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Streaming startup Caffeine perks up with $100 million from Fox to make Twitch shudder

Streaming startup Caffeine perks up with $100 million from Fox to make Twitch shudder
[Photo: PhilipR/Shutterstock]

21st Century Fox has invested $100 million in Caffeine, a live-streaming social startup that focuses on gaming and entertainment. Fox’s investment bolsters Caffeine’s previously reported funding of $46 million from investors Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners. Caffeine also announced a deal with Live Nation to include live concerts on its platform later this year.

Caffeine, which was created by two former Apple execs and launched earlier this year, aims to nudge its way into a space already dominated by Twitch and YouTube by touting what they believe to be a simpler interface and a creator-first mentality. The former checks out, with the platform’s built-in tools to make live-streaming gameplay easier than having to download third-party software. The latter just seems like the Pollyanna-ish viewpoint every social platform likes to espouse.

What’s really worth keeping an eye on is the partnership with Live Nation.

While specific details of the arrangement haven’t been announced, it seems like a smart move on Caffeine’s part to include in their offerings live-streamed concerts backed by the biggest promoter in the industry. Since 2011, YouTube has live streamed the opening weekend of Coachella, which is owned by Live Nation rival AEG, but other concerts have been more like one-off occasions. Twitter struck a deal last year with Live Nation to stream select concerts, but acts like Train, Portugal The Man, and Marian Hill really weren’t high-profile enough to transform Twitter into the platform for watching live concerts.

Given the fact that Caffeine is a shiny new platform backed by big investors may give them leverage to secure more noteworthy concerts. Other than that, it’s hard to see how the platform will attract enough users when there’s already such steep competition.

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