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Cable Technology Feature Article

August 07, 2014

Justin.tv Sacrifices Itself for Twitch

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Justin.tv, which pioneered live video on the Internet seven years ago, has literally been eaten by its young. After spawning Twitch, an online game streaming juggernaut and one of the largest video platforms of all time, the comparatively weak parent company is giving up its resources to help Twitch continue to grow.

“Twitch is now the focus of the company's resources. Unfortunately that means we need to shut down Justin.tv. We thank all of our broadcasters and viewers for seven years of live video memories,” the company said on its home page.

The writing was on the wall: Justin.tv in February formally changed its name to Twitch Interactive.

Justin.tv began life in 2007 when Justin Kan strapped a head-mounted camera on to stream his life live, 24/7. The stunt made him an Internet star of sorts, and he soon parlayed it into a life blogging platform that could be used by anyone. Twitch was launched in 2011 as a content-specific offshoot to give gamers a platform for live-streaming their online video game play.

Twitch, unlike Justin.tv, took off for the long term, and now boasts 1 million+ monthly broadcasters on the service. Twitch racks up 45 million viewers each month, who spend an average of 106 minutes per session on Twitch watching other people play games each day.

According to DeepField, Twitch ranks No. 4 for generating peak Internet traffic, after Netflix, Google/YouTube and Apple (News - Alert).

“As Twitch has continued to grow as the leader of the video game streaming space, it has eclipsed our previous initiatives. Given our total focus on serving the gaming community, it makes sense to reposition it as our primary brand,” said Twitch founder Emmett Shear. “Seven years ago, Justin.tv pioneered live video on the web, and while I remain proud of all the work we did under that name, I’m even more excited about our new future as Twitch.”

PlayStation 4 has had a big impact on the site ever since the console debuted in November, thanks to a built-in Twitch-streaming integration. A staggering 200,000 gamers, 20 percent of Twitch’s content generators, have come to the platform through the PS4 as of February. A recent integration with Xbox will likely push that number even higher.

 “Twitch has broken down significant technical barriers by enabling gamers to share their experiences in a live and interactive fashion with millions around the world,” said Jesse Divnich, the vice president of insights at video game market research firm EEDAR.

Justin.tv as a brand attempted to stick around as the name of the company’s non-gaming streaming site, allowing users to broadcast out live video feeds of themselves, their dogs, their grandparents or what have you.

justin.tv accounts can still be used to login to Twitch, and accounts can be transferred to Twitch for full site use. 

Edited by Adam Brandt

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