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SOOP: AfreecaTV’s New Live-Streaming Platform Fully Explained

On the 21st of May, AfreecaTV made the exciting announcement that it would be launching a new live-streaming platform with a renewed focus on esports and gaming content: SOOP. Launching on the 5th of June 2024, SOOP looks set to completely replace AfreecaTV in the coming months. This rebranding effort no doubt comes in response to the Twitch shutdown in Korea and subsequent competition from Naver-backed streaming platform Chzzk

SOOP (meaning “forest” in Korean) appears to have two goals: Supporting original content creation and increasing accessibility for foreign audiences. To the first end, SOOP will be launching with a content support center to help creators bring their innovative concepts to life – perhaps something akin to the YouTube Space in LA. As far as foreign audiences, SOOP will launch a real-time translation service for its channels in late June that supports English, Thai, and Chinese translation.

Apart from these features, SOOP plans to partner with top gaming streamers to bolster its brand and draw tentative users to the platform. It’s worth looking at the success of these streamers to gauge the hype for SOOP’s launch.

SOOP Launch Supported by Top-Tier Minecraft and League of Legends Streamers

SOOP has covered its bases in the gaming arena by partnering with top streamers across a wide variety of games including MOBAs (League of Legends), shooters (VALORANT, Overwatch 2), fighting games (Tekken), and casual games (Minecraft). Among the streamers, two stand out for their high viewerships throughout recent months: 악어∀ (Crocodile or ACAU) and 고전파0 (Faker) with average minute viewerships (AMAs) of 5.8K and 5.3K, respectively. As the twin pillars of casual and competitive gaming in Korea, Crocodile and Faker are sure to bring their fans across to SOOP with the promise of original, platform-backed content.

Additionally, SOOP is partnering with a number of high-profile Thai streamers, including Edwin_live, SuperBusS_, and FifaTargrean. To bolster its presence in the region, SOOP has also claimed the exclusive rights to produce the VALORANT Challengers 2024: Thailand from Riot Games, intent on proving their platform’s dedication to esports. This, of course, is just one of the many esports events that SOOP will be hosting in the coming months.

Aside from gaming and esports, SOOP is promoting a variety of other content. Chief among these is VTubing content, which SOOP has put special effort into nurturing on their platform by partnering with VTuber avatar software MASCOZ. MASCOZ allows creators to build and customize their own avatar and engage in avatar-specific two-way communication with their fans. Given the rising popularity of VTubers, one of SOOP’s users may become the next Usada Pekora.

SOOP’s name, branding, and message are clear and simple, a much-needed refresh to encourage new, foreign users onto the platform. Pre-registration for SOOP is open now: Stream Hatchet will review its performance in its opening weeks to see how users adapt to the newest live-streaming platform.

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