Twitch To Stream HBO’s Silicon Valley Before It Airs

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Continuing the eff0rts to broaden its content, Twitch has announced that the season opener of HBO’s critically acclaimed series, Silicon Valley, will stream on its site next Wednesday, ahead of the show’s Sunday premiere. Matching the massive crowd of video game lovers on Twitch (around 100 million monthly active users) to a sharp comedy satirizing the modern tech culture is certainly a smart move, with which HBO is most likely hoping to get some streamers and cord-cutters interested in its standalone streaming service, HBO Now.

YouTube Is Ready To Compete With Twitch Directly

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Last year, YouTube was set to acquire Twitch for $1 billion, but that deal fell through, and the live-streaming site was eventually bought by Amazon.  Now it looks like YouTube is ready to compete directly with Twitch in the increasingly popular arena of e-sports streaming with their own gaming-focused, live-streaming service, which will reportedly be unveiled in June at the E3 Gaming Expo in Los Angeles. As e-sports and live-streaming continue to gain traction, it’s no wonder that Google doesn’t want to be left behind.

Why Twitch Launched A Free Music Library For Gamers

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Today Twitch announced Twitch Music Library, a free-to-use soundtrack selection for its over 50 million monthly active users. The library currently consists of songs whose copyrights are cleared for use on live streams or in archived video, including some Twitch favorites from Skrillex and Steve Aoki’s record labels. As part of Twitch’s long-running expansion from video games to music, the new service also provides a direct solution to Twitch’s crackdown on unlicensed music streaming last year.

Event Recap: ESL One New York DotA 2 Championship

With Amazon’s billion-dollar acquisition of video gameplay-streaming platform Twitch, competitive video gaming, often called “eSports”, has matured into a multi-billion industry. And today, we experienced this phenomenon firsthand at ESL One New York, ESL’s second major Dota 2 tournament this year, held at Madison Square Garden Theater .

For some, it might be hard to imagine that people would actually pay over $60 just to watch other people play video games. But as Twitch’s success has proven, there’s definitely a market today for speculating digital gameplay. Video game tournaments have been around long before streaming services like Twitch brought it into mainstream spotlight, but all that added attention certainly doesn’t hurt. In fact, around a thousand enthusiastic game-lovers filled up the spacious venue.

As brands follow where the audience goes, eSports might just become the next frontier for marketers to explore. With help from a plethora of sponsors such as T-Mobile, Pizza Hut, Mad Catz, reed pop, and of course, Twitch, today’s event is professionally organized and legitimately marketable.

Why Amazon Wants Twitch

In an interesting turn of events, Amazon has officially closed a $970 million deal to acquire Twitch, after Google apparently dropped its billion-dollar bid a month ago. At first glance, the ecommerce giant and the live-streaming game platform have little in common, but a closer examination reveals that Amazon has been courting the gaming market for a while. It makes perfect sense: Twitch was increasingly running into licensing issues as it grew in size, and it needed a big partner to support its development, making Amazon a good fit.

If Google had closed the deal, Twitch would have predictably become YouTube’s “little brother.” At Amazon, however it has the chance to become the video mainstay due to its lack of user-generated or live video platform. And now that the acquisition has been made official, the online video landscape could be radically shifted.

Google Reportedly Buying Game-Streaming Platform Twitch For $1 Billion

One billion dollars. That’s the reported price Google is willing to pay to get Twitch, the biggest real-time game-streaming platform, into its digital empire. The deal has yet to become official, but the industry is already buzzing about all its implications. Twitch provides the players with platform to broadcast their gameplay sessions on PC, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 live to online viewers, building a community of over 50 million of monthly active gamers around the world, which would provide Google with a enormous advertising opportunity. Furthermore, this billion-dollar deal, if confirmed, would not only validate the emerging market of live-streamed gameplay, but also seem to signal an upcoming transformation of YouTube’s current streaming model. It’s an acquisition that could potentially upend the status quo of OtT video market, bringing Twitch’s live-streaming model into the mix.

Update : In an interesting turn of events, Amazon has closed a deal to buy Twitch for $970 million. — Aug. 25, 2014

Gamers Watching Gamers Play Games: Twitch & The Power Of Live Viewing

Did you know that video network Twitch has 45 million monthly active users who tune in to watch live streams of people gaming? In fact, there are currently 85,000 tuning into League of Legends right now. Most of these streams are as much about the gameplay as they are about the gamer who simultaneously broadcasts a view of themselves via their webcam. This phenomenon is so prevalent that Google is rumored to be in talks to acquire them for $1 billion.

Is this behavior voyeuristic? Yes. Is it lonely? Possibly. Is it surprising? Not so much. There is actually quite a bit Twitch can teach us about ourselves.

Arcades And Shared Experiences 

At first glance Twitch’s growth seems unfathomable but this behavior is actually nothing new. As Slate does a great job pointing out, Twitch harks back to the old arcades where people would congregate to play games as much as to watch others play, peering over to take in the action of Pong or Pac Man. This is the same behavior as Twitch, but in this case technology is enabling it at a far greater scale. And it’s not social in the same way as Facebook or Twitter. This is about shared experience not sharing your experience and I think that is an important distinction.

The Power of Live Events

What Twitch teaches us is the importance of live experiences. In today’s on demand world there is still a desire, likely more than ever to be “in the moment.” There needs to be that sense that if you blink, you’ll miss out which is exactly what Twitch provides to the gaming audience. And Twitch isn’t the exception. In fact, major events are also experiencing growth like the Oscars which has achieved the highest household ratings in nine years.

Google In Talks To Acquire Twitch

Did you know that some of the most engaged audiences are gamers watching other gamers play games? Yes, you heard correctly. Twitch, the video game streaming network has 45 million monthly uniques who gather around displays, armed with Slim Jims and Cheetos to watch videogame play. Not surprisingly, Google is in talks to acquire the service which outpaces YouTube Live. We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out but there is a larger story around live audiences given the huge market for streaming gameplay, concert series, cooking lessons and more.

Twitch Shoots Up To Fourth In Peak US Internet Traffic

According to new data from The Wall Street Journal, Twitch is now the fourth highest network commanding peak U.S. Internet traffic. Twitch holds approximately 1.8% of peak traffic, which is more than Hulu, Facebook, Valve, Amazon, Pandora, and Tumblr. Twitch has been growing exponentially, and not without hiccups; the amount of bandwidth it takes to run Twitch is significant, and the company has, at times, had trouble keeping up. Their integration with PlayStation 4 has been a boon, as PS4 owners now make up 20% of the service’s broadcasts. In addition to this data, the company also revealed that 68% of Twitch users have cut back on TV watching, as their screens are occupied by watching gaming. The average Twitch user spends 20 hours per week on the service, meaning that they’re significantly more engaged than the average user. As the medium continues its meteoric rise with a broadening user-base, it’s worth keeping an eye on for advertising and marketing opportunities.