However, Shear does Claim that, the Twitch Implementations on Both XBox One and PlayStation 4 Have been a Success. Users are Able to Broadcast their Gameplay via their Consoles, Using a Downloadable Twitch App. “The consoles have been huge for us – they drive a tonne of broadcasting”, he Said. “We’ve seen the rise of a few games that have done very well because of consoles, notably FIFA and Call of Duty. The top end of broadcasting still tends to come from PC – if you want to produce high-end content you want more than is going to be prepared for you in any off the shelf set-up but, it’s gotten a lot of people started in broadcasting and that’s really important. It’s been a smashing success as far as integrations go. We approached monetization completely differently. We established the partners program to enable anyone who was really successful to make money on our site and that was huge for fuelling our growth. We’re probably the only video website on the internet where people actually remind broadcasters to run ads. They say: ‘Hey, you’re not going to make money, what are you doing ?!’ It’s that sense of community that drives Twitch and it’s the same sentiment thats behind the rise of Kickstarter - it’s the democratization of media in a way that enables everyone to be a patreon now. It’s not just about a few rich people choosing to support the media they want, it can be done in a democratized, distributed way. That’s really exciting.” Shear Concedes, however that, the User Experience on Console still Needs Some Work. He Says, the Company is Working on a System that, will Allow Console Owners to Take Part in Onscreen Chat Sessions without a Keyboard (but, Concedes that ‘Speech to Text’ Technology is Not Ready Yet) and Wants to Improve the Browsing Experience.
“I think we can do a better job on discovery”, he Says. “We’ve done some work on that front: the most recent version of the XBox app for example lets you drill down on livestreams not just by game but, what map you’re playing on, which is cool and it’s unique to that platform right now. But, there’s a lot more work to be done. The flipside of being OS integrated is, you can’t iterate every two to three weeks but, we’re happy with how its going.” As for the PC Version, Shear Says that, 80% of the R&D Thought at Twitch, Goes on Making the Service More Reliable, Rather than Working on New Features. “So much of what makes Twitch important is just having the best quality”, he Said. “I think it’s easy to take your eye off the ball and get excited by a fancy new feature but, for us, the really exciting thing is opening up yet more capacity, decreasing the number of times anyone ever gets a buffer empty, increasing the bitrate we can stream at. When we measure it, that seems to have more impact on people’s happiness on the site than almost anything else we can do.” Shear also Mentioned Plans to Expand Twitch’s Presence in Europe, with More Servers and More Partnerships with Popular European Gamers and Broadcasters. On Stage at the Changing Media Summit, he also Spoke about, Why the Company Accepted the $970 Million Takeover Bid from Amazon. “Amazon is a big games company; it sells a vast quantity of games”, he Said. “Over half the world’s developers are using the Amazon Ec2 cloud platform - actually it’s probably even higher now. So, over half the industry are active consumers of Amazon services. So, what does Amazon bring to the table ? They sell video games effectively, they have a platform for producing video games, what Twitch brings to that is the missing piece of the puzzle: a community. We provide that reach and it made a lot of sense. We also gained access to a lot of things through the purchase that it would have taken us a long time to build ourselves, if we ever actually could.” When Asked about Google, which is Rumoured to Have been Interested in Twitch, Shear Says Only: “Amazon was committed to Twitch remaining independent ... I don’t think I would have gone with any deal that didn’t give us that level of independence.”