Formed by the merger of former live streaming leaders Hitbox and Azubu, the newly branded Smashcast will create a strong #2 competitor to Twitch and the largest independent esports broadcaster outside Asia.
The new Smashcast platform is now live at www.smashcast.tv. The product will be available for free download in the App Store and on Google Play as Smashcast. All traffic formerly destined for either www.hitbox.tv or www.azubu.tv will be rerouted to the new Smashcast immediately. Mobile updates will automatically be reset to the updated company name and new Smashcast feature set at that time.
In addition to a new clean and more accessible look-and-feel, Smashcast will launch with a viewer engagement feature– called the Hype-O-Meter – intended to let esports fans cheer for their favorite team during tournaments while more tightly coupling the broadcaster-to-viewer connection.
“We’re excited to announce the new company name and brand resulting from the merger of Hitbox and Azubu,” said Mike McGarvey, CEO of Smashcast. “Smashcast will launch with a new hype feature for viewer engagement which represents just the first step in our long-term vision to create the best broadcaster-to-viewer experience in the world of esports and competitive gaming.”
The Company also announced today that it has launched a state-of-the-art 4K-ready content production studio in Vienna, Austria. This represents a core component of the company’s forward-looking strategy to more fully integrate into the worlds of esports and competitive gaming and to ensure that not only its technology is first-rate but that the content streaming on the service is of the highest quality possible.
“The new Vienna production facility is a key next step for us in ensuring the quality of support we provide our broadcasting and publishing partners,” commented Martin Klimscha, European Managing Director. “We wanted specifically to ensure that we are differentiated from our competitors not only from our platform and technology excellence, which includes full 4K and 360 VR support, but from the quality of streaming content as well.”
The new Smashcast organization is primed to monetize the 200 million+ esports fans in innovative ways. Whereas today advertising represents 70% of revenue, with subscriptions and donations at 15%, the Company is targeting new products in affiliate marketing, interactive sponsor-based advertising, virtual goods sales, sponsorships and in-game betting to close the gap in ARPU between the nascent esports market and other, more traditional, professional sporting businesses around the world.
Smashcast will be the largest independent broadcaster outside Asia in the esports market, with the lowest-cost technical and service infrastructure, and a monthly active user peak around 20 million in 2016. The company is targeting significant growth in active viewership via a combination of 1) Improved broadcaster-to-viewer user experience; 2) High-quality content produced in-house; and 3) Differentiated, lowest-cost technology solutions.