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Best of Beam Review – Koolysmiley

Name: Koolysmiley
Stream Times: Tuesday-Thursday 3 PM CT (9 PM GMT)
Rating: Teen / Adult
Joined Beam: January 2017

Don’t ask her to build your house!

One of the great things about Beam’s it that it lets viewers engage with streamers instantly, with no delay in chat a dialogue can happen that feels completely natural. Beam allows true entertainers to engage with their viewers in a way that has been completely impossible before.

QA time with viewers

Actress, Singer, YouTube star and all-round entertainer Koolysmiley brings her incredible talent to Beam 3 days a week. Koolys’ talent for entertainment is instantly recognisable, a force of upbeat energy, vibrant and one of the sassiest streamers on Beam that keeps viewers constantly engaged with her stream.

Singing Voice at the Ready!

You’ll be treated to an inside view of her life as she plays songs and sings with viewers, practices the Ukulele and talks about show biz. Sharing the communities love of games, she covers all subjects from the latest gaming news and subjects that matter to you, right down to talking about her favourite video game characters, or where she met her partner.

It’s a duet!

The stream often becomes viewer led – it’s the entertainer within her shining through, but she always manages to lead the conversation back to discuss the topic in hand – whether it’s talking about your favourite super powers or unboxing the latest computer gadget. Utterly at home in front of the camera it’s an honour for viewers to be able to interact with a professional at this level.

Follow her on Beam and don’t miss out on the next broadcast from this extraordinary streamer.


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Best of Beam review – Sorryaboutyourcats

Name: Sorryaboutyourcats
Stream TimesMonday – Friday 10 PM EST (3 AM GMT)
Joined Beam:
August 2016

On the way to the top!

Beam is all about interactivity, while the vast majority of users incorporate a soundboard into their stream the ability to tie directly into Beams interactive back-end remains a dark-art for a lot of users. Other users don’t necessarily want direct viewer control built into their game – so they concentrate on gameplay.

Sorryaboutyourcats is a streamer that’s taken the opposite view, and pushed interactivity to the highest level, it’s both inspirational and utterly brilliant!

By hooking his connected life directly into his stream so you can literally interact with his home through Beam’s interactive functions. The first thing you’ll notice is the amount of cameras he’s setup, the obstacle course behind him and the constant murmurings from amazon’s Alexa in the background.

Why all the cameras and the obstacle course? That’s for the cute little robot  that viewers can actually control directly in-stream. The Alexa chat? That’s because everyone in stream is trying to get it to order and function  in the most chaotic way possible.

Glitch Cam + 360 Cam + Robot + Game + Chat – WOW!

Some streamers may find it a little daunting to let viewers run amok with their precious electronic devices – not this streamer. I took great delight in driving the little buggy to the top of  the obstacle course only to watch another viewer move it at full pelt off the top where it landed on its back, wheels spinning in vain as it lay on its back trying to complete commands it could never fulfil, for a split second I even felt a pang of guilt for endangering its tiny plastic body in the first place.
A quick reset, and we we’re off again! This time attempting to cause havoc by knocking over the tripod supporting one of the cameras. The robot was now our minion and it’s destiny was to destroy! We did succeed in nudging one of the legs a few inches, often part of the fun is trying to evade being picked up when the robot streamer overlord decides that the robot is getting a little too out-of-bounds

Sorryaboutyourcats is  constantly tweaking and adjusting the interactivity, coming up with new games that engage viewers. Pushing the boundaries on interactive elements within Beam. If you get bored watching him play a game – no problem – just wreck the room with the robot, or add some more dubious items to his shopping list, he’s fantastic at engaging with chat and it’s clear to see he’s having just as much fun as we do interacting with him.

There’s so much more than just voice and robot control here, streams with all sorts of input controls, ones where viewers directly control the game, VR, music creation and live glitch art – it changes daily. There’s further information on his blog linked below, as well as advice and help for those of us seeking to add a lot more interaction to their streams.

This really is one streamer that you shouldn’t miss – if you do – catch up on the Vod’s – he’s a streamer that showcases the very best of interactivity and technical excellence in the most hilarious ways possible.


