It was in God’s Plan to have Toronto’s favorite rapper Drake enter the live streaming industry. Drake has recently signed a multiyear contract with budding live streaming platform, Caffeine. Currently, the details of the partnership haven’t been announced or determinedd, but Drake’s biggest contribution to the platform will be co-producing the Ultimate Rap League (URL) one of the biggest rap leagues in the US. Nabbing a deal with Drake is just one way to reach the status of notable livestreaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
Drake to Co-Produce the Ultimate Rap League (URL)
Founded in 2009, URL is a rap battle between two MCs freestyling back and forth and are scored similarly to a boxing match. Whoever gets the most points and receives the loudest response from the audience is the winner of the match. Co-founder Troy “Smack White” Mitchell runs the rap league, which has been supported by the likes of P. Diddy, Jay-Z, and Kevin Durant, among many other well-known members in the hip hop industry.
Drake, a big fan of URL, was called out to battle by Jonathan “Murda Mook” Ancrum, which he politely declined in 2015 receiving boos from the audience. Nonetheless, he said in a press release, “I’ve always loved URL and admired what Smack and his team have been able to create, it just wasn’t easily accessible,” and continued to say that bringing URL to the platform will bring it to more fans.
The Rise of Live Streaming
Streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix that rose in popularity in the mid-2000s saw the emergence of live streaming as a popular form of content consumption. Live streaming broadcasts video in real time which audience members can access through a platform like Caffeine to watch live, uncensored content of whoever they’re watching.
Most notably, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins built his career by playing Fortnite using the live streaming platform Twitch boosting its popularity. Drake once played the game with Ninja breaking the record of number of concurrent viewers with 635,000 viewers for non-tournament streaming in 2018. By 2019, Ninja had over 14 million followers and the most-watched channel on Twitch.
What This Means for the Partnership Between Drake and Caffeine
It’s possible that from a taste of live streaming, Drake saw the ever-increasing market of young viewers most attracted to this form of media consumption. The opportunity for constant, innovated content creation is most likely what inspired the rapper to sign the deal with Caffeine.
Instead of signing exclusive deals with streamers for daily content with consistent views, Caffeine relies on in-app purchases and original series. Streamers make money while streaming, which makes it more convenient for them better fit sessions in their busy schedules as well as offering regularly scheduled shows.
Getting Drake to jump on Caffeine shows where the platform is putting their money – on entertainers and professional athletes who create unique content, which include Doja Cat, Offset, Smith-Schuster and Los Angeles Laker Kyle Kuzma. The platform’s goal is to become the “Coachella” of live streaming diversifying programs to interrupt the concentration of live streaming gaming.