Facebook launches Brand Collabs search engine for sponsoring creators

Facebook wants to help connect brands to creators so they can work out sponsored content and product placement deals, even if it won’t be taking a cut. Confirming our scoop from May, Facebook today launched its Brand Collabs Manager. It’s a search engine that brands can use to browse different web celebrities based on the demographics of their audience and porfolios of their past sponsored content. Creators hoping to score sponsorship deals will be able to compile a portfolio connected to their Facebook Page that shows off how they can seamlessly work brands into their content. Brands will also be able to find them based on the Top countries where they’re popular, and audience characteristics like interests, gender, education, relationship status, life events, or home ownership. Facebook also made a wide range of other creator monetization announcements today

Facebook launches Brand Collabs search engine for sponsoring creators

Facebook wants to help connect brands to creators so they can work out sponsored content and product placement deals, even if it won’t be taking a cut. Confirming our scoop from May, Facebook today launched its Brand Collabs Manager. It’s a search engine that brands can use to browse different web celebrities based on the demographics of their audience and porfolios of their past sponsored content. Creators hoping to score sponsorship deals will be able to compile a portfolio connected to their Facebook Page that shows off how they can seamlessly work brands into their content. Brands will also be able to find them based on the Top countries where they’re popular, and audience characteristics like interests, gender, education, relationship status, life events, or home ownership. Facebook also made a wide range of other creator monetization announcements today

Twitch now lets streamers use multiple Extensions at once

Last year, Twitch announced a suite of tools called Extensions, that allow streamers to customize their channel pages with interactive features, including polls, leaderboards, schedules and more. Today, Twitch is making Extensions even more useful by allowing streamers to run up to three of these overlays at the same time on their video, plus three more below the video player, for a total of six that can be active on their channel at any time. This update, Twitch says, will allow streamers to better customize their channels in unique ways, while engaging and retaining their fans. To enable multiple Extensions, streamers will visit their channel dashboard’s redesigned Extensions Manager, where Extensions can now be sorted by category, like Extensions for Games, Music, Streamer Tools, and others. There’s also a “Partner Picks” section here which is where top creators are sharing their favorites. Alongside the launch, a number of developers have
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Playmaji is looking to bring its retro-gaming, modular console to market

Tucked away in a far corner of the West Pavilion of the Los Angeles Convention center among the independent game developers showcased by IndieCade  during E3, is a small booth demonstrating the latest Polymega hardware, a device that’s billing itself as the NES Classic for every old school game released on every old school gaming platform. The company that’s making the device first debuted last year as Retroblox, and while its name has changed (it’s now called Playmaji) and its hardware has gotten more refined, the vision remains very much the same. Playmaji debuted the new system and its user interface last year at E3 and it’s back again this year to tout its new pricing, and drum up support for pre-order campaign even as it tries to raise money to license games from publishers. Last year, Playmaji eschewed going down the crowdfunding route and instead raised $500,000
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Quarterback lets top eSports gamers and streamers create their own fan-based leagues

In an effort to tie the top gamers and streamers more directly with their fans, a new company called Quarterback has just raised $2.5 million to create and manage fan-based leagues for the superstars of the esports and streaming world.

The company raked in its seed round from investors led by Bitkraft Esports, which is quickly building one of the most complete portfolio of gaming related startups in the industry. Additional investors include Crest Capital Ventures, Deep Space Ventures, UpWest Labs and angel investors.

Essentially, it’s a platform for creating gaming leagues and content driven not by game publishers, leagues, or existing streaming sites like Twitch, but by the gamers themselves. It gives streamers and players a new way to reach their audience, the company claims.

Founded by serial entrepreneur, Jonathan Weinberg, who acted as the chief executive for Round Robin and held a leadership role in the mobile

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Twitch lays off some employees as part of ‘team adjustments’

Twitch, the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform for gaming, laid off “several” people yesterday, Polygon first reported. It’s not clear how many people were let go, but according to Polygon, probably no more than 30 people were let go. Twitch has since confirmed the layoffs to TechCrunch.
“Coming off the record-setting numbers shared in our 2017 Retrospective, Twitch is continuing to grow and advance with success stories from Overwatch League to Fortnite’s milestone-setting streams,” a Twitch spokesperson told TC. “In order to maintain this momentum, we have an aggressive growth strategy for 2018 with plans to increase our headcount by approximately 30%. While we’ve conducted team adjustments in some departments, our focus is on prioritizing areas most important for the community.”

Mobile gaming is having a moment, and Apple has the reins

It’s moved beyond tradition and into the realm of meme that Apple manages to dominate the news cycle around major industry events all while not actually participating in said events. CES rolls around and every story is about HomeKit or its competitors, another tech giant has a conference and the news is that Apple updated some random subsystem of its ever-larger ecosystem of devices and software .

This is, undoubtedly planned by Apple in many instances. And why not? Why shouldn’t it own the cycle when it can, it’s only strategically sound.