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Xtremes Team update

If you’re wondering where I’ve been for the past week,  I’m writing blog posts for one of the best networks on the Beam platform.

The Extremes team is a fountain of
positivity that aims to inspire and support streamers on the Beam platform across all aspects of their streaming world.

I’ll still be posting generic streaming news and more personal comments on this site. My focus for now is squarely on developing quality articles for publication on the Extremes site.

To find out more visit

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Beam chose the winter solstice to announce new features

Stonehenge, is this the location of Beams UK Ingest server?

Some might say coincidence, others will say it’s a tenuous link, you might be right.

During this most magical of mornings when thousands of druids were gathering around England’s most famous prehistoric monument the website was updated with upcoming changes.

King Arthur Pendragon at Stonehenge, pondering the updates

While I can waggle my finger at the screen and say I was right about many of my predictions (and it’s not 2017 yet) – lets take a look at the most important ones that are vital to you as a streamer.

  • We are increasing our max bitrate to up to 10 Mbps
  • 1440p 60 FPS streams now supported
  • Ability to schedule and feature multiple broadcasters and events
  • Ability to feature mature streams to authenticated 18+ users
  • More screen real estate to share info about broadcaster’s communities
  • Xbox Live login
  • New mobile updates

The bitrate and 1440p 60 FPS stream support is fantastic news, while still out of the range of the majority of streamers it’s a wonderful addition to those who have the compute horsepower and bandwidth, and it’s going to mean a massive increase in the quality of streams across the board.

Scheduling YES! will this mean that as a streamer in a non-US timezone it will allow me to gain more traction – I hope so, but it also means I’ll be able to track and follow more great streamers on Beam.

Authenticated 18 users (this is very important as countries especially the UK seek to restrict 18+ content to actual verified users across the entire internet) – It’s great to see the devs ensuring they’re going to be ready for this.

We love screen real estate – it’s important to us, and the more space we have – the more we can share information about ourselves.

Xbox Live login – this will eventually be the only way to log into Beam – The only downside to this maybe it’s confirmation that we will never see a PS4 App. Everyone hates remembering and managing a bazillion logins, anything that makes logging into Beam related services easier gets my vote. Behind the scenes I can see it will make providing content such as games and perks to Xbox users a whole bunch easier.

It’s fantastic work on the part of the Entire staff, and a great communication to their community to announce these changes. Keep on streaming.


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Mid -Tier Streamers are more valuable than Top

I saw a post made by Danny Hernandez, a data scientist for twitch, he has some wonderful insights on game sales and branding there’s hard figures to back up the claims. I’ll link to his post at the bottom of the article, and cross-post a couple of his charts.

I’m going to be talking about Beam and Twitchand as a developer what streamer numbers are needed to gain the most sales and uplift for your game. The second discussion point is that watching a stream broadcast of a game is a ‘pitstop on the way to a checkout’

First, Twitch – top streams garner 3,000 views plus – so my thoughts on this is that there’s very little scope for interaction on those streams and often it’s the top 3 games such as LoL, Counterstrike, or Hearthstone soaking up the views. Variety streamers are where it’s at – where the streams start getting into territory where dialogues can happen and the streamer has time to play new games. These are streamers that have 30 – 3000 viewers, and weirdly 0-3 viewers.

Twitch Mid-Tier graph

On Beam we’d need to translate the figures slightly, Currently there are no streamers that have that many viewers which would naturally mean a high conversion rate for all games – But if you cut off the top streamers and add in the 3 – 50 factor it’s clear to see that Beam is the best platform to get major traction for game studios wanting to get their platform out there by word of mouth. It’s community basis means word of mouth gets around incredibly fast.

Sales percentage estimates according to Twitch

More recently Astroneer has been playing a lot on a variety of beam channels, and it’s been quick to be picked up by the community, I know many people who have seen it being played and purchased after watching viewers on beam. There’s so many plays of this game I can’t even fit it in a screenshot.

Too many to fit – but it’s super popular right now

It’s clear from the publicity it’s getting right now that it’s going to be a massive hit. I believe that ‘The Division’ owes its wildly successful early sales figures to streamers initially playing it with viewers.

