Twitch, the video game live-streaming service acquired by Amazon for nearly a billion dollars back in 2014, kicked off its annual TwitchCon conference this afternoon with a keynote. With keynotes generally come a bit of news… and sure enough, here’s what’s new:
- Twitch Prime: As we scooped right before the Keynote, Twitch officially confirmed Twitch Prime. Included for free for Amazon Prime subscribers, it’ll include “free loot” (like in-game skins, characters and more), ad-free viewing, one free channel subscription each month (streamers will still get paid for these subscriptions), discounts on new release games and free release-day delivery on games.
- Clips on Mobile: Viewers will be able to clip/create/share clips from Twitch streams on iOS/Android beginning immediately. Meanwhile, clips will get more precise by way of a new clip-trimming feature coming in mid-October.
- Uploads: Until now, the only stuff you could host on your channel was live content or previously live stuff you’d streamed through Twitch. Beginning today, you’ll be able to upload your own gaming videos to Twitch.
- Loyalty badges: Streamers will be able to award special “tenure”-based badges to long-term viewers who’ve been tuning in for 3, 6, 12 or 24 months. Streamers can design their own badges; the feature will launch in three weeks.
- Transcodes: Twitch is opening up transcoding — that is, video quality options for viewers — to more streamers. It’s currently offered primarily to revenue-sharing partners, but they hope to open it to 3x as many non-partners within the next few months.
- HTML5 Support: After a few months in beta, Twitch announced that HTML5 support is rolling out to everyone today.
The first Twitch Prime “loot” bonus: Twitch Prime members will get access to Tyrande, from Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, as a new hero in Blizzard’s Hearthstone.
Twitch also dropped a bunch of numbers, for those keeping track: Twitch had an average of 622,347 concurrent viewers in 2016, peaking at 2,061,718 viewers at once in April. Two million people streamed games in 2016, with 17,208 being partnered (that is, in a revenue-share agreement by roll of mid-roll ads and subscriptions) with Twitch. Overall, those 2 million streamers broadcasted more than 10 billion minutes of game content.