Migos’ Offset will host a weekly show starting Sunday in which the rapper will livestream himself playing Call of Duty and other fan-suggested video games. He’s also signed on for a second show involving “high-stakes competitions” with celebrity guests. Both are exclusive partnerships with video-streaming startup Caffeine, which made noise last year when it raised $46 million in two funding rounds and took on a $100 million investment from 21st Century Fox.
Caffeine describes itself as a “new kind of broadcasting company focused on the creation and distribution of live, interactive content” and aims to be easier to use than Twitch, the Amazon-owned service that’s currently leading the video game livestreaming industry. The company’s co-founder Ben Keighran and Sam Roberts, who previously led product design teams at Apple TV, have recruited a number of gamers, entertainers, and athletes to sign onto content deals for its platform. Offset joins a crowd that includes Lil Xan, The Game, and LaMelo Ball as the startup continues building up its sports-and-entertainment broadcasting strategy.
The idea for Caffeine came from the question of how the next generation of television viewers will consume live shows without cable subscriptions, according to Keighran; while Netflix, Amazon, Disney and other major media players have all but locked down the premium TV and film market, live shows have been largely unexplored. “When you look at Twitch, it’s a great gaming platform but it’s not where you for live entertainment, action sports, and mainstream culture,” Keighran tells Rolling Stone. “What we’ve been doing with Caffeine is building a product to attract stars. I think there’s a much bigger opportunity for music pop stars and also for all entertainers, and we’re invested in this for the long term.” While the California startup currently has 80 employees and is planning for expansion, it has not yet launched out of beta or revealed engagement metrics on its content.
Offset’s two shows — his video-game livestream and his other show, called Bet With Set, which will feature celebrity guests who “face off against Offset in a high-stakes competition with unpredictable and fun outcomes that change from week to week” — will both broadcast on his channel on Caffeine.tv.
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