Live Streaming Predictions for 2024 (And a Review of 2023)

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you all enjoyed the end of 2023 and are rested and excited for the year ahead! I took much of the last couple of weeks to unwind, spend time with family, play some video games, and catch up on some movies I've been wanting to watch (many of them I would have been better off not watching...) I'll be honest in saying I've paid almost NO attention to the streaming space, so this week's newsletter will be devoid of actual news and instead offer a look back at my 2023 predictions and some new ones for 2024! I think you'll particularly like my Twitchcon predictions. So, let's just get right into it!

Revisiting 2023

Let's start by looking at my 2023 predictions and see which ones I got right or wrong!

  1. Twitch Wallet System. Grade: F. But I think I'm just early. This still makes a lot of sense on paper. While I won't add it as an official re-prediction, know that it will count next year if it does happen! We did get ONE Wallet update - Sub Tokens, but still, no points.
  2. StreamElementification of Twitch Bounties. Grade: A. Twitch got way more StreamElementsy by launching their own first-party alerts AND Sponsorship products. I expect that to continue with other competing tools.
  3. Twitch Ad Struggles. Grade: A. While we don't know exactly what's happening with Twitch Ads, several sources (kept anonymous) tell me that Twitch missed Amazon's expected ad sales numbers. Publicly, they've launched so many new ad formats this year and even tried to push new Branded Content Guidelines, which the community promptly rejected. We also saw the Ads Incentive Program scrapped in favor of something less reliable. (Copy+Pasted that line from the prediction!) That's a pretty good prediction.
  4. YouTube Live Lost in the Mix. Grade A+. Rough year for anyone hoping that YouTube would FINALLY update the live experience. They added Pride-Themed emotes, added a clips tabs, and let creators gift ten subs for free. Other than that, no meaningful updates were launched to improve the live experience.
  5. LinkedIn Live Streaming. Grade C-. LinkedIn has made some strides with its live streaming capabilities, but from every stream I've seen - it feels more like a scuffed Facebook stream. They did test ads for live this year, so I got some points for that.
  6. AI Tools Monotony. Grade C+. While it's not there yet, there are signs everywhere of AI tools picking up the slack of monotonous tasks. Video editing, good 'clip' detection from live content, thumbnail generation. It's all starting to take form, BUT it's also clear it's not great yet. Let's see how 2024 shapes up.

Predictions for 2024

Alright, strap in... A warning: There is some negative sentiment in these predictions. I think 2024 and 2025 are critical years for Twitch's long-term viability, which means many tough calls must be made. I'm sure Dan Clancy hopes that all the groundwork he put in with creators in 2023 will grant him some leeway on some of the decisions - but if the Korean news is any indication, it may be an uphill battle.

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