Twitch, the foremost online streaming platform for gamers and other content creators, hosted the second annual TwitchCon in San Diego, CA from September 30 through October 2. Kicking off the convention was a keynote from CEO Emmett Shear and Director of Programming Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, spotlighting a plethora of changes for the platform.
Ever since Amazon acquired Twitch in August of 2014, there has been the potential for closer integration between the two platforms. With the announcement of Twitch Prime, current Amazon Prime subscribers gain access to a new set of benefits created for gamers.
Twitch Prime subscribers now receive a premium experience on Twitch. Features like ad-free viewing, a free monthly Twitch channel subscription, and an in-chat badge bring a new level of value to the platform. It also features more Amazon-centric benefits, like exclusive discounts on pre-order and new release games and a rotating selection of free digital games and in-game loot.
Gamers and Twitch fans can get all the benefits of Twitch Prime by starting a Prime free 30-day trial, while Prime members can unlock their Twitch Prime benefits by linking their existing Prime accounts to Twitch.
Previously, viewers on Twitch looking for on-demand content only had access to videos that originated as a stream. With the new Uploads feature, any user can now upload videos to Twitch for others to watch. Streamers can also download past streams and use the footage to create high-quality produced videos for their viewers to watch at any time.
Clips on Mobile
Clips are an existing feature of Twitch that gives viewers the opportunity to save short videos of their favorite streamers whenever they see a sweet play. Now, viewers on iOS and Android can create and share clips from live streams and videos directly within the Twitch app.
Twitch has been providing transcode services to partner streamers, but with this announcement video quality options will begin rolling out to even more streamers so viewers with all levels of Internet speeds can view streams seamlessly. This is great news for viewers, especially with the recent announcements of bandwidth caps from several major internet service providers in the United States.
Curse Voice and Twitch integration
This past August, Twitch announced it was acquiring Curse, a company that creates programs like voice clients, item databases, and mod managers for PC games. Users of Curse Voice and Twitch may now link their accounts to access all global and non-global emotes from Twitch on Curse Voice. As an added bonus, Curse Voice users will also get a Twitch-themed color customization option on the client.
Finally, they announced that the HTML5 video player beta is now available to ALL Twitch users. According to Twitch Product Marketing Manager Noreen McInnis, with the HTML5 video player “…you’ll see faster loading, more consistent video delivery when streamers broadcast in 30 or 60 frames per second, and fewer interruptions from overheating and battery drain thanks to HTML5 going easy on your CPU.”
They also announced two additional features that are coming out later this year:
- Clip trimming: allows viewers to more accurately capture the perfect moment by adjusting the start and end time of their clip.
- Loyalty subscription badges: viewers will be able to show the extent of their loyalty to a Partner streamer, and Partners will be able to reward subscribers with custom chat badges based on the length of their subscription. Badges for one, three, six, 12, and 24 month subscriptions will be available for Partners to design.
All in all, there were some amazing new features and quality-of-life improvements announced at TwitchCon 2016. There’s never been a better time to check out streaming on Twitch, either as a viewer or as a content creator.