labeled “Madcat”, and it’s mobile-focused approach is drawing a great deal of support from the community. The program has been quietly beta testing in the US since around March of this year. Trovo and Twitch are similar in many ways, from how they showcase streamers to the overall layout of the platform. Monetization is already present as well, meaning viewers can subscribe to their favorite streamers and earn rewards in the process.

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Record label Anjunadeep opens its music library to Twitch streamers

TL;DR - With the recent wave of DMCA takedowns affecting the streaming community, record labels have been working directly with Twitch to clear their libraries for use on the platform. This week, Anjunadeep, an independent record label based in the UK, authorized a playlist of 500 tracks for use by Twitch content creators. DJs, who flocked to Twitch and other live streaming platforms after the Coronavirus pandemic upended their live gig routine, have been disproportionately affected by the DMCA claims given the nature of their work.

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Discord makes move away from gaming to appeal to a wider audience

TL;DR - Discord went public this week with a new website and marketing initiative - nearly a rebranding - positioning itself as more than just a community platform for gamers. Under the new tagline, “Your place to talk”, the company is looking to appeal to anyone in need of a place to gather with friends and those with whom they share interests. In other words, games and everything else. Along with the branding shift, the company reported that it has remedied “hundreds of bugs”, removed many of the gaming references from the app itself, and established a Safety Center to help users better understand how to use the platform safely. It was also separately reported that Discord secured $100M in funding in June at a valuation of $3.5B - money which it plans to put to work expanding features, and growing outside of gaming.

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Twitch unveils Tier 2 and 3 emote updates for Affiliates and Partners

TL;DR - Twitch announced this week a series of updates coming for tier 2 and 3 subscribers on the platform. Partners will receive an additional four emote slots for both tiers 2 and 3 by default, and those subscribers will have access to emote filters chosen by the Twitch Partner. Those filters include grayscale, horizontal flip, pinch, adding shades, and a “think” modifier. At tier 2 subscribers will receive one emote filter, and at tier 3 they’ll receive two filters. Also in the update is a new feature Twitch is calling Badge Flair, again available only for subscribers at tier 2 and 3. Badge Flair is an overlay on existing subscriber badges to highlight the status of the subscriber. Affiliates and Partners will have a default Badge Flair loaded by Twitch, but will also have the ability to create custom flair.

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