Shear also highlighted how Twitch, the dominating game streaming service, has grown. More than a million people, he said, are tuning in to Twitch at any given moment and every day about half a million streamers go live on the service.
Streamers who develop enough of a following can make money (and for a few, even make a living) on Twitch by achieving Affiliate and Partner status. This year, over 235,000 streamers reached Affiliate status, and 6,800 reached the coveted Partner status.
To reach new heights, Shear showed how new tools will help streamers grow their communities, connect with their viewers, and make sure they thrive as a Twitch creator.
First up, Twitch revealed its new tools to help streamers grow their communities further, which are its new squad stream, highlight editor feature, and its upcoming featured sections on the Twitch homepage.
The squad stream will allow up to four streamers to stream together in a single view, so viewers will be able to watch all of them at the same time. This won’t be available for everyone just yet, as “select streamers will be testing out Squad Stream later this year,” according to a press release.
The highlight editor allows streamers to reach potential new viewers and have content available when they’re offline, but it’s getting an update which will allow “streamers and editors” to pull clips from a video into a single highlight. This update is anticipated for a January release.
The featured section of the Twitch homepage is getting a revamp later this year and will highlight different types of streamers for viewers to enjoy, such as up-and-coming streamers, streamers in their local area, and even new Partners and Affiliates.
Next up, Twitch is addressing how streamers can connect with viewers. A lot of the changes involve moderation, such as new moderator tools to view detailed chat history and past bans, helping mods to make more informed decisions about running the community. On that note, VIP badges can be administered to mods and other key users within a streaming community within the next few weeks. And if that’s not enough, streamers will have a roles management page, in which they can keep track of roles like VIP members, moderators, and even editors. This feature is also coming in a few weeks.
To encourage longevity, subscription badges now show the total number of months the viewer has subscribed to a creator, coming in January. And don’t worry, it shows total months, so you don’t have to sweat that month you missed.
Last, Twitch is addressing how creators themselves can thrive.
The Bounty Board is expanding in November from its closed beta and will offer streamers the chance to find sponsored opportunities in line with their personal brand and community. The Board is opening up to 30 more brands, opening up possibilities for more streamers in the US and Canada, according to a press release.
Twitch Rivals and Twitch Sings both introduce a little healthy competition and also give opportunities to become a better-known streamer.
Twitch Rivals is a competitive, esport event which often gives out monetary prizes and often more viewership reach for participating streamers. 2019 will see double the amount of Twitch Rivals events, with 128 events offered and expanded offerings in games and genres.
Twitch Sings, which is made in partnership with Harmonix, will challenge streamers to put on their best karaoke performance. It will also bring in communities to participate via giving Cheers which will “activate light shows on stage.” The game is available at TwitchCon for attendees to try out on the expo floor, but a closed beta is opening up later this year as well.
TwitchCon 2018 is taking place from Oct. 26 to 28. Follow all of the highlights, right here at Variety.