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PewDiePie Signs Exclusive Streaming Deal With YouTube

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  • PewDiePie signed an exclusive live-streaming deal with YouTube, a partnership that could be huge for the platform given his massive following.
  • YouTube has recently invested more in acquiring exclusive contracts with major gamers and studios in an attempt to make itself a serious competitor against Twitch.
  • While reporting on the deal, many news outlets focused heavily on the YouTuber’s controversies, with some implying that YouTube is wrong for working with him. 

YouTube Moves to Becomes Major Live-Streaming Competitor

YouTube’s biggest individual creator, PewDiePie, has just signed an exclusive live-streaming deal with the company.

The deal comes almost a year after PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, moved away from YouTube to sign an exclusive streaming contract with DLive, a small blockchain-based live-streaming site. 

Now, he is the latest major creator to partner with YouTube, which has been working hard to secure exclusive deals with people like CouRage , Typical Gamer, Valkyrae, and others. 

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but in a press release from YouTube, PewDiePie said, “YouTube has been my home for over a decade now and live streaming on the platform feels like a natural fit as I continue to look for new ways to create content and interact with fans worldwide.

“Live streaming is something I’m focusing a lot on in 2020 and beyond, so to be able to partner with YouTube and be at the forefront of new product features is special and exciting for the future.”

Given PewDiePie’s massive internet following, it will be interesting to see if this deal will help YouTube become a major competitor against Twitch, which has been the top live-streaming platform for years. YouTube, Facebook Gaming, and Microsoft’s Mixer have been working harder to draw in bigger audiences. 

Last year, Twitch saw the high profile departures of Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins and Michael ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek, who left to stream on Mixer. However, Twitch secured itself deals with top streamers like Dr.Lupo, TimTheTatman, and Lirik.

Then, earlier this year, Twitch took a huge blow when Activision Blizzard and Google announced a multiyear partnership with YouTube, making it its exclusive partner for its esports league, including Call of Duty League and Overwatch league.

Exclusive rights to Activision Blizzard events used to be held by Twitch, after signing a two-year deal back in 2017. According to Quarts, the studio’s new move “is the equivalent of the Superbowl and the Olympic Games making FOX their exclusive viewing partner for several years, shutting out all other networks.”

YouTube’s latest efforts to snag contracts with creators and studios show just how serious the company is about investing in the streaming and gaming industry. 

Media Outlets Focus on Controversies 

While some media outlets have focused on announcing the deal, others have spent a majority of their headline and article space laying out PewDiePie’s past controversies. 

Some have briefly laid out his history in an attempt to explain his on-again-off-again relationship with YouTube, but others have used language that seems to suggests YouTube shouldn’t have made such a deal. 

Vice’s Motherboard, for instance, wrote that YouTube is “completely ignoring the years of bad behavior” in its article titled “YouTube and Pewdiepie Can’t Afford to Quit Each Other.” 

Forbes headlined its coverage, “PewDiePie Signs Deal With YouTube Despite History of Racist, Anti-Semitic Comments.”

The Washington Post, which called him “controversial but popular,” opened its coverage by pointing to the Wall Street Journal’s heavily criticized report about the YouTuber’s use of antisemitic jokes. The paper wrote then wrote, “Now, it appears to be water under the bridge.”

This type of reporting is not exactly shocking since a similar emphasis on his past appears nearly every time the YouTuber does anything newsworthy. Still, it has been a point of frustration for PewDiePie and his fans who feel he is often villanized by the mainstream media and ignored for any good he does. 

It’s likely that both YouTube and PewDiePie anticipated some criticism over their partnership, with some arguing that the benefit of working with him must outweigh the negative press.

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (GameSpot) (Insider

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Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos

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The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.


Bezos Prank

Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. 

According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws. 

For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform. 

The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.

It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end. 

The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions. 

First Twitch Hack 

Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.

That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019. 

It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.

Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already. 

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Forbes) (CNET)

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Twitch Blames Server Configuration Error for Hack, Says There’s No Indication That Login Info Leaked

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The platform also said full credit card numbers were not reaped by hackers, as that data is stored externally. 


Login and Credit Card Info Secure

Twitch released a security update late Wednesday claiming it had seen “no indication” that users’ login credentials were stolen by hackers who leaked the entire platform’s source code earlier in the day.

“Full credit card numbers are not stored by Twitch, so full credit card numbers were not exposed,” the company added in its announcement.

