If you were expecting the streaming wars to cool down as we head into 2020, it looks like you were wrong. YouTube is kicking the new year off in a big way, announcing today that it has signed three more streamers to exclusive deals. From here on out, Lannon “LazarBeam” Eacott, Elliot “Muselk” Watkins, and Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter will be streaming exclusively on YouTube, leaving Twitch in the dust.
This is a move that makes sense for YouTube, as all three content creators already have rather large followings there. YouTube notes that combined, the three of them have over 21 million subscribers. LazarBeam is one of the biggest content creators on YouTube for that matter, with 12.3 million subscribers to his name. Muselk has 8.15 million himself, while Valkyrae is closing in on a million.
On Twitch, these streamers had sizable audiences as well – LazarBeam’s account has 168,870 followers, Muselk has 421,558, and Valkyrae has 945,390. Those Twitch communities they’re leaving behind likely won’t be happy with this news, but with YouTube, Facebook, and Mixer all looking to take a chunk of Twitch’s market share for themselves, we’re likely to see plenty more of these exclusivity signings.
The biggest we’ve seen thus far have come Mixer, which signed both Ninja and Shroud – two of Twitch’s most popular streamers – to exclusivity deals last year. YouTube and Facebook followed Mixer’s lead with signings of their own, prompting Twitch to lock down some of its streamers before they could be poached by others.
YouTube said that Muselk’s first stream will be happening later today and will be a charity stream to raise money for the Australian brushfire crisis. The stream, which has the goal of raising AUD$1 million, will run for 12 hours and kick off at 2 PM PST. Valkyrae’s first stream will go live tomorrow, while YouTube didn’t reveal any details about LazarBeam’s first stream.