21st Century Fox has invested $100M in the Caffeine Streaming Platform. Are they building a challenger to Twitch or a market disruptor?

Amazon owned Twitch is the giant of live streaming. They now boast 140 million users (2.2 million of whom are content creators) and 15 million views of Twitch content per day. In fact, the average amount of time per day users spend on the service is 95 minutes! In a generation that spends very little time viewing traditional television, that 95 minutes is a lifetime… And very valuable.

This is no doubt part of what fueled broadcasting giant 21st Century Fox to invest into an upstart video streaming platform called Caffeine to the tune of $100 million dollars. But why Caffeine? Why not throw money into an incubator of their own? Maybe because Caffeine has been gaining popularity by doing things a bit better if not bigger than Twitch.

Two of the largest features Caffeine has brought to the table since their debut has been two of the biggest issues with current day Twitch:

1.) Caffeine allows instant interaction between the broadcasters and fans.

This is a big one as interaction with the broadcaster is one of the facets of live streaming that makes it so compelling for today’s audience. When something happens on a live stream the viewers can react to it via chat. The problem is that reaction will be delayed by 10, 20 or even 40 seconds at times due to inherent delay in syncing the creator and the audience. Caffeine on the other hand allows instant communication between the streamer and the viewers. This small thing radically changes the experience for both sides.

2.) Caffeine has no partner system. Streamers can make money instantly from their content.

Unlike Twitch who has a viewership and growth requirement for joining their affiliate program to make money from your content, Caffeine allows you to earn from day one. That may sound like a small thing but to many creators the Twitch requirements create a catch-22 situation where their growth relies on either more content than they want to produce per week or adherence to said guidelines actually goes against their ideal content to create. (Such as the new restriction on Raid content)

These features have allowed Caffeine to gain traction and the attention of 21st Century Fox. With the $100M investment, 21CF and Caffeine will be creating Caffeine Studios a joint company that will allow FOX Sports to create professional gaming content and events directly for the Caffeine streaming platform.

“The combination of the Caffeine platform with a content studio that benefits from Fox Sports’ expertise in live events and programming will help position Caffeine to deliver compelling experiences in esports, video gaming and entertainment,”  –  “We are excited to partner with Caffeine and build something special for fans in the growing live social streaming esports and gaming space.”  – Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman 21st Century Fox

In addition, Caffeine has announced a deal with Live Nation to bring concerts to the platform. This will bring live music and events from some of the biggest artists in the world to Caffeine users. That’s no small feature.

It will be interesting to see this partnership develop and how it may change the live streaming landscape of the near future. We now have Fox Sports, ESPN and Turner Broadcasting all invested into the esports space. If it wasn’t big enough already, it’s about to grow again.

Full Press Release:

21st Century Fox Invests $100M in Social Broadcasting Platform Caffeine; Funds Creation of Caffeine Studios Focused on eSports, Video Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment Content

Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners join 21st Century Fox in investment round; Live Nation boosts Caffeine content line-up with live music

PR Newswire

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today, 21st Century Fox ((“, 21CF”, , NASDAQ:FOXA, FOX)) and Caffeine, the next-generation social broadcasting platform for gaming, entertainment, and other creative content announced that 21CF led a round of funding, which also included participation from existing Caffeine investors Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners, and other undisclosed partners. Caffeine also announced a content agreement with Live Nation to bring live music concerts to the social broadcast platform in Q4 2018.

21CF invested a combined $100 million into Caffeine and a newly formed venture called Caffeine Studios that is jointly owned by FOX Sports and Caffeine. The new studio will leverage FOX Sports’ expertise in live events and programming to create exclusive esports, video game, sports, and live entertainment content for Caffeine’s next-generation social broadcasting platform. In addition,Lachlan Murdoch, 21CF’s Executive Chairman, will join Caffeine’s Board. 21CF’s stakes in Caffeine and Caffeine Studios will be part of the proposed new “Fox,” the company that will be formed upon completion of the proposed transaction between 21CF and The Walt Disney Company, and where Mr. Murdoch will serve as Chairman and CEO.

Caffeine also received additional investment from Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners, as well as from other partners. The amount of their investments is undisclosed. To further underscore Caffeine’s vision of bringing people together around the content they love, Caffeine is teaming up with Live Nation to stream a series of live concerts on the platform beginning in Q4 2018, offering fans a new way to experience their favorite musical acts.

“We want to bring the world together around friends and live broadcasts,” said Ben Keighran, CEO of Caffeine. “It’s an ambitious goal, but one we believe is attainable with the support of our amazing new partners, our awesome and ever-growing community, and the content that together, we can bring onto the platform.”

“The combination of the Caffeine platform with a content studio that benefits from Fox Sports’ expertise in live events and programming will help position Caffeine to deliver compelling experiences in esports, video gaming and entertainment,” said Lachlan Murdoch.  “We are excited to partner with Caffeine and build something special for fans in the growing live social streaming esports and gaming space.”

As a real-time, social broadcast platform, Caffeine is focused on bringing the more than one billion gamers, streamers, non-streamers, and fans together around the friends and content they’ll love. Users find content because of the people they follow in their social circles and come together to share that content with each other and their ever-growing group of friends. Personal conversations between friends and broadcasters happen in real-time and are given preference, enabling more meaningful social engagements while disposing of toxic chatter and endless feeds of meaningless comments. In addition, Caffeine includes a fair, ad-free monetization system that is open to everyone and is designed to encourage broadcasters and enhance the content experience. Caffeine is built on its own infrastructure, so it requires no third-party software or plug-ins. All it takes is one click for broadcasters to start delivering content, enjoying latency-free conversations, and making money.

Caffeine is currently in pre-release and will continue to release new features and functionality, as well as content from a host of new partners, including those mentioned above, as it heads toward its official launch.