21st Century Fox has invested $100 million in the streaming video platform Caffeine, the companies say.
Caffeine, which launched early this year, was founded by a pair of former Apple engineers to try and develop a social streaming broadcasting platform that could complete with Amazon-owned Twitch and Google-owned YouTube.
Live-streaming video has
become one of the biggest growth areas in digital video. Twitch, originally launched to allow gamers to live-stream matches to fans, now has a slate of live programming, including news, sports,
entertainment and live events.
While Twitch has recently refocused its business model around advertising, Caffeine will put more emphasis on microtransactions between streamers and their fans, though advertising may be part of the mix.
Caffeine, initially backed with $46 million from investors Greylock Partners and Andreessen Horwitz, announced a deal Wednesday with Live Nation to stream concerts. The company is targeting eSports fans and video game live-streamers to build out its community.
The investment also marks a significant investment in the eSports space from Fox, which will become a new company once Disney closes its acquisition of much of the company’s assets. “New Fox” will focus on live broadcasting, sports and news, so Caffeine sounds like a compliment to those plans.
The idea appeals to YouTube, as well. At its Newfront
presentation earlier this year, it said live video would be a top priority for the company. YouTube is securing rights to select sporting events and to live concerts.