Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of August 24, 2020
Facebook Gaming surges while non-gaming content dominates viewership
TL;DR - According to the latest report from Streamelements and Arsenal.gg, viewership for the top games on Twitch was down in July by about 5-6%, however the non-gaming categories continue to impress. Fortnite dropped by about 4M hours watched to 91M in July as Just Chatting alone grew from 166M to 176M hours watched month-over-month. Facebook Gaming was the big winner, posting its biggest month of viewership ever, with 345M hours watched in July.
Riot Games and Spotify ink partnership deal
TL;DR - The League of Legends developer and Spotify have signed a multi-year partnership arrangement, making it the official audio streaming partner for global LoL esports. The two will collaborate on a series of podcasts covering the happenings in the various leagues, as well as an inside look at how the Worlds anthem is created every year. League enthusiasts can also expect to find curated playlists “inspired by the League community”, along with a League Esports Music hub.
SUBtember returns to Twitch for fourth installment
TL;DR - Capital One has stepped up as the lead sponsor for the fourth annual installment of Twitch’s SUBtember event. Viewers subscribing to a streamer for the very first time will receive a 20-30% discount off the cost, however the streamer will still receive the full share, as though no discount occurred. Larger discounts will be offered for multi-month subscription bundles of three- and six-months.
Restream secures $50M Series A funding round
TL;DR - Restream.io announced this week it had closed a $50M funding round led by Sapphire Ventures and Insight Partners. The multi-streaming platform intends to use the money to launch a new service it’s calling Restream Studio. Along with the ability to stream simultaneously to over thirty platforms, Restream Studio includes the addition of overlays, chat features, logos, and analytics. The company claims to see north of 2M streamers using the platform monthly, sharing 8M live streams in the process. Since January, monthly usage has risen by 300%, with the demographic growing from gamers to companies, politicians, news outlets, and celebrities.
Epic sees some relief in battle with Apple, but Fortnite won’t be back soon
TL;DR - A US district judge has rejected Epic’s push for a temporary restraining order against Apple, but is offering relief as it relates to the Unreal Engine itself. With this decision, Fortnite remains blocked from the App Store, but Apple is prevented from also blocking other developers’ use of Epic’s Unreal Engine in creating their games. Without this protection, Epic would be unable to release updates to a service that many popular games like PUBG rely on. Epic’s attorneys argued that Fortnite and the Unreal Engine were being unfairly lumped together and targeted by Apple. A preliminary injunction hearing is set for September 28th. In the meantime, Apple has terminated Epic’s developer account on the App Store.
Facebook Gaming unveils a slew of features and improvements in the works
TL;DR - In its monthly product update, Facebook Gaming shared that it’s working on integrating chat bots into the service, making it easier for viewers to get information from streamers without disrupting the flow of the game or the content. Features include custom commands and timed commands in the first iteration. FBG is also testing the inclusion of a tagging system to improve discoverability and browsing. Among the items in the latest release are the ability to pin comments, responsive window sizing on desktop, filters for browsing, and a language selector, among others.
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