Live streaming services Hitbox and Azubu have merged to form Smashcast, turning the newly-formed LA-based company into the world’s largest independent eSports broadcaster outside Asia.
The platform, which will utilise Hitbox and Azubu’s 20m monthly active users, hopes to be a main competitor to Twitch, and will be the only streaming service to offer a lag-free experience that supports up to 4K at 60fps.
It will be available to download for free on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Likewise, any ongoing traffic for Hitbox or Azubu will now be redirected to Smashcast.
It’s also hoping to shake up eSports advertising, and says it’s targeting new products in affiliate marketing, interactive sponsor-based advertising, virtual goods sales, sponsorships and in-game betting in order to close the gap in ARPU between the eSports market and other, more traditional sporting businesses around the world.
Improving the broadcaster-to-viewer user experience is another key goal for Smashcast, which it hopes to achieve through its Hype-O-Meter feature. This shows viewer engagement and lets eSports fans cheer for their favourite teams during tournaments.
Smashcast has also launched a new 4K-ready content production studio in Vienna today, which aims to ensure the highest possible quality for its content streaming service.
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.”
Martin Klimscha, european managing director, added: 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. 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.”