The battle between Twitch and YouTube has heated up following today's announcement that Twitch will soon allow users to upload videos to the service without having to stream them first. Broadcasters will also be able to create playlists of their content using either archived streams or highlights, and a full HTML5 player is on the way too.
The changes were revealed during founder and CEO Emmett Shear's keynote at TwitchCon 2015. "The Twitch community shapes everything we do through the creative new ways they use our platform, through their feedback, and through the great videos and hilarious chat messages we see every day,” Shear said in a post-address statement. "All of the features we announced today, from our HTML5 plans to our video upload system, are inspired by our awesome community of broadcasters, viewers, and chatters."
Video uploading is a huge move, because it directly targets YouTube's core functionality: For now, Twitch can only archive livestreams, which puts it at a significant disadvantage as a video-on-demand service. Of course, you will recall that it was just last month that YouTube muscled in on Twitch territory with the launch of YouTube Gaming, which supports 60 fps livestreams. Twitch actually issued a statement in response to that development, promising to reveal part of its "very ambitious and long-term product roadmap" at TwitchCon. Mission accomplished, as they say.
Other changes announced at TwitchCon include the addition of customizable thumbnails for archived broadcasts and highlights, and Gameshow, "cross-platform livestreaming production software" that will "simplify the process of creating a consistent, branded game stream, which helps [streamers] build their community, build their brand and make their streams worth watching."
Playlist functionality is set to roll out in the fall—soon, in other words—while video uploads and the HTML5 player will debut in early 2016.