Kamcord, the YC-backed company that offers a Twitch-like game streaming service for mobile devices, just made its biggest announcement to date after it enabled any user of its Android app to live-stream their gaming.
This isn’t the first app to offer this feature — the YouTube Mobile app and Sony’s Screen Recorder are among those that also do the job — but Kamcord is notable because it is solely focused on mobile, which is helping it build popularity among broadcasters and games fans.
The U.S.-based startup started out offering game replays, but it added live stream viewing to its Android app in the U.S. back in July. At that time, only a handful of broadcasters could stream from their phone and, even then, it required a fairly sophisticated set-up of cables and a desktop machine. But now, cables be gone! Those with an Android device can broadcast on the fly — but it’s a move that is likely to democratize live-streaming among ‘normal’ users, rather than existing games celebrities.
“Our goal has always been to get people to interact through broadcasting,” Kamcord co-founder Adi Rathnam told TechCrunch in an interview. “A lot of our viewers want to create content but just don’t have a way to do so. This [new update] will give Kamcord a completely new appeal.”
The update is just for Android at this point because Apple’s iOS operating system doesn’t offer the necessary screen capture APIs to enable live-streaming. (So, if you want to live-stream games, get an Android phone — or own two devices.)
Kamcord has focused recently on extending its presence in Asia, having raised $15 million principally for international expansion last year. It initially targeted Japan and Korea, two of the world’s most lucrative games markets, opening offices and hiring local teams in Tokyo and Seoul. Last month, it took that a step further when it introduced the live stream feature among top games figures in both countries.
That’s had a two major impacts on business. Firstly, Rathnam explained that there are “no longer peak hours” on the service as the U.S. goes to sleep. Instead, traffic flares up in Korea and Japan, among other places, during off-peak U.S. times.
Secondly, the ratio of iOS to Android devices has shifted from roughly 50-50, to around 60-40 in favor of Android. That’s particularly significant given today’s announcement for Android users — and it’s likely to create a surge in new content that will mean that Kamcord’s engineering team will be on standby over Christmas to ensure the service stays online despite a potentially huge increase in traffic and activity.
That inevitable spurt in new content thanks to the ability to live-stream on Android also poses a challenge in terms of curating content. Kamcord will continue to place top streams on its homepage based on popularity — metrics like concurrent users and number of hearts per broadcast — but Rathnam added that his team will also reach out to new streamers who they identify with the potential to grow on the service. For an example of where things are at: Clash Of Clans gamer Galadon now has more followers on Kamcord than on Twitter — despite accruing the Kamcord followers in less than six months, and the Twitter count in three-to-four years.
“Our pool of broadcasters is about to rise from tens of thousands to [potentially] hundreds of millions,” Rathnam said.
Into mobile game streaming or curious to check it out? You can grab Kamcord’s Android app here.