Becoming a streamer isn't as easy as hitting "broadcast." People have to decide how much to invest in their hardware, to which platform they want to stream, and what software they'll use to do so.
Twitch has announced Twitch Studio, its own streaming app. It refers to it as "an all-in-one streaming app for new streamers that cuts down on the guesswork to setup a quality stream and makes it easier to engage with your community." The current version of the app has a limited feature set, ostensibly so Twitch can receive feedback on the core of the experience, and the company said it will only let a limited number of people access the Twitch Studio beta at first.
Twitch highlighted three features that are supposed to make it easier to stream: a guided setup that helps users identify their optimal settings, customizable templates used to quickly modify the stream's look, and built-in audience engagement tools. Being exclusive to Twitch instead of supporting numerous services ought to make Twitch Studio more streamlined (no pun intended) as well.
We're curious about the audience engagement tools debuting with Twitch Studio. Right now most of these functions, like an activity feed, chat, and real-time alerts, are offered by outside platforms like Streamlabs and StreamElements. Offering similar features should make it easier for new streamers to interact with their audiences, sure, but it also seems like Twitch wants to exert more control over every step of the streaming process than it does now.
Streamlabs and Newzoo reported in July that the hours spent broadcasting to and watching Twitch declined quarter-over-quarter. This couldn't be attributed to an overall decline in the streaming market, either, as other services reported increases for both metrics. Twitch also lost its most high-profile streamer, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, earlier this month after he signed a deal with Microsoft to stream exclusively on Mixer.
Those developments make it easier than ever for streamers to use other platforms instead of relying on Twitch. Unless the company is willing to make some changes, established streamers could be wooed to other services just like Ninja was, and someone's going to have to fill that gap. Helping new streamers get started through a tool made only for Twitch might allow the company to maintain its popularity despite this increased competition.
You can learn more about Twitch Studio on the company's website. In an FAQ article, Twitch said that "in the coming months, we’ll be adding an in-game overlay that makes it easier to chat and engage with your viewers, support for capture cards, additional integration with Twitch functionality and much more." It also warned that although Twitch Studio supports Windows 7, it has performance issues on the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.