Now where did I put that Lunar Rover?

There are of course companies out there that are seeking to capitalise on the streamer dollar – is one such service that aims to put developers in touch with streamers to distribute alpha and free keys to get airtime for their games (if you’re a streamer I do encourage you to sign up for this). Have I bought games while watching other stream? Absolutely – I’ll always try and catch a stream before I purchase a game, and i’ve often given out keys for the games that I’m playing so my viewers can join in on the fun with me. I’m absolutely sure that I’m not in the minority on this, and I’m sure the great minds at Beam and Microsoft are thinking about using Beam to gain more traction for xbox and microsoft games.

You can read the twitch centric stats post here:-

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Best of Beam review – Rival_Laura

Name: Rival_Laura
Stream TimesMonday – Friday 9 AM EST (2 PM GMT)
Teen / Mature
Joined Beam:
March 2016

As you know Beam just isn’t about gaming, so while based around gaming and the love of games it’s about community, a place to meet open minded people who love bringing people together, and relax.

Looking Sassy in the Christmas hat

So with that in mind the next best of Beam reviews goes to Rival_Laura who’s a supremely talented artist (and yes she still plays games too). I can’t remember when I first bumped into her streams, while surfing Beam, but it was while she was creating some overlays in stream where she caught my eye.

Building in Progress – literally!

One of the things that delighted me was the way that she listened and responded to chat, and took on-board contributions and ideas from the chat during the creation process. Laura is incredibly experienced and it’s amazing to watch someone who clearly loves design so much sharing her craft with the viewers. Stylistically clean and modern you wont find drawings of ‘DickButt’ or ‘Harambe’ in her streams, (If there was I may have just missed them). What you will get is a wonderful sense of taking part in the creation of great work, and you’ll meet some awesome people while you do it.

I’d move into the middle one, with the big window.

Often you’ll find her working on commissioned work for the streaming community. I’ll mention at this point that I did commission her to create my main logo, which I love. No doubt I’ll be calling on her powers some more in the future. Hopefully she wont mind if i link to her portfolio, so you can see for yourself some of her finished work.

So please check her out, throw a follow, watch some of the VOD’s and I’ll be seeing you during the next stream.

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Twitch 2017 predictions

While Twitch for a long time just seem to sit back and ride on its success and market lead with very few changes for its broadcasters and viewers they’re now making a huge technology push.

2016 was a big year for their back-end so here’s a summary:-

  • Finally rolling out html 5.
  • Incorporating twitch into the lumberyard dev kit for direct-twitch interactive games.
  • Twitch Prime with Amazon Prime and free sub to a channel.
  • Video Uploading to twitch
  • Improved video tagging and highlighting
  • Improved hosting

Moving onto 2017

  • Mobile Broadcasting – not sure how big this will be as competition from Facebook and Periscope heats up.
  • Low latency Protocol improvements (could be huge!)

So far I’ve seen no announcements regarding improved transcoding, They’re always at the big shows, and I doubt that will change. They’ll bring out the movie uploads from beta, and probably allow scheduled broadcasts from movie uploads.

If move games integrate direct-twitch integration I do expect to see a gradual uplift in their viewers / streamers but the biggest factor in this will be if and when they go full on with low latency broadcasting.

It’s going to be an interesting year.

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Beam – some quick predictions 2017


A professional tech journalist at work.

I’ll do this before this weeks announcements, and it’s going to be interesting to see how right I am over the coming year.
What we already know..

  • Xbox and Windows 10 Beam streaming
  • Personal Emotes for pro users

So we don’t actually know that much.. Here’s my predictions, reading more like a wishlist..

  • Beam pro account for all xbox gold subscribers
  • Beam on PS4
  • Improve ingest servers
  • Beam tournament tie ins with major competitions
  • AAA Microsoft titles incorporating interactivity with Beam
  • FTL finalised as a protocol – also part of Xsplit
  • Beam swag shop
  • Tie ins with hardware manufacturers – Beam Ready PC’s
  • Beam continue to attend and stream big events  – E3 stream?
  • Major dev kit released incorporating beam interactivity at its heart. Visual studio integration.
  • Partners getting bigger cut from subscriptions
  • 4k Streaming
  • More transcode options for viewers
  • Export beam videos to youtube
  • VOD highlighting
  • Free games for Pro subscribers

While I’d be delighted if Beam did all of the above they’re really going to have to keep on top of technology with the competition, and the capacity of the ingest servers to keep up with demand. I’m looking forward to ticking these off the list.

