Things You Don’t Know About Twitch Streaming Service
We’ll be talking more about Twitch streaming service in this article, prior to things that you don’t know about the site. Twitch is a video live streaming service operated by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon. It was introduced in June 2011 as a spin-off of the general-interest streaming platform, Justin.tv, the site primarily focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of esports competitions, in addition to music broadcasts, creative content, and more recently, “in real life” streams. Content on the site can be viewed either in life or via video on demand. Twitch has attracted more than 35 million unique visitors a month. Twitch had about 80 employees in June 2013, which increased to 100 by December 2013. So, therefore, all you need to know about Twitch streaming service has been properly detailed for you in this post.
With the headquarter in San Francisco, USA, Twitch has grown so popular with about 45 million viewers back in 2013. By February 2014, it was considered the fourth largest source of peak Internet traffic in the United States. The company has both fostered community and attracted new viewers with its TV show marathons, bringing new life to everything from Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting to Doctor Who. It also streamed the Amazon Thursday night NFL games, letting particular streamers provide their own color commentary. The average viewer watches 95 minutes daily, and half of Twitch’s viewership is on mobile devices. Not only that; Twitch acquired Curse, an operator of online video gaming communities, and introduced means to purchase games through links on streams along with a program allowing streamers to receive commissions on the sales of games that they play. Now read further below in order to get the full gist about Twitch streaming service.
All About Twitch Streaming Service
One notable thing about Twitch streaming service is the fact that the company’s growth dating from when it was launched has been massive. When it was launched in 2011 as a spin-off of the now-defunct streaming platform Justin.tv, it quickly outgrew its parent company and was acquired by Amazon in 2014. Then in January 2018, Twitch announced a two-year broadcast deal with Blizzard’s Overwatch League worth reportedly $90 million.
Twitch has been supported by significant investments of venture capital, with US$15 million in 2012 (on top of US$7 million originally raised for Justin.tv), and US$20 million in 2013. Investors during three rounds of fundraising leading up to the end of 2013 included Draper Associates, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Thrive Capital. In addition to the influx of venture funding, it was believed in 2013 that the company had become profitable.
Now let’s get some other important key facts about Twitch streaming service, starting from the date of its launch till date:
- Since the shutdown of its direct competitor Own3d.tv in early 2013, Twitch has become the most popular e-sports streaming service by a large margin, leading some to conclude that the website has a “near-monopoly on the market”.
- As of mid-2013, there were over 43 million viewers on Twitch monthly, with the average viewer watching an hour and a half a day.
- In late 2013, particularly due to increasing viewership, Twitch had issues with lag and low frame rates in Europe. Twitch has subsequently added new servers in the region.
- In order to address these problems, Twitch implemented a new video system shown to be more efficient than the previous system. Initially, the new video system was criticized by users because it caused a significant stream delay, interfering with broadcaster-viewer interaction. Twitch staff said that the increased delay was likely temporary and at the time, was an acceptable tradeoff for the decrease in buffering.
- As of February 2014, Twitch is the fourth-largest source of Internet traffic during peak times in the United States, behind Netflix, Google, and Apple. Twitch makes up 1.8% of the total US Internet traffic during peak periods.
- On February 10, 2014, Twitch’s parent company (Justin.tv, Inc.) was renamed Twitch Interactive, reflecting the increased prominence of the service over Justin.tv as the company’s main business.
- That same month, a stream known as Twitch Plays Pokémon, a crowdsourced attempt to play Pokémon Red using a system translating chat commands into game controls, went viral.
- By February 17, the channel reached over 6.5 million total views and averaged concurrent viewership between 60 and 70 thousand viewers with at least 10% participating.
- Vice President of Marketing Matthew DiPietro praised the stream as “one more example of how video games have become a platform for entertainment and creativity that extends way beyond the original intent of the game creator.
- By merging a video game, live video, and a participatory experience, the broadcaster has created an entertainment hybrid custom made for the Twitch community. This is a wonderful proof of concept that we hope to see more of in the future.”
