So Twitch.tv changed some of their policies today. If you didn’t know Youtube (Google) is buying Twitch. This is great for Twitch, with the backing of a major company they can do much more. Twitch is 4th in peak internet traffic, the top three are Netflix, Google, and Apple. Twitch also only streams games, imagine they streamed TV shows like Netflix or general videos like Youtube; they would have much more traffic. However with Google right behind Twitch some of the things that were acceptable on Twitch isn’t as OK in the eyes of a big company like Google.
The major change is is that in Twitch VODs (videos on demand) copyrighted music is being muted. Only the sections that contain the copyrighted music will be muted though unlike Youtube videos that are muted or taken down completely. I guess this a compromise Twitch had to make to try to appease either Google or the music industry. In a perfect world everything would be at a reasonable price and everybody would pay for everything but the world doesn’t work like that. I doubt that people go to Twitch streams to only listen to the music in VODs but instead they hear music they like on a stream and look up the artist. They probably don’t buy their music then either but the artist got a new fan. Note that live streams will not be taken down for playing copyrighted music. You can read more about these changes here.
The other major thing Twitch is doing is that they are getting rid storing past broadcasts forever and VODs cannot be longer than 2 hours. This seems like a reasonable change because Twitch was probably storing a shitton of old videos on their servers that nobody watched. Also they said they are improve how videos are stored. Videos are broken up into 30 minute FLVs and then are stored on different servers. With the new VOD changes maybe playing back VODs won’t suck anymore, you know, besides the fact that the music will be muted. You can read more about this change here.
Do I think these changes could mean the end of Twitch. Hell no. Twitch basically has a monopoly on live streaming. Ustream and Livestream probably don’t come close the the amount of traffic Twitch has and they don’t cater only to gamers. Hitbox.tv is another site dedicated to livestreaming games but they may have a sketchy past, apparently the CEO of Hitbox was the CFO of Own3d (yeah I’m citing a random Reddit link, deal). Another game livestreaming site Azubu.tv also has a shady history with rumors of money laundering. Basically besides Twitch every other livestreaming site sucks or has done unscrupulous things. Competition is needed because if one service turns evil we have another one to fall back on or the two will compete and the consumer, or I guess the streamers and viewers will win. I don’t see people moving from Twitch to Hitbox, not yet anyway. They can handle these new changes, when Twitch officially becomes part of Youtube and they implement more changes we will see how much shit people will take before they jump ship.
Disclamer: I know this blog post is late. No Comcast didn’t give me anything to make this blog post. Fuck Comcast. Also the recent Twitch changes will not change anything about the development of Twixel.