This week, the 2018 Game Developer’s Conference is going on and there’s a bunch of news coverage about various aspects of the show. There are all of the pre-written embargo bits about big titles and high-profile indies, there are the trend pieces and, of course, there’s the traditional ennui-laden ‘who is this event even for’ post that accompanies any

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Facebook lets all PC games Live stream and reward viewers

Facebook is challenging Twitch and YouTube for video game live streaming supremacy with the release of its new Games SDK for PC. After testing Live streaming from games like Overwatch from developers like Blizzard since 2016, today Live broadcasting from PC games to the News Feed opens to all developers. And Facebook will let them reward fans who watch by providing in-game items or bonuses. For example, beneath the comments reel, users might see a promotion like “Watch Paladins streams for a chance to earn random loot to use in-game.” The potential for viral growth and sales could convince tons of game developers to bake in Facebook’s new SDK, while players could use the simple broadcasting feature to reach a big audience — though one not as dedicated to gaming as on other platforms. Viewers might choose to watch on Facebook because they get rewarded there. Facebook meanwhile
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Drake and Ninja are playing Fortnite live on Twitch

What do Drake, Ninja the professional esports player, Kim Dotcom, Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster have in common? They’re all playing Fortnite together right now and live-streaming it on Twitch . Yes, seriously. You can tune in to Ninja’s channel here to check out the action.

Right now the amount of live viewers is hovering around 600,000 which smashes Twitch’s previous record of 388,000 live concurrent viewers. Drake and Ninja started playing together a few hours ago on Ninja’s channel, and were soon joined by the other members as word spread of the livestream. Ninja is playing on a PC while Drake is on a PS4, but the two can play together thanks to Fortnite’s cross-platform support for those two systems. The group had their fair share of technical difficulties – especially when it came

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Twitch will now give Prime users free games each month

A bit of fun news for Amazon / Twitch Prime users: you’re going to get some free games each month. Twitch has just announced Free Games With Prime, a program in a similar vein as Microsoft’s Games with Gold on Xbox Live, or Sony’s offerings alongside PlayStation Plus. In short: each month, they’ll offer a […]

Twitch will now give Prime users free games each month

 A bit of fun news for Amazon/Twitch Prime users: you’re going to get some free games each month. Twitch has just announced Free Games With Prime, a program in a similar vein as Microsoft’s Games with Gold on Xbox Live, or Sony’s offerings alongside PlayStation Plus. In short: each month, they’ll offer a selection of PC games. Download them within the offering window,… Read More

Twitch launches always-on chat rooms for channels

 Game streaming site Twitch today is debuting an always-on chat room feature it’s simply calling “Rooms.” The addition was first announced at its developer event TwitchCon back in October, and was expected to launch before year-end. That timing shifted a bit, but the feature is going live today across both web and mobile for Twitch users worldwide. Rooms are custom chat… Read More

Twitch’s latest features highlight channels’ top fans

 The majority of Twitch’s product announcements lately have been focused around new tools or expanded money-making opportunities for its video creators. Today, the company is instead launching new features for viewers – one related to Twitch’s 60-second video snippets called Clips and another to its virtual tipping mechanism, Cheering. Starting today, “Clip Champs”… Read More

Twitch now has 27K+ Partners and 150K+ Affiliates making money from their videos

 Twitch today announced new metrics related to the growth of its game streaming service, including, most notably, that the number video creator Partners who profit from their Twitch content has climbed to 27,000 over the course of 2017, and the number of Affiliate streamers reached 150,000. Until mid-2017, Twitch had only allowed a smaller subset of its creator community to make money from… Read More

Microsoft’s Mixer follows Twitch with addition of direct tipping and game sales

 Mixer, Microsoft’s answer to Twitch, will soon allow its streamers to start selling games and other downloadable content via its service, and will introduce tipping, the company announced this week in its year-end wrap-up. The game sales will be made possible through the new Mixer Direct Purchase program, which is now in testing ahead of a broad, public launch, Microsoft says. Initially,… Read More

YouTube Gaming grew its streamer base by 343% in 2017, Twitch by 197%

 YouTube Gaming, Google’s rival to game-streaming site Twitch, is starting to pick up traction. According to a new report from Streamlabs, Twitch continues to dominate the live streaming space, but YouTube grew its monthly active streamer base by 343 percent over the course of 2017. Twitch, by comparison, grew 197 percent. Streamlabs has visibility into the live streaming market by way of… Read More

Every Overwatch League game will be streamed on Twitch for the next two years

 The first match of the inaugural season of Overwatch is set for 4:00 pm PST to catch the kids on the West Coast as they get out of school, kids on the East Coast as they finish dinner, and kids in Asia as they get up in the morning. The two-year deal, which will include every. single. game. of the league’s first two seasons includes every geography but China (no word about who the… Read More

Twitch announces reality show for up-and-coming streamers

 Twitch is planning to highlight some if its most promising users in a reality show called Stream On. The Amazon-owned video game streaming service says the show is for participants who are “right on the cusp of making streaming full-time a possibility.” More concretely, it’s holding auditions for users who have already achieved Partner status — the FAQ discourages… Read More

Twitch launches an Alexa skill that plays your channels on Echo Show, offers live audio streams

 Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game streaming service, is now available on Alexa. The company says it has launched a new skill for Alexa device owners that will allow Twitch users to track their favorite video creators and be notified when they start streaming, as well as discover new games and channels, among other things. The skill seems best designed for the Echo Show, the Alexa-powered… Read More