Author: Sarah Perez

Twitch unveils a suite of new tools to help creators grow their channels and make money

TECHCRUNCH Amazon-owned video game streaming site Twitch today announced a number of new features for streamers aimed at helping their grow their online communities and generate revenue from their online channels. Notably, the company will soon debut several features that will allow video creators to better track their path towards achieving either Affiliate or Partner status – a designation that allows them to tap into Twitch’s numerous money-making tools, including Cheering with Bits (virtual tipping), game sales, and subscriptions. The news of the forthcoming features was announced today at Twitch’s annual conference, TwitchCon 2017, during a keynote address headlined by CEO Emmett Shear, and hosted by Direct of Programming Marcus Graham. Two new tools arriving next month are specifically focused on providing better analytics to streamers, so they can understand what actions they’re taking that could move them up Twitch’s ranks, in order to become a Twitch Affiliate or Partner. Introduced this spring, the Twitch Affiliate program gave smaller streamers the ability to make money from their channels, too – something that had previously been reserved for the more exclusive Partner program. Today, six months after going live, the Twitch Affiliate Program has grown to include over 110,000 video creators, the company announced today. Its Partners are also doing well, Twitch said, noting that more than double the amount of money was paid to individual Partners in 2017, with 71...

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Google says 64% of Chrome traffic on Android now protected with HTTPS, 75% on Mac, 66% on Windows

TECHCRUNCH Google’s push to make the web more secure by flagging sites using insecure HTTP connections appears to be working. The company announced today that 64 percent of Chrome traffic on Android is now protected, up 42 percent from a year ago. In addition, over 75 percent of Chrome traffic on both ChromeOS and Mac is now protected, up from 60 percent on Mac and 67 percent on ChromeOS a year ago. Windows traffic is up to 66 percent from 51 percent. Google also notes that 71 of the top 100 websites now use HTTPS by default, up from...

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Spotify launches a RISE, a new emerging artist program

TECHCRUNCH Spotify already has a reputation of being a hitmaker for new artists and other up-and-comers, but now the company is turning its prowess into a product. Today, Spotify announced the launch of RISE, a new program designed to “identify and break the next wave of music superstars,” the company says. The idea here is that Spotify will leverage its platform and its sizable reach – today, it has 140 million listeners – to market new talent and help them get heard. This will include promoting the artists on Spotify and its many editorially-programmed playlists, as well as through...

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You can now PayPal friends in Messenger and get help via chat

TECHCRUNCH PayPal users in the U.S. will now be able to send and receive person-to-person payments over Facebook Messenger, the company announced this morning. The deeper integration with Messenger’s platform, which will also include PayPal’s first customer service bot for handling customer questions and requests for help, follows a series of tie-ups between the two companies. Last year, Facebook and PayPal announced a deepened relationship that allowed customers in the U.S. to shop from online merchants using their Messenger chat bots, then transact in the messaging app via PayPal. Customers could also choose to link their PayPal account with...

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Google Play adds Android Instant Apps via a ‘Try it Now’ button, among other changes

TECHCRUNCH Google today is announcing a number of changes to its Google Play app store, the most notable being a new way to try apps immediately without having to first install them on your mobile device. The new feature takes advantage of “Android Instant Apps” technology – Google’s attempt at bridging the mobile web world with that of native applications. Instant Apps were first introduced at Google’s I/O developer conference last year. Unlike native apps that have to be downloaded in full, Instant Apps launch with just a tap on a URL. To support this, developers partition their apps...

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Streaming service VidAngel declares bankruptcy after losing legal battles with studios

TECHCRUNCH VidAngel, a streaming service that altered copyrighted works to edit out adult language, nudity and violence, has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company announced on Wednesday. The Utah-based service had been sued by major studios, including Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Disney, and others, who said VidAngel was operating as an unlicensed streaming service, and was offering films to viewers outside the studios’ streaming windows. The streaming service’s business model involved selling decrypted and edited DVDs for $20 to users who watched them online, then “sold” them back to VidAngel for $19. Effectively, VidAngel was offering $1 rentals...

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Flickr exits the photo book business, shuts down wall art orders

TECHCRUNCH Flickr, the once Yahoo-owned photo-sharing site that’s now a part of Verizon*, is getting out of the photo book printing business, and is shutting down the feature that allowed users to turn photos into professional-quality wall art. In an email sent to users this week, Flickr said that it was turning over photo books to publishing service Blurb as of October 16, 2017, but the wall art service was simply being terminated. An older internet brand, Flickr over the years has suffered from a lack of attention and resources, while other companies began been stepping up their efforts...

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Verizon delays its live TV service until spring 2018, report says

TECHCRUNCH Verizon’s* plans to launch a streaming service of its own to compete with the likes of Dish’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, and others, have been pushed back to spring 2018, according to a report from Bloomberg on Wednesday. Citing unnamed sources, the report indicates the timing of the launch is still tentative and could be postponed further due to ongoing negotiations for streaming rights, staffing changes, and technology reboots. *Disclosure: TechCrunch parent Oath (AOL/Yahoo) is owned by Verizon. The service has already been pushed back at least twice, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate Verizon is...

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