Livestreaming service Twitch has launched its first game ever, Twitch Sings, which lets streamers perform karaoke songs with participation from audiences.
Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch, unveiled the at TwitchCon Europe in Berlin, revealed the game at weekend-long celebration for Twitch’s community, which has added 127,000 new affiliates and 3,600 new partners since the start of 2018. Twitch hasn’t revealed its audience size lately, but it’s likely well over 100 million monthly active users.
Twitch Sings is a free-to-play, karaoke-style game is now available for creators worldwide. Twitch Sings was designed from the ground up for music lovers and live streamers across the globe, and while it bears similarities to Smule’s Sing! Karaoke, Twitch Sings is unique as a live musical performance platform.
“It’s all about live performance and interacting with your audience on Twitch,” said Joe Wade, executive producer of Twitch Sings, in an interview with GamesBeat. “So, streamers can either perform solo or perform duets. We worked with some streamers to build fun social features for the audience to participate in the performance.”
Twitch Sings launches with more than 2,000 songs that players can sing, karaoke-style, with the words bouncing across the screen. Players can do solo songs live, or create a duet with a fellow creator in a way that appears to be nearly live because each player can sing their side of the duet so quickly.
The duets are not live, since the latency, or interaction delays, are hard to execute. But players can sing one half of a duet, send it to another singer, who sings the other half. Then the software patches the parts together as a single song.
Players can also create an avatar to have an animated character on stage or display live video while singing. The avatars have a personality, like a rock star, but no puppeteering is happening just yet. But you can use third-party tools to overlay cat ears or other animations on top of your video image.
The audience is a crucial part of the experience, as they can request songs, cheer to activate light shows on stage, and send challenges for their favorite streamers to tackle. TwitchCon Europe attendees will be able to test the game on the expo floor, or join the global party online. Twitch Sings can be downloaded for free on PC at sings.twitch.tv.
Fans can trigger ovations when they donate to the streamer or send enough praise to fill up a bar, and they can create big explosions on screen or vote on the next song, Wade said.
“You can use your webcam to put your image on the big Jumbotron or you can use a personalized avatar,” Wade said. “You can have amazing performances. And some people are just having fun and being silly.”
You can create any kind of avatar, with inclusive body types. The idea is to create a lot of energy, like in a live karaoke bar. Extensions for Twitch can pop up a window and let spectators pick the next song. The crowd can send emotes.
“We want the performers to feel the energy of the crowd,” Wade said.
The spectators can issue singer challenges, like making the singer do something silly like sing like a cat. Someone who makes a big donation can be put up on screen, drawing attention to the donor for a short time. That helps creators to monetize their audiences better. The camera will cut to your avatar for a time if you make a high-profile donation.
“When we built it, we wanted to focus on our core audience,” Wade said. “We would be thrilled if we could grow a new audience. Some of the beta testers had never streamed before.”
One streamer, brianbbright, grew his audience so large in the beta test that he qualified as a Twitch Partner.
So far, most singers are not playing games at the same time. The average singing time is about two hours, and one creator even sang songs for 14 hours.
Additionally, Twitch revealed that the following updates in payments, streaming, and discovery tools will be available on Twitch soon.
Net 15 Payouts
Twitch is expediting payouts for Partners, Affiliates, and extension developers from 45 to 15 days. Starting Monday, April 15, Twitch will pay out eligible creators that have reached the $100 threshold in just 15 days after the close of the month.
Since Bounty Board launched in the United States in 2018, more than 1,500 streamers have cumulatively earned over 2 million dollars in revenue. Starting in May, Bounty Board will be available to Partners and select Affiliates in Germany, France, and the UK with more countries around the world coming soon. Twitch will partner with brands including Borderlands 3, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, and Unilever to offer new earning opportunities to streamers in the European markets.
Search and Directory Improvements
Twitch is introducing a variety of improvements to further improve discovery. Beginning in June, users will see a faster and smarter search capability as well as the ability to sort through channels in the directory. New sorting options will include channels by lowest to highest viewers, most recently started, or suggested channels based on their viewing history.
Starting in June, Twitch will automatically generate a suggested highlight reel for content creators based on the top clips captured by viewers during a stream. Streamers can choose to share the automated highlights with one click or edit the reel to their specifications.
In addition to the updates and announcements made during the keynote, TwitchCon Europe 2019 will feature a number of notable events live on Twitch. These live broadcasted events include a dynamic lineup of educational talks for streamers on connecting with their audience, content creation best practices, monetization, diversity and more.
Twitch is also hosting the first ever, in-person, Rivals event onsite at TwitchCon Europe, with Apex Legends’ finale today at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time and League of Legends tomorrow, April 14 starting at 12:30 a.m. Pacific time.
In 2019, Twitch has hosted 27 Rivals events and winners have earned over one million dollars. On average, participating streamers saw 24% more viewers on Rivals event days, and more than half of those viewers have returned to the channel again after discovering it on a Rivals event day.