Last year, YouTube had introduced the 60 fps playback support for playing high quality videos especially the video game clips of fast moving genres like Call of Duty, League of Legends, etc. Now moving a notch higher, YouTube has extended the 60 fps feature to live steaming videos, keeping in mind the particular needs of high quality gaming and the recent surge in computer gaming as spectator sport.
Announcing the new FPS increment via a blog post, YouTube says,
We know high frame rates are especially important for gaming streams, so we’ve worked with Elgato and XSplit on new versions of Elgato Game Capture, XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster that support 60fps live streaming to YouTube, available for download starting today.
In addition to it, YouTube also added the much awaited HTML5 playback feature for live streaming which supports variable speed playback meaning you can skip backward in a stream while it is live and watch at 1.5X or 2X speed to catch back up. The stream will also be available in 30fps on devices which do not support high frame rate view.
This move by YouTube was long expected, ever since Google once tried to acquire the current leader in live game streaming, Twitch. It was later bought by Amazon at staggering $1 Billion.
The move however is more largely influenced by the sudden explosion in people interest for watching live gaming tournaments and matches.
For instance, in October 2013, 32 million people watched the championship of Riot Games’ “League of Legends” on various streaming services. That is more than the number of people who watched the TV series finales of “Breaking Bad”, “24” and “The Sopranos” combined. Last March, 643000 people tuned into Twitch to watch people play games like Activision Blizzard’s Starcraft at the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice, Poland.
Clearly with such huge amount of viewership involved, the live streaming of gaming events has enormous potential for revenue generation opening up a new segment of e-sport business.
In fact, Twitch which was started four years ago now boasts of an average of 1.5 million broadcasters a month across the globe; an increase of 67% from 900000 a year ago and has become the fourth largest source of US Internet traffic, trailing only Netflix, Google and Apple according to network researcher DeepField Inc.
In addition to Twitch and YouTube, French company Dailymotion has also launched its dedicated live game streaming service, Dailymotion Games (currently in beta stage) to cater to the need of exploding market of live gaming.