The mobile gaming video space has a new competitor, and it has brought on some former Google, Apple, and Microsoft talent to help.
Mobcrush is the latest answer to Twitch on smartphones and tablets. The company has released a beta app that enables gamers on iOS and Android to view livestreams and even broadcast their own (at least on iOS — Android streaming is coming soon). Mobcrush’s goal is to provide a vibrant video community where people who game on mobile first can congregate to watch and make videos. With more than 100 million people already consuming live gaming video on sites like Twitch, YouTube, and Kamcord, this is a space that could (and already is) attracting attention from marketers and brands.
“We are trying to create and maintain a credible space for mobile gamers,” Mobcrush co-head of business development Greg Essig told GamesBeat. “It needs to be all about them and the games, and that’s our focus right now.”
Essig is one of a few new people to join Mobcrush. He comes to the company after working at Apple as the manager of the game section on its iOS App Store.
The other new hire is Koh Kim, also co-head of business development at Mobcrush, who previously worked as the games lead on Google Play.
Kim and Essig join former Xbox strategist Eric Doty, who is Mobcrush’s community and partnership boss.
This “all-star team,” as they referred to themselves, is hoping to break mobile gameplay livestreaming wide open by making the process as simple as possible.
“When we looked into it, we found that it is literally about 41 steps to stream from a mobile device,” said Essig. “We started with the idea of getting rid of all those friction points between gamers and streaming, and that’s what we built here at Mobcrush.”
And the company is already having success. It had a stream last week where a popular Boom Beach player did a live broadcast on Mobcrush and attracted more than 114,000 total views and a concurrent audience of 20,000 viewers.
“That rivals the large streaming platforms out there, and we’re still in beta,” said Essig.
To keep that momentum going, Mobcrush plans to bring in “influencers,” who are primarily video makers that already have a large gaming audience.
“We’re working with partners who have a combined audience of over 10 million across their social networks and videos,” said Doty.
And Mobcrush is centering its efforts for now on bringing in those big names and getting its platform off the ground rather than on finding a way to squeeze revenue from its service.
“It’s really all about engagement,” said Kim. “Figuring out how to get consumers to engage with a mobile product has been very difficult. It hasn’t even been solved by any of the big platforms.”
The next step for the company is to release its app on the official iOS and Android stores, and try to capture that audience. It’s feeling good about that, but with Kamcord also in this space and Twitch edging its way into it, it’s going to get crowded quickly.