Twitch wants to become more than just a live streaming service

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Now that YouTube is encroaching on Twitch’s territory with YouTube Gaming, it’s the perfect time for Twitch to do the same to YouTube. Twitch CEO Emmit Shear has announced that, starting sometime next year, Twitch broadcasters will be given the ability to upload pre-recorded videos, which is more or less what YouTube has always done. It’ll be interesting to see which company is more successful, the video-sharing service that’s delving into live streaming or the live streaming service that’s delving into video-sharing. 

In front of a crowd of enthusiasts adorned in purple swag, veteran streamer and Twitch community director Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham spent around 25 minutes embarrassing himself on purpose. It was the keynote address for TwitchCon, held last week in San Francisco to bring together community members and employees of the website where you can watch others play video games live. Recalling his past blunders, Graham reminded the crowd of thousands of attendees and tens of thousands of online viewers what it was like before Twitch got big. In a word: crappy. The video was low-quality, the audio sucked, and video game consoles and PCs needed elaborate video capture equipment to get it out to the world in real time. And if you burned through lots of bandwidth, as Graham did in 2006 while holding a live event, you might have gotten smacked with an $18,000 bill. Along the way, as Graham illustrated with plenty of geeky photographs of himself in front of the camera, streaming improved.

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