As of late I’ve been having mixed feelings about Twitch. It is a terrific and easy to use service for streaming out video games, but their ownership of the streaming medium is all but absolute. Few quality options exist as an alternative to Twitch and that makes some of Twitch’s decisions (erasing streams after a week, muting streams, and an intense focus on “partners”/big streamers) a little harder to take. Luckily it looks like YouTube may finally be committing itself as a video game streaming service. This isn’t too big of a shocker, since Youtube has had a streaming service in place since 2010. And it’s parent company, Google, tried unsuccessfully to purchase Twitch (which was then purchased by Amazon) just last year. Now it seems Youtube is ready to do it all on its own.
The assumption right now is to expect an announcement during E3. I certainly welcome another streaming service into the medium and would like to see competition spur new features and better customer service/treatment. In my first test stream with Twitch, where I silently played a few levels of Super Mario World, the service automatically muted my stream. The music in the stream was copyrighted and therefore couldn’t be hosted, except the music in the stream was in-game. In-game music is allowed on all Twitch streams. After an appeal Twitch never responded and the broadcast has long since been deleted. This isn’t the average Twitch experience, and everything else I’ve personally encountered with Twitch has been simple to use, but competition and alternatives for the outliers is always welcome.