Hitbox is a livestreaming service reaching millions of gamers that’s competing with the likes of Twitch and YouTube for the fast-growing livestreaming audience. The web site is setting itself apart by its focus on gaming, and now Hitbox is taking a dramatic step to expand its audience. Starting today, all registered broadcasters on Hitbox, no matter the size of their viewing audience, can participate in revenue sharing through video advertisements and viewer subscriptions. All broadcasters will have access to exapnded tools to enhance their livestreams. Complete details about Hitbox’s new revenue-for-all model can be found here.
â€œThere is so much varied and exciting content streaming live on Hitbox every day. For those broadcasters who are growing a smaller audience or choose unique, lesser known titles over the eSports giants, we wanted our platform to be just as rewarding.â€ said Martin Klimscha, CEO and co-founder of Hitbox. “Up until now, these broadcasters haven’t been eligible to benefit from the content they create, so we’ve decided to reward all of our streamers as we grow, and hope this will enable them to grow along with us.”
Hitbox CEO Martin Klimscha spoke with [a]listdaily about Hitbox’s new plans and its marketing strategy.
Opening up revenue sharing to all broadcasters is a big step. Was this something your broadcasters had been asking for?
Before our announcement today, only a small fraction of all live broadcasters had the opportunity to benefit from the revenues generated with their work and commitment, and we recognized the need to reward the smaller, growing broadcasters. We also see this as an opportunity to impact our growth. All broadcasters strive to grow and evolve their stream, and its important we provide proper tools for them. Sharing ad revenue and providing better ways for their audience to participate and show support is a big part of that.
The livestreaming market has been growing rapidly in the last few years. Do you think this will continue?
We absolutely feel the growth will continue. Gaming has long become a mainstream phenomenon, and eSports is on the way there, too, if it hasn’t arrived already. While eSports are an important part of our content strategy, there are many many other amazing living room streamers with loyal viewership. And there are still many gamers who haven’t even streamed yet, but are getting the tools to start doing it now. Most PC hardware can now handle a great quality stream and its becoming more affordable, and now we’re giving everyone an opportunity to monetize their content from the get go! Gaming is fun, but sharing your game experience with your friends and playing together is even more fun.
There’s lots of interest in watching livestreams, but there’s plenty of competition for viewers. What’s your marketing strategy for Hitbox?
Beyond talking to the press, our primary marketing strategy has been organic growth through word of mouth and community activities, while we have stayed focused on product development that enables amazing content from our community. We were first with HTML5 based feature-rich chat, first to offer 1080P at 60fps, and we’re the first to roll out 4K, our goal is to always be the first to bring new technologies and features to our users and keep them happy.
We want to make the experience on Hitbox the most fun, and the platform as easy to use as possible. Erasing the minimum viewership requirements to monetize your livestream was just the logical next step. We’re focused on supporting all our broadcasters, no matter their size, to let everyone grow and for us to grow along with them.
Now, we feel confident that our product speaks for itself, so we are working on getting the word out while at the same time always having something new and cool up our sleeves.
How important are chat and other social features to building a livestream audience?
It is the key. Gaming itself is inherently social and we see Hitbox as a virtual gameroom with all your online friends. A traditional one directional media experience doesn’t work here and the outdated concept of a basic text-only chat next to video doesn’t satisfy. This is why we launched with HTML5 chat and are always developing ways to get the viewers and broadcasters into the same space, an environment with the tools and options to make it easier to be social and expressive, so the viewer becomes a big part of the content creation.
Twitch continues to dominate the livestreaming market, and now YouTube is entering in a big way. How do you grow your audience with such big competitors?
For our community there is always some new feature or technology to discover on Hitbox. When we see audiences on other streaming platforms asking for innovations we have had for a while it gives us further confirmation that we’re on to something. Last month we released a League of Legends widget, that lets viewers see all details of the champion the broadcaster is playing, without leaving the live stream. Someone on our team wanted this feature for themselves so we just built it. It is our goal to always be the first to bring new technologies and features to our community.
We watch as this growing market is getting more diverse and is splitting up into many different interest groups, from dedicated eSports communities to ones focused on a single game or genre. Just as we don’t have a single global TV station or social network we will see multiple live streaming outlets catering to specific audiences or topics.
Bottom line, users have more fun on our platform. We’re working to build the most vibrant and innovative online community for gamers by pioneering technology that keeps gamers connected and engaged.