Everyone and their mother wants to make it big on Twitch these days, but the barrier to entry is often slightly too high for most people. Constant streaming can be taxing on hardware and could be a nightmare for those burdened by data caps. What’s more, setting everything up and dialing in the appropriate settings could be a hassle. However, Twitch aims to alleviate that particular issue with the launch of their own proprietary streaming software—at least, that’s the theory.
Twitch Studio, the forthcoming app intended to streamline the setup process for streamers, seems like it could greatly reduce some of the issues content creators often have before going live. All too often a camera won’t work, a setting won’t work properly, or capture software will malfunction, and Twitch Studio’s simple, hopefully-foolproof system will help to ensure that these digital dilemmas become a thing of the past.
The issue, however, is that this sort of thing really should have come out about five years ago. While setting up a stream still isn’t easy per se, the days of fumbling around with stream keys and fiddling with incompatible software are more or less behind us already, and this isn’t likely to be the killer app which will keep popular influences loyal to the platform. It may potentially serve as a replacement of the checklist every streamer likely runs through before they go live, but it probably isn’t going to replace OBS or Nvidia’s Shadowplay. If anything, this will only boost the number of low-to-no view streams already crowding the site.
Ease of access doesn’t really seem to be what’s ailing Twitch the most at the moment. Rather, an unevenly-enforced series of rules and an apparent preference for streamers more interested in bearing cleavage than playing games seems to be causing a ton of derision. Dr. Disrespect, one of the platform’s most prominent creators, was temporarily banned for broadcasting from a bathroom during E3 2019, yet other streamers have completely gotten away with much worse.
Things really came to a head a few days ago when Ninja, the literal face of game streaming, announced that he would be leaving Twitch permanently in favor of Microsoft’s Mixer. Mixer has existed for several years at this point, but this is certainly the most attention it has ever garnered, and, while it’s hard to know what this will mean for either platform, it seems indicative of an issue which Twitch won’t be able to fix with an app.
But it’s far from over for Twitch. One of the forebears of internet content during the days of Justine.tv, it will take a lot more than a single streamer switching sides to put much of a dent in their total viewership. Plus, a more newcomer-friendly approach to streaming will undoubtedly attract more people to the site, and there is bound to be a few new names which rise to the top as a result. As much as it seems like using a band-aid to stop internal bleeding, it’s not impossible to think that the next Ninja could pop up through this new service.
It’s also no secret that Ninja has been declining, albeit slightly, in terms of viewership. His claims to the throne of most viewed streamer are no longer uncontested, and as Fortnite, his go-to game, diminishes in popularity, he may find it increasingly difficult to maintain relevancy. Such is the natural tide of internet fame; what was popular in 2018 will long have been done and over with by 2020.
Twitch may have lost one big name to Mixer, but Twitch Studio will ensure that they won’t be running out of content and personalities any time soon. They are still the defacto platform for streaming, and, even with Ninja on their side, it’s unlikely that Mixer will immediately be able to dethrone a site that’s been utterly dominant for nearly a decade at this point.