Twitch just launched Squad Stream -- a new feature that lets several broadcasters stream live video in a single window. With Squad Stream, desktop viewers can stream up to four live videos at once, while mobile viewers can stream up to three.
The streaming giant said the new offering is designed to encourage partnerships between broadcasters, big and small.
“Squad Stream lets streamers actively team up with other creators to benefit everyone in a channel,” Hubert Thieblot, vice president, Creator Experience at Twitch, said in a blog post.
“Creators can join forces right from the dashboard, stream content they wouldn’t normally stream, and grow their communities all at the same time,” Thieblot said.
For viewers, Squad Stream offers additional angles to observe the action or event being streamed, as well as more exposure to broadcasters and communities in Twitch’s network.
Twitch’s official partners are getting first crack at the new offering; it will soon be made available to all broadcasters.
“Our plan is to make Squad Stream available to Affiliates and all other streamers as we continue expanding our transcodes capacity,” Thieblot said
Viewers can opt-in to Squad Streams directly from broadcasters’ channel pages.
From their dashboards, broadcasters can start their own “squad” or join an existing one using the Squad Stream widget.
As part of the rollout, broadcasters will be able to decide what other types of broadcasters can invite them to participate in squads. Any viewership that broadcasters receive when their video player is in the “primary” slot will count toward their channel stats and be reflected in their channel analytics and stream summary.
Viewers decide which video is given the primary slot. They will also be encouraged to chat or “Cheer” with “Bits” in whichever channel is in the primary slot. Such videos will be accompanied by pre-roll and manually triggered mid-roll ads. As they play, viewers will be unable to switch views.
Among other popular video categories, Twitch’s fortunes have been boosted by the growth of “esports.”
This year, digital advertising and sponsorships of the team video gaming genre is set to rise by 25% to $178.1 million, according to a recent eMarketer forecast.
Then, the sport is expected to grow 20% next year to $213.8 million, the research firm expects.On digital platforms like Twitch, esports streaming is estimated to rise to 30.3 million this year, and 46.2 million by 2023.