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Best of Beam Review – CrankyCanuck

Name: CrankyCanuck
Stream TimesMonday – Friday 10:30 AM EST (3:30 PM GMT) additional webshow on Saturday at  10 PM EST (3 AM GMT)
Mature (18)
Joined Beam:

While game streamers feature massively on Beam, this feature is about someone who may stream games but also have a very strong web show. A word of advice, this particular stream is most definitely Mature rating.

It’s great for me to see someone older than me streaming, rest assured that’s not why i’m featuring him.

He’s got your back if you’re in a bar fight!

CrankyCanuck, an old Canadian with a thick accent for those of us old to remember the 1989 film ‘roadhouse with Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliot – He basically looks like Sam Elliot playing Wade Garrett a ‘cooler’. I’d argue that he looks like a slim father Christmas – so I’ll tick that off my list of comparisons right there.

The biggest show he does is the weekend edition where he gets a group of really great people in stream with him to discuss basically anything, from memes and humor to many conversations about gaming and it’s a pure joy to watch.

My word of advice.. Don’t miss these shows.

The normal show is your chance to have direct conversations with him, there is nothing off-limits here, tongue pushups, getting old, his other erm ‘exercise activities’. At the same time he keeps the conversation under control – and it’s gaming that always returns to the conversation.

He often streams out of my timezone – but the interviews that he does brings value and advice to budding streamers, and lets viewers get really underneath the personalities that you know and love on Beam.

The old day.. when controllers looked stupid

If you’ve got gaming news that you want to discuss with an open minded community this is also the place to come – it’s a pleasure to have the perspective of an experienced gamer, with input from his community.

It’s raid time! …

CrankyCanuck has a big heart, doesn’t take himself too seriously and frequently is the butt of his own jokes. Cranky is never short of advice and a genuine and positive streamer if you’re new or established on Beam you MUST check out his stream and if you’re asleep like me during the big weekend shows – watch the VOD’s that’s what they’re there for, I promise you wont be disappointed.

This is how you do a web show. Keep streaming CrankyCanuck!

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Best of Beam Review – Gouda

Name: Gouda
Stream Times – Monday – Friday – 12 PM EST – (5 PM GMT)
Teen / Adult (depending on content)
Joined Beam:
August 2016

Looking good after 30 hours!

Phonetically pronounced “Ghowdah, not Good ah” Gouda is one of those streamers that you’ll often come across casually browsing Beam, and then stick around for the entire stream. You often catch him more recently playing minecraft.  I’d still class Gouda as a variety streamer, although you’re going to see a lot more minecraft being played. He’s been streaming since 2012, and moved across to Beam from twitch after streaming there for around 18 months almost at the same time as Phone_Microwave.

Fantastic charity fundraising through gaming

I caught Gouda streaming with over 27 hours into one of his charity streams, currently raising over $300 for Extralife, he was still wide awake, perky and engaging the chat. He’s not currently partnered with Beam, although I expect that to change in the near future. Gouda is also actively involved in the keyboard cowboys stream team as the leader.

Adding some variety gaming

Recent server sponsorship, and gamewisp subscriptions will mean both followers and subscribers will have plenty of opportunity to get directly involved with his streams within a safe and helpful community. I’ve never seen him rage, he can hold a great conversation and his dedication is clear to see which is why I’ve included him as part of ‘Best of Beam’.

If you have a question about running charity streams Gouda is the man to ask, and he’ll be more than happy to give you advice. He’s going to be a huge part of the beam community for many years to come.  It’s going to be great to see him grow.

There are other great minecraft streamers on Beam who are also worthy of attention (and I will be covering more), but this post goes out to Gouda as an appreciation of his efforts.

Fantastic work, keep on streaming.