YouTube is launching a new application which will allow users to stream gaming videos, thus taking on Amazon owned Twitch. Called “YouTube Gaming”, it will have more than 25,000 games each with its own page in addition to channels for game publishers and YouTube creators.
The application will be released first in the US and UK and will feature gaming videos at a high frame rate streaming at 60 fps, DVR, and automatically converting your stream into a YouTube video. The company also said that it is redesigning its system so that users no longer need to schedule a live event ahead of time. “Live streams bring the gaming community closer together, so we’ve put them front-and-center on the YouTube Gaming homepage. And in the coming weeks, we’ll launch an improved live experience that makes it simpler to broadcast your gameplay to YouTube,” Alan Joyce, product manager wrote on the blog.
It’s worth noting that YouTube in 2013 started cracking down on gaming video creators for copyright infringements. Creators started getting hit with “content ID match” notices, and were being taken down because they featued game soundtracks and ambient noises, which were flagged as copyright infringements.
Our take: Expect more such apps
Gaming videos garner an incredible number of views and subscribers on the platform. Swedish Gamer Felix Kjellberg a.k.a PewDiePie currently has 37 million subscribers on his gaming channel and in July surpassed Rihanna’s Vevo channel with 5.204 billion views. Apart from PewDiePie, gaming channels by IGN and Machinima are regularly in the top 100 channels in terms of subscribers and views.
While a separate gaming channels app might help users discover content more easily, this move isn’t just about gaming. YouTube has been carving out sections or types of content into separate apps. By launching these apps, YouTube is playing a role similar to that of a Multi-System operator or a DTH service, and each segment app being akin to a TV channel, with on-demand programming. The segments YouTube is carving out include some of its most popular:
– In February it launched YouTube Kids, a new application aimed at children, with a simplified interface for kids, and comments disabled, with parents allowed to set times.
– YouTube also launched YouTube Music Key, a music streaming service which charges $10 per month after a free trial period and also offers offline playback. It’s also building a subscription video service, with an ad-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee.
What next? Perhaps we should expect a separate app for gadget reviews, and another for cooking. Only a matter of time.
(with inputs from Nikhil Pahwa)