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Creative Solutions, a division of Vitec Group, acquired Lightstream yesterday for $ 35.9 million to enter the live streaming game business. And hopefully this will help more people live off of live streaming game content.
This is the dream of Stu Grubbs, the CEO who co-founded Lightstream in Chicago in 2014. Creative Solutions makes live streaming hardware and software products, while Lightstream makes tools for game streamers such as Lighstream Studio, Lightstream Cloud and Rainmaker.gg. The latter is a popular tool for scaling sponsorships for livestreams.
Grubbs spoke to GamesBeat in an interview after holding an all-hands meeting with his steam of 22 people. Grubbs will speak about What’s Good Gaming on a panel moderated by Andrea Rene at our GamesBeat Summit 2021 on April 28th and 29th. They are going to talk about how soon a long tail is coming for live streaming.
For the past 13 years, Creative Solutions has built a cloud-native live video platform with broadcast software and creator tools that specializes in the live streaming video game industry.
Photo credit: Lightstream
It was a long way for Lightstream as well. The company went through the TechStars accelerator in the summer of 2015 when all four founders lived together in a two-bedroom apartment. They struggled to raise money for a game streaming startup. Now they are part of a company with 1,600 employees. With their product anyone can create a live stream in the cloud with motion graphics and other features to grow and engage their audience.
“We’re all about storytelling products, whether it’s photography or the production of films or television. The creator economy with live video is the way to create authentic stories. We are bringing these storytelling products together and hope these things help everyone better communicate what they want to post to the world. “
Lightstream has strong strategic partnerships and technology integrations with Microsoft Xbox and Amazon Twitch. Live streaming across all industries has grown exponentially during the pandemic, and it’s a particularly tough game of gaming. This acquisition enables Creative Solutions to bring its hardware, mobile apps and cloud technology to the game market in broadcast quality worldwide, and opens up new creative opportunities for storytellers.
Photo credit: Lightstream
“We developed a new video rendering engine that works in the cloud and works for pennies an hour as opposed to dollars an hour if you were hosting OBS on a virtual machine,” Grubbs said. “We’re pretty unique in the room. And I think the only downside is that we’re not as big a company as we could have been. But we have a lot of valuable things that we built into the products. I think that’s why we were a good acquisition. “
Creative Solutions has mobilized content creators with hardware and software products that cover the broadcast, live production and cinema markets. By integrating Lightstream’s Creative Suite and patented cloud production architecture with Teradek (a division of Creative Solutions) IP video technology and the full suite of Creative Solutions production tools, the potential for creating live video content in any segment is created elevated.
Lightstream Studio is a live streaming studio designed to remove technical barriers and put advanced production capabilities in the hands of beginners. With any browser, creators can target distant guests, mix live video feeds, mark streams with overlays, and target audiences with dynamic motion graphics. Lightstream’s cloud architecture and unique integration with Twitch enable personalized streams for Xbox and PlayStation players without a PC or the additional hardware normally required. Lightstream has 17,000 subscribers to the studio.
“We turned it into direct contact with the consumer. Subscribe if you need to create a content system and it worked really well for us,” said Grubbs.
Lightstream Cloud is a cloud platform for live video production. Developers can use it to build creative software and live streaming platforms on the Lightstream cloud architecture. Production can be fully automated – programmatically triggering layout changes, combining remote feeds, compiling dynamic content or creating variations of the same show for different markets in less than 500 milliseconds.
Rainmaker.gg provides the tools developers need to understand, engage, and activate their target audience, and highlights the data and campaign tools they need to work with them. Creators get visibility into their channel’s performance and a stream management suite, including overlays, tips, chat tools, and alerts. Brands and game publishers discover and create custom reports on developer and game performance across all streaming platforms.
The founders and team at Lightstream will join Creative Solutions, and there will be no immediate changes to the pricing or structure of their current offerings, Grubbs said.
Creative Solutions will begin developing organic integrations of Lightstream’s cloud-first approach with Creative Solutions’ traditional live streaming hardware technologies.
Grubbs said his company is considering going it alone. However, the company was often resource constrained as it took advantage of all its different opportunities.
“We found the right big partner and we have big ideas and we still have energy,” said Grubbs.
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