Justin.tv spins off the gaming division as viewer numbers soar and partnerships make streaming e-sports marginally profitable, thanks to the popularity of Halo and Starcraft. Twitch.com is named for gameplay that tests player reaction times. Kan and Shear don’t give traffic figures but say the spinoff threshold of 3.2 million monthly uniques for gaming streams and content was ‘blown away.’ Other metrics that triggered the launch include an average 4.5 hours a month watched by Justin.tv viewers compared with an average three hours a month of video watched by internet users, gaming video views of nearly 50 million a month, and growth of 400% in the e-sports division since the company created it.
Shear says Twitch wants to build on 13% month-on-month growth and address other issues like making content more diverse to draw female gamers to the site and broaden demographics. Twitch aims to cross-promote games between channels, for instance promoting Call of Duty on a World of Warcraft channel or retro games and Minecraft streams. On the growth in viewership:
That’s a shift in how people consume media that I think is really interesting.
Bessemer leads the round, with Alsop Louie Partners and Draper Associates participating for a total of $15 million, the first funding since the site was spun off from Justin.tv.
Thrive Capital leads a new investor roster that includes West Summit Capital and Take-Two Interactive Software. Alsop Louie Partners and Bessemer also follow-on from their investments in the previous round. The funding will be used to grow its internal ad sales force, Twitch Media Group.
Twitch is the dominant streaming site for gaming, recording 45 million users watching 12 billion minutes of video from six million total videos broadcast, a more-than-100% increase in each metric from 2012, when 20 million users watched six billion minutes from three million broadcasts. Unique broadcasters triples to over 900,000. The most popular game is League of Legends, which leads worldwide e-sports.
Variety reports that an all-cash deal is close to being announced that would be the biggest in YouTube’s history.
Sources say that Google was unable to close the deal due to antitrust concerns over its ownership of YouTube.
Twitch and Ellen discuss the upcoming wax in preparation of the sequel of Magic Mike on The Ellen Show
I have to be waxed from neck to toe.
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