Today, we’re talking about the new features and updates announced at the Keynote for this year’s TwitchCon. Twitch got so excited, they jumped the gun on two of them. Attendees or those of you have been keeping up with the Twitch blog likely know all about this already but this is for the rest of you.
As you are likely aware, Twitch was acquired by Amazon back in 2014, and since then, everyone’s been waiting for a big move that leverages Amazon’s platform and Web Services. The big announcement at TwitchCon this year seems to be the first public step in that direction.
“Simply put, Twitch Prime is the new premium version of Twitch that comes free with every Amazon Prime membership.” Twitch Prime carries over many of the benefits of Twitch Turbo and includes all the benefits you get from Amazon Prime. With Twitch Prime, you’ll receive:
- Advertisement-free viewing
- Exclusive emotes and chat badge
- Sixty days of past broadcast storage
- Free game loot every month
- Discounts on new release boxed games on Amazon, pre- and post-launch
- One free channel subscription per month (the streamer gets paid like a normal subscription)
Since Amazon Prime, and by extension Twitch Prime, is only available in select countries, Turbo isn’t going away. Twitch will no longer be taking new Turbo subscriptions in areas where Twitch Prime is available but you can retain your current Turbo subscription if you choose; Twitch encourages those people to upgrade to Prime. If you want to start getting the benefits of Twitch Prime and you already have Amazon Prime, you simply need to connect your Amazon and Twitch accounts. If you already have a Turbo subscription and an Amazon Prime subscription, Twitch advises that you cancel your current Turbo subscription and connect your Amazon and Twitch accounts to enroll in Twitch Prime. You can read more about Prime here.
Transcoding: Improved and Expanded
A feature that was previously only available to Partners but has since rolled out to larger non-partnered channels, transcoding for all broadcasters has been requested seemingly forever. “We’ve heard you! Our goal is the provide transcodes to every streamer on Twitch… we are extending video quality options to even more non-partnered streamers and will continue to increase capacity over the next few months. All told, we expect to increase transcode capacity by over 10 times our current capabilities.”
Recently, we also saw large eSports broadcasts and TwitchCon itself able to output 1080p 60FPS streams with a higher bitrate (~5000kb/s) and that ability is extending to other events channels. You can read more about transcoding here.
Clips: Trimming and Clips on Mobile
Since Clips was launched back in May, over 15 million clips have been created by 3 million viewers. Needless to say, Clips has been a hit. If you liked it before, it’s getting better with Clips on Mobile and Clip Trimming.
Clips on Mobile allows you to create and share Clips on mobile and is available right now on the latest versions of the iOS and Android apps. Clip Trimming allows you to edit out extra time from your clips when you create them and will be available to all users around mid-October. You can read more about Clips here.
Uploads Open Beta
Videos on demand have been a part of Twitch for a long time now but there hasn’t been an option to upload a video directly to Twitch. . . until now. Uploads have all the features you’d hope for like video-level analytics, tags, custom thumbnails and so on. Additionally, you can now download your past broadcasts and highlights to make montages and whatever else your heart might desire. Uploads has been designated as open beta so Twitch is looking for your feedback to make the service better. You can find out more about Uploads here.
New Channel Page
While it wasn’t unveiled at the event, the new Channel page preceded TwitchCon’s opening moments. The intent of the change was to let you more “easily access all of a channel’s content… [with] a new top navigation bar that lets you browse videos and start watching past broadcasts when a channel is offline, but easily get back to the live video player if they come online.” From my experience, the reception has been mixed. You can find a guide to the new Channel page here.
Another feature that was launched just before TwitchCon, Auto Hosting allows broadcasters to create a list of channels to host when their own channels are offline. Twitch took a pool of stream teams and broadcasters to experiment with the feature back in the spring. The results? Almost half of the streamers who used auto hosting saw a 10% increase in their viewership and 97% of the participants said they planned to continue using auto host. The feature is entirely optional and can be configured by visiting the Channel portion of your Settings. You can read more about Auto Hosting here.
Rewarding long-time supporters of a stream isn’t a simple task. One such method Partners have requested is giving special badges to long-term subscribers. With Loyalty Badges, that’s now possible. “Streamers can award special tenure-based badges for subs to celebrate subscription milestones.” Custom badges will be available for 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 month subscription anniversaries. You can read more about Loyalty Badges here.
Curse & Twitch
We talked about Curse being acquired by Twitch some time ago and Curse is now getting “Twitchified.” You can now customize the Curse color scheme to several different options, Twitch Purple being among them. Syncing your Curse and Twitch accounts gets you two things: two new Curse global emotes (CurseLit and TwitchLit) and access to all global and any subscriber emotes you may have for use in the Curse client. You can read more about Curse + Twitch here.
That does it for the new features and updates announced at TwitchCon. Things are looking pretty exciting for the end of this year and 2017.