Everything To Know About Caffeine, The Streaming Service That Just Inked A Deal With Drake
One of the defining tech stories of the latter half of last decade came in the form of the music streaming wars, during which the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal battled it out for dominance, throwing as many exclusive artists, shows and innovations at listeners as they possibly could. Now, a new battle is emerging, this time between the major players emerging in the explosive growth of the online gaming industry.
The rise of professional esports and the emergence of prominent gaming personalities on YouTube have completely changed the way people approach their expectations to accessing their favourite online figures. It's now the norm for celebrities across pretty much all platforms to have something of a real-time presence online, and with online gaming bigger than ever, both prominent players and famous fans have started using streaming platforms like Twitch as a groundbreaking way to connect with their fans. It's a trend that's both created celebrities, like prominent streamer Ninja, and tempted pop culture icons into the fold, like Drake.
Caffeine, a new entrant into the market, is looking to use star power to give it a unique edge against the likes of Twitch and Microsoft-owned Deezer, both of which already have monopolies over the most prominent gamers and eSports players in the sphere. Having already signed exclusive rights to host gaming streams from Migos rapper Offset and NFL star Juju Smith-Schuster, Caffeine has now announced its biggest acquisition yet: Drizzy himself.
The Six God is a prominent fan of the online gaming community, having previously jumped on Fortnite streams with Ninja before, and also became one of the first major celebs to invest in eSports, taking an ownership stake in organisation 100 Thieves towards the end of 2018. Given the fact that Ninja himself was able to command an eight-figure contract when signing exclusive streaming rights with Deezer, it's fair to assume that Drake also stands to make a pretty penny from the partnership.
Despite the fact that Caffeine will almost certainly be used predominantly as a gaming platform, the service also seems to have its sights set on changing the way certain live events are broadcast, bringing certain entertainment off the traditional medium of TV. As part of the deal, Drake will co-produce Ultimate Rap League (URL), a platform focused on the battle rap genre, to be aired live on Caffeine.
"I’ve always loved URL and admired what Smack and his team have been able to create, it just wasn’t easily accessible," said Drake in a joint release. "It’s exciting to be in a position where I’m able to bring Caffeine to the table and help provide URL with the tools they need to elevate the viewing experience and make it more accessible to fans."
Caffeine sells itself not only as a streaming service with unique star power, but one that reimagines the possibilities of the medium. It claims that its streams are faster and less delayed than those on any other platform, but kind of annoyingly for now at least, it doesn't allow you to watch past broadcasts. On the other hand, though, it also sells itself as a safer space in which streamers can operate, addressing the problem of overwork that's taken its toll on prominent gaming personalities, PewDiePie among them. "Caffeine’s business model is built around in-app purchases that reward creators from day one and do not rely on the grinding schedules that lead to creator burnout," says a press release from Caffeine. "Together, it all leads to fresher, more relevant content and unique partnership opportunities for the world’s top creators."
To check out the service, head to caffeine.tv.