I had already been contemplating the idea of returning to streaming pretty much since last November. But I had been doing a fair job of talking myself out for the most part. Obviously, I have gotten very close. But one of the things that had really been stopping me is that I just don’t like the streaming services that are available. I think had I had this urge and Mixer was still around, I would have been streaming for the last few months already. I just don’t want to support Facebook & Amazon… and Google is putting almost no effort into supporting live streaming.
Then… about a week ago, a fellow Mixer streamer that I still chat with periodically announced that he would be testing out Glimesh in a couple of weeks. This intrigued me. There are a number of smaller services out there but all of them have various issues. I think one of the bigger alternatives for gaming streams is dlive which was made famous by PewDiePie streaming there for about a month. It seems to have a fair amount of random foreign streamers (the biggest streamer I could find as of this writing had about 1K viewers and was Turkish) and conspiracy theory Q-ers, but otherwise never really took off. Glimesh, I feel, has more promise though.
Glimesh is open source, and they are also open with their business practices. Right now, the developers have a weekly town hall type of stream where they sit down and show all the stats of their network, show how it’s growing, how many bugs are being found, how many are being fixed, they tell you what features they have and what features they don’t. I even saw a post somewhere of how subscriptions are being split going down to the detail of exactly how much of that $5 actually goes to glimesh itself after credit cards and bandwidth and what not (it’s not a ton). This openness is refreshing after dealing with Twitch, Youtube and Mixer for years. None of which likes to talk about things. Twitch actually used to be more open. One of the reasons they grew so well early was the representatives that they had that would talk with streamers and the community, that kind of changed once they got bought by Amazon and now we get things like them telling you that you have a copyright claim without telling you against what.
This openness has led to a pretty nice discord community where everyone is talking with each other. You can go in, make suggestions for the site, and the devs will often chime in on whether such and such is a good idea or not. It’s not just community team members. Even if your idea doesn’t get added to their list of features, you at least feel like it was given honest contemplation before being turned down, and more often than not, you have a base idea of why they won’t do it. Progress!
Glimesh is also having subs going from day 1. This is actually not normal. Mixer did not have subs, or really any way to monetize for much of their early days. It was a pretty big deal when they started adding it in. Twitch didn’t really have any options for monetization either, which is what led to all the donation websites being used. I think initially they were just going to use ads because that’s how it’d always been done (I can’t even remember if partners saw a cut of the ads or how much it was if they did early on, that was too long ago). When they added Subs, it was really a reaction to donations, they wanted a cut and hoped that subs would draw it in. Having built in subs on day 1 for Glimesh makes it a little easier for existing streamers to move. I think part of Mixer’s early problem was that streamers in Twitch had no reason to make the move, many were already making some money on twitch, and moving to Mixer was basically restarting with no monetization built in. Even when subs got added, Mixer was bad at communicating how to become a partner. You just applied and hoped for the best.
Which leads us to partnering… at this point in time… Glimesh has no partnering system. On Day 1, you will not only have subs, but everyone can apply regardless of following. The devs said they looked into why all the networks have the partner limits and they didn’t feel like there was a huge reason to continue that on Glimesh. They haven’t shut the door on it completely, they have said if they see a reason to do it later, they might, but right now they don’t think there’s value in it. Again, this makes it easier for streamers to make the decision to make a move, and will also likely just mean that many smaller streamers who are frustrated with Youtube and Twitch’s higher partner requirements will just make a move.
I also sort of like the interface itself so far… It definitely has a Mixer vibe to it, but it isn’t quite Mixer. They do have the FTL that Mixer had and are hoping that Streamers and viewers will appreciate less delay. But they also have done a few other things that are more cosmetic. Streamers can have custom backgrounds in their chat if they want, and the chat itself just looks more playful. They built in icons for social media so it isn’t something just added into a channel’s description. I also feel like they made banning and timing out easier by just adding icons into a username in chat, so it’s just an easy click. I’m not 100% sure how the general sections are going to look.
I think they are moving away from having everything based of game categories and instead they are moving to tagging and filters. So, if you are streaming Bravely Default II (as I will be), you add that to your list of stream tags, you add in English so people know your language, you can add in JRPGs, you can add in pretty much anything. And then viewers can either click on a list of popular tags at the top or do a search for tags and filter them out. It could work really well. I really want to see it in action. It’s hard to figure out how exactly it will work. Currently, they have only one stream (for testing on their side) going so you don’t get a good idea of how everything works. One thing about this system that I really appreciate is that they’ve essentially grouped streams by more broad categories. They currently have sections for Gaming, IRL, Tech, Education, Art and Music (I’m personally hoping they add events eventually for stuff like tournaments or concerts or sports or something). What this means is that you know longer have IRL sitting in the middle of Minecraft and League of Legends, and it also means you can search within IRL much more easily. I think the search for this network is going to be far more useful than it is anywhere else.
I don’t anticipate it is going to be an easy road for Glimesh. They are starting Alpha on March 2nd. Being Alpha, I expect the site to go down, I expect lag, I expect all the worse. I expect it will take time find viewers… likely months. But I am hopeful that Glimesh strikes a chord as a worthwhile competitor to YouTube and Twitch. I intend to be there near the start, though I may decide to forgo streaming on the first day, instead letting them get initial bugs out of the way and hoping for a more stable environment on the second or third days.
Please head over to https://glimesh.tv/Razakius and follow my stream. I will keep streaming times updated on my twitter account so it may be worthwhile to look there as well. I look forward to seeing you.