There’s no doubt that the live streaming of video games was majorly popularized by Twitch, who currently still sits at the top of the food chain in this particular space, but YouTube had its own goals of breaking into the scene which was first made evident when they tried to acquire Twitch. Although they never achieved that goal, they still ended up with a live streaming service focused solely on games with the now launched YouTube Gaming platform that was launched just earlier this Summer. Now Twitch actually has a real rival in the space, one that is entirely capable of holding its own and potentially grabbing away some of its user base.
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Twitch has its own plans for growth too though which it’s recently made clear, and with Amazon now being the owner they have the funding and resources to make their goals come to head. Although it’s not exactly set in stone just what Twitch will end up doing to expand their user base and their platform beyond just the live game streaming platform, they have more than one or two potential plans which could not only help them grow but potentially snag some of YouTube’s audience.
According to Twitch’s CEO Emmit Shear who spoke about the plans for growth at TwitchCon last week, in 2016 they’ll be introducing a new feature for broadcasters that will allow them to upload pre-recorded videos to the platform alongside the ability to live stream their gaming sessions. Once this feature locks into place and rolls out, they’ll be offering a similar kind of experience to YouTube, essentially putting them on par with YouTube’s offerings. How well the feature does still remains to be seen but even before launch it’s already gained both a positive and negative outlook from streamers, with some feeling like it could be a boon for the platform while others still feel that nothing can quite match up to the feeling of live content due to the interaction with viewers that happens in real-time. Taking this feedback into consideration, Twitch states they’re also looking at ways to possibly make the new service (which they refer to as Video On Demand) a more interactive offering for both the streamers and the viewers through possible simultaneous viewing experiences. Even though Twitch is looking to expand with pre-recorded video though, they maintain that their core offering, live streaming, will still continue to be their main focus.