A new streaming video service has launched, but despite potential to be huge, it’s flying under the radar of many in the media industry. You won’t read about it in Variety, but rather in the tech blogs. Game developer and vendor Valve has launched a broadcasting feature within its Steam gaming store. At first glance it would appear that Valve has stepped into the ring with the most well known game streaming platform: Twitch. However, with two vastly different feature sets and overlap between their users bases, this is unlikely to be the case. Twitch’s own vice president of marketing and communications, Matthew DiPeitro, welcomed Steam’s entry into video game streaming, citing the move as a validation of their own efforts. In other words, people like watching other people play video games.
Twitch already boasts impressive numbers. At any given time, thousands of people can be watching a single user’s stream, which is usually little more than video gameplay, though often with commentary from the player. Larger gaming events have attracted up to 30 million viewers at once, putting it on par with major league sporting events. The reason this is significant is simple: it shows that extraordinarily popular content can very often cost absolutely nothing to produce. Current game consoles from Sony and Microsoft come with the ability to broadcast to Twitch, and both cost less than $500, meaning that nearly can easily get everything they need to start producing content for which there is a large audience.
While studios spend millions of dollars and countless hours trying to produce the next big hit for TV or box office blockbuster, there’s home-made content out there, costing near nothing to produce or to view, pulling in the kinds of numbers that these big-budget projects could be envious of. With this kind of content reaching so many viewers, when will the media industry begin to consider these types of content within the larger context of TV. As the delivery of TV shifts to the web, Twitch, YouTube, and other user-created content sources will appear right along side traditional pay channels.
That’s why FreeCast is creating an open platform for the world’s content. With Rabbit TV Plus, we’re able to offer the same benefits and advantages to individual content creators that we do to multi-million dollar studios and media companies. We take the traditional gatekeepers and other barriers to entry out of the equation, meaning that organizations and individuals that otherwise would not be able to get on the air for even a few seconds, can have an outlet for their content where they can grow an audience of their own. For larger organizations, Rabbit TV Plus offers a far more cost effective way to monetize content and reach targeted groups of users, most of whom are not cable subscribers. On Rabbit TV, users can discover great content, no matter how it was produced or at what cost. That means that high quality content of any type can get the audience, and thus the revenue needed to be viable.