Twitch is the most popular video game streaming platform globally and has become a go-to for anyone who either wants to watch someone else playing their favorite games or make money by engaging with viewers. There is an entire generation of kids who are trying to make a living off their YouTube channel.
For the first time, it’s possible for anyone with access to technology and internet connection at any place in the world – including your 11-year old nephew from Nebraska – can go viral overnight. The lifestyle change that accompanies this newfound fame has been so drastic, many people have stopped using Facebook because they don’t want friends or family members watching them every minute on social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat.
A year and a half ago, Twitch launched the karaoke platform ‘Twitch Sings’ with a confusing set of labels. In some press releases, they described it as a game. In others, they described it as an entertainment opportunity from which people might be able to launch whole singing careers if the service had performed well enough for that to happen in theory;
But no one could really count on this happening when there were YouTube channels where singers have been picked up by talent agents just based off their performance online without knowing much about them other than what we see through videos posted on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook- so nobody knew how things would turn out at first glance for sure unless those who played along actually took advantage of all these opportunities. You could be the next pop star, and you don’t even know it. The internet allows for people to make money from their live performances without ever needing a record label’s services again, as long as they generate enough of an audience.
When Twitch Sings came out, it was the first time that a karaoke-like experience had been created across the internet. It took an existing idea and put it on another level, something like what happened with online slots websites when they were created back in 2001. For years, recording artists have been licensing their songs to casino slots websites. There’s no reason that they couldn’t make the same connection with Twitch Sings – which is a less physical version of those old slot machines you used to find at land-based casinos. Sadly for them and for the small but enthusiastic base of users on Twitch Sings, it wasn’t meant to be.
Twitch announced that they would be discontinuing Twitch Sings as of January 1st, 2021. Existing videos will begin to be deleted in December 2020, and until then, there is not much time left for fans of the service. Although it has a huge following with some users even considering themselves professional singers, sadly enough, people are using it, which means it’s going away next year (and so should you). Twitch, the popular video game streaming service where people watch other gamers play games and talk about them on camera, has a surprising amount of users who follow “music” related channels. A recent study found that three million Twitch members have chosen to subscribe to music-related content there, but only 161 thousand followed through with trying out their new feature called “Twitch Sings.”
Perhaps these followers didn’t know what they were getting into or just preferred not being in front of a camera? Maybe they don’t think their microphone works well enough for singing online? The most likely answer is probably far simpler than any of those: They’re looking for an offline environment like karaoke bars because it’s easier when you are around your friends. When you’re on your own at home with neighbors who might overhear you, karaoke is a risky choice. You may feel like it’s the best time to sing because no one will judge and embarrass you in front of an audience but that could also mean singing into oblivion as nobody can hear what they sound like.
After the announcement that Twitch will be shutting down on January 1st, there was a sliver of hope for those who love to sing. The service went live with two hundred songs but had agreements in place with several hundreds more planned over time. As of now, Twitch is closing its singing platform. Now that the service has just a few months left to go before being shut down for good, what better way to end it than by releasing 400 songs never released in their entirety?
As an avid singer myself with over 800 hours on Twitch Sings since I first discovered how much fun this quirky new fad was last spring (I’m talking about “singing” into your webcam while playing games), these past three years have been full of memories and moments shared between people who love gaming as much as they enjoy belting out karaoke-style renditions or cover versions from popular pop singers like Beyoncé or Lady Gaga.
Amazon-owned company Twitch announced that they would soon be rolling out new tools to help grow their music community after it had closed down the standalone product of “Twitch Sings.” The wording in this statement is vague and could mean we can expect more features for watching or listening to songs on its site. Twitch Sings was not just limited to the PC audience and never had a chance to find an audience on smartphones or consoles.
The app only ever launched for PCs, which left out smartphone users who may have been interested in Twitch’s newest venture. It could be argued that it is unfair of us as viewers (and gamers) of this platform to blame the lack of success with any new product solely on its medium when there are so many other factors involved – especially when we know how popular computers can be.
Twitch Sings deleting all videos uploaded by its users on December 1st, and it will be impossible to retrieve any footage after that date. If you have ever used Twitch Sings for video purposes or want your work backed up before this change takes place in order to preserve them for the future, log onto their website now. Despite a solid start, Twitch Sings failed to capture the interest of enough users. The competition is fierce and only getting fiercer as more people join in on streaming services like this one. If anyone else wants to take their shot at it, though – they have just under two weeks left.