Gaming giant Tencent on Thursday announced a new “livestreamer verification program” that gives selected livestreamers privileges such as more exposure and early access to new game content.

Why it matters: Tencent has been pushing to secure its interests in the game live-streaming market as Bytedance apps become increasingly popular among new and aspiring livestreamers. The incentive program could help Tencent attract more livestreamers and retain more live-streaming celebrities within its content ecosystem.

Details: The livestreamer verification program promises four types of privileges: prioritized exposure in Tencent games and their communities, early access and livestreaming right to game updates, invitations to Tencent game events, and higher recommendation priority in Tencent’s content ecosystem.

  • Livestreamers need to consistently stream a Tencent game for more than three months and spend more than 70% of their streaming time on a single title to qualify for the program.
  • Tencent also said livestreamers need to have a “certain number of followers and level of influence in the livestreaming segment” to be eligible, though it didn’t specify the exact standards.
  • The first batch of 251 verified livestreamers are all from Tencent’s own live-streaming platform Egame or Tencent-backed live-streaming platforms, Douyu and Huya.
  • Games currently covered by the incentive program include “League of Legends,” “Honour of Kings,” “Peacekeeper Elite,” and “QQ Speed.” Tencent said it would expand the roster to include other popular games in October.

Context: Tencent has made a number of moves to drive livestreamers away from non-Tencent content platforms. The Shenzhen-based company sued Bytedance eight times since November 2018 over game copyright, seeking to remove Tencent game-related content and livestreamers who depend on them from Bytedance apps.

  • Tencent has successfully barred Bytedance’s Xigua Video, Huoshan Video, and Jinri Toutiao from livestreaming some of its most popular games with temporary injunctions.

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail:

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