- Beginning with its 2014 edition, Twitch was made the official live streaming platform of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
- On May 18, 2014, Variety first reported that Google had reached a preliminary deal to acquire Twitch through its YouTube subsidiary for approximately US$1 billion.
- On August 5, 2014, the original Justin.tv site suddenly ceased operations, citing a need to focus resources entirely on Twitch.
- On August 6, 2014, Twitch introduced an updated archive system, with multi-platform access to highlights from past broadcasts by a channel, higher quality video, increased server backups, and a new Video Manager interface for managing past broadcasts and compiling “highlights” from broadcasts that can also be exported to YouTube. Due to technological limitations and resource requirements, the new system contained several regressions; the option to archive complete broadcasts on an indefinite basis (“save forever”) was removed, meaning that they can only be retained for a maximum of 14 days or 60 for partners and Turbo subscribers.
- The audio filtering system, along with the lack of communication surrounding the changes in general, proved to be controversial among users.
- In a Reddit AMA, co-founder Emmett Shear admitted that his staff had “screwed up” and should have provided advance warning of the changes, and promised that Twitch had “absolutely no intention” of implementing audio filtering on live broadcasts.
- On August 7, 2014, the 2-hour length limit on highlights was again removed, and an appeals process was added for flagged audio contained within on-demand recordings.
- On August 25, 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch Interactive for US$970 million. Sources reported that the rumored Google deal had fallen through and allowed Amazon to make the bid, with Forbes reporting that Google had backed out of the deal due to potential antitrust concerns surrounding it and its existing ownership of YouTube. The acquisition closed on September 25, 2014.
- Take-Two Interactive, which owned a 2% stake at the time of the acquisition, made a windfall of $22 million.
- On December 9, 2014, Twitch announced it had acquired GoodGame Agency, an organization that owns the esports teams Evil Geniuses and Alliance.
- By 2015, Twitch had more than 1.5 million broadcasters and 100 million viewers per month.
- In January 2015, to further rectify these issues, Twitch introduced a royalty-free music library featuring tracks from various independent labels cleared for use in streams.
- In March 2015, Twitch reset all user passwords and disabled all connections to external Twitter and YouTube accounts after the service reported that someone had gained “unauthorized access” to the user information of some Twitch users.
- In June 2016, Twitch added a new feature known as “Cheering”, a special form of emoticon purchased as a micro-transaction using an in-site currency known as “Bits”. Bits are bought using Amazon Payments, and cheers act as donations to the channel. Users also earn badges within a channel based on how much they have cheered.
- On August 16, 2016, Twitch acquired Curse, Inc., an operator of online video gaming communities and gaming-oriented VoIP software.
- On September 30, 2016, Twitch announced Twitch Prime, a service that provides premium features that are exclusive to users who have an active Amazon Prime subscription. This included advertising-free streaming, monthly offers of free add-on content (“Game Loot”), and game discounts. Games included with the game loot rewards were Apex Legends, Legends of Runeterra, FIFA Ultimate Team, Teamfight Tactics, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Doom Eternal, and more.
- In December 2016, GoodGame Agency was divested by Amazon to its respective members due to conflict of interest concerns.
- Still, in December 2016, Twitch announced a semi-automated chat moderation tool (AutoMod), which uses natural language processing and machine learning to set aside potentially unwanted content for human review.
- In February 2017, Twitch announced the Twitch Game Store, a digital distribution platform that would expose digital purchases of games within the site’s browsing interface. When streaming games available on the store, partnered channels could display a referral link to purchase the game—receiving a 5% commission.
- Users also received a “Twitch Crate” on every purchase, which included Bits and a collection of random chat emotes.
- Twitch and Blizzard Entertainment signed a two-year deal in June 2017 to make Twitch be the exclusive streaming broadcaster of select Blizzard esports championship events, with viewers under Twitch Prime earning special rewards in various Blizzard games.
- Twitch also reached a deal in 2018 to be the streaming partner of the Overwatch League, with the site also offering an “All-Access Pass” with exclusive content, emotes, and in-game items for Overwatch.