The leaked data, uploaded to 4chan, includes code related to the platform’s security tools, as well as exact totals of how much it has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019. 

Early Thursday, Twitch also announced that it has now reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Streamers looking for their new keys can visit a dashboard set up by the platform, though users may need to manually update their software with the new key before being able to stream again depending on what kind of software they use.

As far as what led to the hackers being able to steal the data, Twitch blamed an error in a “server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party,” confirming that the leak was not the work of a current employee who used internal tools. 

Will Users Go to Other Streaming Platforms?

While no major creators have said they are leaving Twitch for a different streaming platform because of the hack, many small users have either announced their intention to leave Twitch or have said they are considering such a move. 

It’s unclear if the leak, coupled with other ongoing Twitch controversies, will ultimately lead to a significant user exodus, but there’s little doubt that other platforms are ready and willing to leverage this hack in the hopes of attracting new users. 

At least one big-name streamer has already done as much, even if largely only presenting the idea as a playful jab rather than with serious intention. 

“Pretty crazy day today,” YouTube’s Valkyrae said on a stream Wednesday while referencing a tweet she wrote earlier the day.

“YouTube is looking to sign more streamers,” that tweet reads. 

I mean, they are! … No shade to Twitch… Ah! Well…” Valkyrae said on stream before interrupting herself to note that she was not being paid by YouTube to make her comments. 

See what others are saying: (Engadget) (BBC) (Gamerant)

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The Entirety of Twitch Has Been Leaked Online, Including How Much Top Creators Earn

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The data dump, which could be useful for some of Twitch’s biggest competitors, could signify one of the most encompassing platform leaks ever.


Massive Collection of Data Leaked 

Twitch’s full source code was uploaded to 4chan Wednesday morning after it was obtained by hackers.

Among the 125 GB of stolen data is information revealing that Amazon, which owns Twitch, has at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library. That library, codenamed Vapor, would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.

With Amazon being the all-encompassing giant that it is, it’s not too surprising that it would try to develop a Steam rival, but it’s eyecatching news nonetheless considering how much the release of Vapor could shake up the market.

The leaked data also showcased exactly how much Twitch has paid its creators, including the platform’s top accounts, such as the group CriticalRole, as well as steamers xQcOW, Tfue, Ludwig, Moistcr1tikal, Shroud, HasanAbi, Sykkuno, Pokimane, Ninja, and Amouranth.

These figures only represent payouts directly from Twitch. Each creator mentioned has made additional money through donations, sponsorships, and other off-platform ventures. Sill, the information could be massively useful for competitors like YouTube Gaming, which is shelling out big bucks to ink deals with creators. 

Data related to Twitch’s internal security tools, as well as code related to software development kits and its use of Amazon Web Services, was also released with the hack. In fact, so much data was made public that it could constitute one of the most encompassing platform dumps ever.

Creators Respond

Streamer CDawgVA, who has just under 500,000 subscribers on Twitch, tweeted about the severity of the data breach on Wednesday.

“I feel like calling what Twitch just experienced as “leak” is similar to me shitting myself in public and trying to call it a minor inconvenience,” he wrote. “It really doesn’t do the situation justice.”

Despite that, many of the platform’s top streamers have been quite casual about the situation.

“Hey, @twitch EXPLAIN?”xQc tweeted. Amouranth replied with a laughing emoji and the text, “This is our version of the Pandora papers.” 

Meanwhile, Pokimane tweeted, “at least people can’t over-exaggerate me ‘making millions a month off my viewers’ anymore.”

Others, such as Moistcr1tikal and HasanAbi argued that their Twitch earning are already public information given that they can be easily determined with simple calculations. 

Could More Data Come Out?

This may not be the end of the leak, which was labeled as “part one.” If true, there’s no reason to think that the leakers wouldn’t publish a part two. 

For example, they don’t seem to be too fond of Twitch and said they hope this data dump “foster[s] more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”

They added that the platform is a “disgusting toxic cesspool” and included the hashtag #DoBetterTwitch, which has been used in recent weeks to drive boycotts against the platform as smaller creators protest the ease at which trolls can use bots to spam their chats with racist, sexist, and homophobic messages.

Still, this leak does appear to lack one notable set of data: password and address information of Twitch users.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the leakers don’t have it. It could just mean they are only currently interested in sharing Twitch’s big secrets. 

Regardless, Twitch users and creators are being strongly urged to change their passwords as soon as possible and enable two-factor authentication.

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Video Games Chronicle) (Kotaku)

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