YouTube changes its Gaming Livestream strategy after announcing closing its YouTube Gaming dedicated app
YouTube established itself as a direct competitor of Twitch with the launch of YouTube Gaming back in 2015. YouTube Gaming is a standalone app built for gamers and livestreaming. It allowed YouTube to introduce new features such as Game Pages offering better discoverability to streamers, Super Chat, and Channel Memberships to help fans show support for their favorite creators. However, the company will officially retire the YouTube Gaming app in March 2019 and bring its features over to the main YouTube website. To clarify, YouTube has built a new landing page within its main platform.
Features from YouTube Gaming will be mixed in with new features designed to personalize and enrich the consumer’s experience within the gaming section.
You can find the new YouTube Gaming destination at: www.youtube.com/gaming
YouTube built dedicated shelves for several categories. Personalized gaming content based on videos previously watched is located at the very top of the page. Other categories include top live games, as well as the latest gaming videos from the user’s subscriptions. YouTube also offers sections for live streams and trending videos.
Additionally, users can now ‘favorite’ specific games which YouTube will use to curate its recommendations for gaming content, including popular videos, live streams, and other games from the same publisher or developer.
Finally, the key feature of YouTube’s new gaming section is “On The Rise” – a way for YouTube to highlight smaller gaming creators and help them getting more fans to discover and follow their content. The platform will showcase a new up and coming gaming creator every week.
For many content creators, Twitch and YouTube have been working together as two pieces of their distribution strategy. First, content creators livestream on Twitch. Then, they often post gaming content from that livestream on their YouTube channel. This represented a real issue for YouTube as many streamers would ignore YouTube Gaming to stream on Twitch despite having an active YouTube channel.
By directly integrating YouTube Gaming to the YouTube main platform, streamers will have the option to use the same platform to livestream and post videos. Moreover, users will no longer have to jump between two different websites and will be able to find new live streaming content directly on YouTube.
The change in YouTube’s strategy should entice potential creators to join the platform through features similar to Twitch, better discoverability, and benefit from YouTube’s huge gaming video offering.
However, YouTube’s main goal will be to become a top option for users searching for live streaming content. For this to happen, YouTube needs to boost its number of streamers and to offer more live content. Their “On The Rise” option will be carefully observed as it is supposed to raise the visibility of smaller gaming creators in hopes that they find an audience and stay on YouTube. Most importantly, it challenges Twitch, which lacks of necessary tools for new and upcoming streamers to effectively promote themselves.
It will take time before YouTube can compete against Twitch as the top livestreaming platform but unifying YouTube Gaming and its main platform is a good start. Nonetheless, YouTube will have to continue building on meaningful partnerships with both esports rights holder and popular streamers to do so.
Magic Gaming signs Boxed Water as their official water sponsor
Magic Gaming, the gaming team for the NBA’s Orlando Magic and one of the original NBA 2K teams, has signed Boxed Water as their official water. Boxed Water differentiates themselves in a crowded water space by using paper boxes as their bottles instead of plastic bottles which negatively impact the environment. Boxed water will be replacing plastic water bottles at all Magic Gaming events.
This partnership is a great sign for Magic Gaming and the NBA 2K League as a whole as a non-endemic is showing interest in the NBA 2K League product and embedding themselves within the gaming community. Up until this point, a majority of sponsors of the NBA 2K League have been endemic brands like HyperX and Intel.
It is an even better sign that Boxed Water is not a current partner of the Orlando Magic. Usually when non-endemics enter a space they aren’t familiar with like esports, it is because they have a pre-existing relationship and their partner adds esports assets to their existing partnership. This shows Boxed Water has been tracking the esports space and did their due diligence to know they wanted to specifically partner with Magic Gaming and their fans.
Overall, the first season of the NBA 2K League was regarded as a success and will have 4 more teams joining next year. If non-endemic brands continue to support the league, it will bode well for the league’s future and their goal of eventually expanding into several esports.
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