- As of 2017, Twitch remained the leading live streaming video service for video games in the US.
- In August 2017, Twitch announced it had acquired a video indexing platform ClipMine.
- Under Amazon, Shear continued as chief executive officer of Twitch Interactive, with Sara Clemens added to the executive team as a chief operating officer in January 2018. Shear touted the Amazon Web Services platform as an “attractive” aspect of the deal, and that Amazon had “built relationships with the big players in media”, which could be used to the service’s advantage—particularly in the realm of content licensing.
- The purchase of Twitch marked the third recent video gaming-oriented acquisition by Amazon, which had previously acquired the developers Reflexive Entertainment and Double Helix Games.
- As of May 2018, had an advantage over YouTube Gaming.it had 2.2 million broadcasters monthly, 15 million daily active users, with around a million average concurrent users, and over 27,000 partner channels.
- On August 20, 2018, Twitch announced that it will no longer offer advertising-free access to the entire service to Amazon Prime subscribers, with this privilege requiring the separate “Twitch Turbo” subscription or an individual channel subscription. This privilege ended for new customers effective September 14, 2018, and for existing customers in October 2018.
- In October 2018, Twitch announced Amazon Blacksmith, a new extension allowing broadcasters to configure displays of products associated with their streams with Amazon affiliate links.
- On November 27, 2018, Twitch discontinued the Game Store service, citing that it did not generate as much additional revenue for partners as they hoped, and new revenue opportunities such as Amazon Blacksmith. Users retain access to their purchased games.
- Twitch acquired the Internet Games Database (IGDB), a user-driven website similar in functionality to Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to catalog details of video games in September 2019.
- Twitch plans to use the database service to improve its own internal search features and help users find games they are interested in.
- On September 26, 2019, Twitch unveiled a new logo and updated site design. The design is accompanied by a new advertising campaign, “You’re already one of us”, which will seek to promote the platform’s community members.
- Twitch began signing exclusivity deals with high-profile streamers in December 2019, starting with DrLupo, TimTheTatman, and Lirik, who had a combined 10.36 million followers at the time.
- Dr. DisRespect signed a multi-year deal with Twitch in March 2020.
- Twitch introduced a Safety Advisory Council in May 2020, made up of streamers, academics, and activities, with a goal to develop guidelines for moderation, work-life balance, and safeguarding the interests of marginalized communities for the platform. During its first week, the Council became the focus of a brief controversy.
- Member Steph Loehr suggested that Twitch eliminate voice chat on the platform, arguing that the feature served to marginalize many players. When Loehr was pushed by the community to explain further, she stated: “I think a lot of gamers are white supremacists. Sorry, just a fact.” This kindled a campaign of harassment against her. Twitch worked to calm the situation down by condemning the harassment towards Loehr.
- In June 2020, Twitch received a large wave of DMCA take-down notices aimed at year-old VODs and “clips” (short segments of VODs separated out by viewers) that contain copyrighted music from 2017-19. Twitch complied with the take-downs and also issued a number of copyright strikes against viewers. Concerned streamers were notified that they should remove all VODs and clips if not certain they did not contain copyrighted material. This provoked a major backlash, both at the loss of prior content but also based on viability concerns due to an inability to review or even rapidly delete content.
- There were also complaints based that strikes were being issued on viewer-created clips, even where the streamer-created content was deleted.
- Also in June 2020, a number of women stepped forward with accusations towards several streamers on Twitch and other services related to sexual misconduct and harassment claims.
- Twitch stated it would review all reported incidents and comply with law enforcement in any investigative efforts. However, several popular streamers on Twitch’s service believed that the platform could do more to evaluate the accused individuals, prevent incidents, and protect others in the future, and used June 24, 2020, as a Twitch blackout day, not streaming any content through Twitch to show their support.
- By the evening of June 24, 2020, Twitch had placed several bans on the accounts of those accused after completing their investigation and stated in a blog post they would be forwarding additional details to law enforcement.