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Of all the feature requests we receive from the Twitch community, HTML5 video easily tops the list, and last year at TwitchCon, we announced that we were hard at work on a full HTML5 video player. We expected to have it available by the second quarter of this year, and as you may be able to tell from today’s calendar date of June 30th, it has taken us a bit longer to build than we expected.
The good news is, we will start to beta test the full HTML5 video player in July! The HTML5 Player Beta will first open to Turbo subscribers. Based on the success of this initial test, we plan to steadily expand beta access to more users toward the end of the summer.
So why has it taken us so long to get to this point? Our top priority in building an HTML5 video player has been to make sure you can watch the same streams you love in a noticeably smoother package. When faced with the decision of releasing a product that did not meet our quality standards or spending more time to fine-tune your viewing experience, we made the hard choice to delay our release past our second quarter deadline. After months of hard work, we finally have just a few finishing touches to wrap up before we start our beta test.
The focus of this beta will be on identifying breaking points and areas for improvement. There are still several systems, including ad support, that are not quite ready for a full release, so we are starting the beta with users who do not see ads site-wide. Though some partners have enabled Ad-Free Viewing for their subscribers, subscribers may watch many channels on Twitch, making it tricky to gather consistent data from those users. We also need lots of feedback and lots of minutes watched, which made Turbo subscribers the perfect group to kick off our HTML5 test, since they watch video at significantly higher rates than any other users on Twitch.
We are eager to roll out our HTML5 video player to the entire community as quickly as possible, and we want to thank every member of our Twitch community for your patience while we work to make that happen.
Update: The HTML5 Player Beta is live as of July 14, 2016. Read more.