MWC

Twitch takes aim at YouTube's throne, announces Disney partnership

Tim Maytom

Amazon-owned live-streaming service Twitch has announced the release of a new suite of tools aimed at video creators which will help them distribute pre-recorded content on its network, in a move that places the service more obviously in competition with Google's YouTube platform.

Twitch has previously been known primarily for hosting and distributing live-streams of video games, although the platform has branched out in recent years to embrace a wider variety of video subjects.

The release of Video Producer, the company's new set of tools for broadcasting uploaded and recorded videos, positions the firm more clearly as a rival to YouTube by moving away from its initial live-stream focus. The tools will enable users to re-broadcast live-streams, providing fans with a second opportunity to engage with content, and upload pre-recorded videos to their community of followers.

"We wanted to make the broadcasting of pre-recorded content more meaningful and exciting by giving creators more control and opportunities to amplify awareness of their videos," said Bob Bahramipour, product leader for video on demand at Twitch. "With Video Producer, creators can tap into an array of tools like Premieres to build momentum for videos, setting the stage for more impactful programming, while attracting and retaining fans."

The tools are also designed to help creators maximise engagement around videos by creating live viewing events for their communities, complete with landing pages, countdowns and scheduling.

While the release of Video Producer has no doubt been in the works for some while, the timing couldn't be better for Twitch, with YouTube having recently angered a large portion of its creator userbase by revising its monetisation tools for smaller channels.

The Video Producer announcement came alongside a separate release from Twitch, revealing that the firm had entered into a multi-year partnership with Disney Digital Network to bring exclusive content from four of the largest Disney-managed digital content creators to Twitch.

The four content creators, Jacksepticeye, Markiplier, Strawburry17 and Luzu, boast over 35m subscribers between them, and produce video content in a variety of genres, from 'let's play' gaming streams to cookery shows.

"We're always looking to create opportunities for our Disney Digital Network digital talent to bring their stories and content to more fans in new ways," said Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president of publishing and digital media for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. "Partnering with Twitch gives our biggest creators access to the platform's tools, expertise and community to directly engage with and build their audiences."

"The growth of Twitch is based on listening to our content creators and building the features they need to be successful, including our robust approach to monetisations, moderation, and interactive technology," said Michael Aragon, senior vice president of content at Twitch. "We look forward to working with Disney Digital Netowrk and their large stable of popular entertainers to showcase all that we have to offer, including a passionate and supportive community."