Review of Hitbox.tv: Why Is It Worth Joining?

Some years ago, live streaming was an oddity. Today, it is an essential part of any gaming community, and the question is less about how to stream and more about which streaming platform to choose. Depending on what game you stream, what your preferences and expectations are, you may be better to stream on one or another website. Many people start streaming on Twitch by default. However, there are some quality alternatives, such as one of the major Twitch competitors - Hitbox.tv.

A Little Bit of History

Hitbox.tv was launched in 2013 as a live-streaming E-sports video game website. When it appeared, there was just Twitch.tv out there as the market leader. Hitbox team started from scratch, combining the newest technologies and creating a different live streaming experience. In 2015 SeedInvest along with Wargaming and Nort Base Media invested $ 4,000,000 in Hitbox.tv, allowing the service to develop in a commercially viable streaming platform. We are building Hitbox TV to become the best streaming site for streamers, partners and viewers alike. From gamers, for gamers.” Today, Hitbox has approximately 5 million monthly active users. Among the main Hitbox goals mentioned on the official website are: minimizing of broadcast delay, improving video quality and creating a stable web community. Most of these intentions are already brought to life. Here, we’ll present you the list of main Hitbox features:

Minimal Delay and No Bitrate Limits

While Twitch has a broadcasting delay about 30 seconds, Hitbox provides a video delay of 2-4 seconds and a superior video quality with 1080p at 60FPS and HTML5 video player. Moreover, streamers are able to stream at 4K. Being a golden broadcasting standard in TV and Internet, 4K resolution lets you see the game actions in the highest detail.

Simple Layout and Settings

Hitbox’s 2-column layout looks simpler than Twitch interface that has 3-panel layout. On channel pages, you will find the chat on one side and profile details below, which is convenient. Users can easily do things like browse for other streams while keeping their current streaming session open in the same window. As for the settings, everything is placed under the account tab or live streaming settings tab which is quite clear and easy to find. You just have to flip back and forth between two pages. There is also a visibility setting enabling you to do stream tests.

No Restrictions for Streaming At Other Platforms

If you are familiar with Twitch Partnership requirements, you probably know that Twitch forbids partners to have game streams at other platforms. Hitbox doesn’t set any limits, so you are free to stream wherever you wish.

Built-in Statistics Tracking and Social Media Posting

There are many third-party trackers, notifications, alerts applications and chat bots for Hitbox, but, to be fair, they are nowhere near as many as available for Twitch. Though, Hitbox’s streamers don’t need it so much, because Hitbox provides a lot of build-in features, such as:
  • Voting polls
  • Automated “giveaway” questions
  • Advertising tracking tools
  • Viewers and revenue analytics
  • Subscription notices
  • Breakdown of viewership alerts
  • Social media alerts and automatic posting abilities
  • Hitbox has even introduced a special widget for “League of Legends” fans, available as a chat option

Content

Hitbox is less limited in the type of content you can stream compared to Twitch. You can stream any gaming content of released titles, early access, alpha and beta phases, as long as you are not bound by any NDA agreement. It is difficult to cover all topics that can be streamed on Hitbox. Instead, we’ll mention those that cannot be streamed:
  • Blatant sexual content
  • Dating sims and other games of this category (unless the situation when the broadcaster takes responsibility to censor any blatant sexual content and sticks to the freely available version of the game)
  • If you stream music content, you are not allowed to demonstrate a static screen, as it doesn’t show that you have any right to this content
  • Adults only content should be indicated by “18+” mark, otherwise your stream can be removed
If you have doubts about something you want to stream on Hitbox, read more detailed content guide on the official Hitbox website.

Hitbox Community

Hitbox’s community feels more like a big family, and that is one of the main reasons why streamers switch from Twitch to Hitbox. Twitch’s community is known for its rudeness and quarrelsomeness. Hitbox’s audience is more relaxed and mature. While Twitch users love spam memes, Hitbox’s chatters enjoy more meaningful discussions and social interaction. Because of a tight-knit community, Hitbox is good for beginning streamers: it is easier to get a foothold and find more thankful audience. Hitbox creators want to build interactivity not limited by a simple chat box. To realize this idea, Hitbox has launched different features that viewers can participate in: they can embed video, post GIFs and take part in polls. There is also a built-in giveaway system. Moreover, Hitbox has a very friendly customer support: they use a Twitter account to answer streamers questions in real time.

Partnership Program

Hitbox Partnership Program provides more opportunities than Twitch.tv does. As the Hitbox community is smaller, the minimum requirements for partnership are lower, too. There are two types of partner programs. Both of them allow you to have a subscription button, a subscribers-only chat and custom chat emotions:
  • Open Partner Program
It is open for all Hitbox streamers regardless of viewers’ amount. Joining an Open Partner Program, you will receive a subscription button, 15 custom emotes, ability to download streams’ highlights and recordings.
  • Premium Partnership (analogue of Twitch partnership)
You should ask for Premium Partnership by sending an application form to an official Hitbox email. In order to become a part of Premium Partner Program, you should have minimum 100 concurrent viewers and streaming sessions at least 3 days a week. Having Premium partnership will give you a subscription button, 15 custom emotes, transcoding, ability to directly download your own videos, stream highlights and recordings, exclusive contract with individual plan of revenue share as well as direct contact to Hitbox support representative.
  • Team Partnership
Team partnership works almost the same as individual one. However, team partner features work a little different. Team partnership is available for groups of 5 or more people and provides the access to subscription button, a shared set of chat emotes and monetization via ad revenue. In this case, a subscription makes it possible to watch all the channels of the team. Streaming channels that have more than 100 concurrent viewers in the team can also do video transcoding.

Take Away

One can be kind of stuck on choosing between Twitch and Hitbox. In general, it is not up to the streaming platform to get more viewers. Either Hitbox or Twitch only provide you with service, some set of features, but you yourself have to make your brand known and great. As a takeaway, we provide you with some insights that may help you to make a decision right for you:
  • For sure, Twitch has a higher amount of traffic, but Hitbox’s users tend to be friendlier public.
  • Twitch chats are famous for numerous emotes, however, there are certain extensions which help replicate Twitch’s emotes on Hitbox.
  • It is easier to become a partner on Hitbox, but the amount of traffic and potential ad revenue is higher on Twitch.
  • Hitbox’s delay is shorter that Twitch’s, but it is because of less audience.
  • The main difference of these two platforms is community. Twitch unites more sporadic and plain-speaking audience. Hitbox’s viewers are a different crowd. Hitbox’s headquarters are situated in Austria, so you get more EU viewers.
  • Because Hitbox is younger and smaller company than Twitch, so everyone is more hands-on with more things. However, the things may get different over the time.

11/25/2016