Hover, the next generation of content sharing – Interview with Jake Aronow
In the last two years, streaming and content creation have become incredibly popular verticals. With each passing day, more gamers and creators step into the space, determined to make a name for themselves and build a following. To answer that demand, platforms and vendors are popping up all over the scene, seeking to aid and support these creators. In recent weeks, one particular platform has been making a splash on social media: Hover.
This content-sharing platform is already being described as the ‘TikTok for gaming’. It offers users a space in which they can share short-form video content, and interact with other users doing the same thing. As a concept, it’s similar to TikTok itself, but it’s seeking to target specifically the gaming and streaming verticals. Within a few short weeks, Hover has become considerably popular, despite only being supported by a team of eight individuals.
We sat down with Jake Aronow, co-founder of Hover.gg, and asked some all-important questions.
Could Hover Be The Future of Content Sharing?
Esports.net: Why Hover? What compelled you, as founders, to get started on this project?
Hover: ‘We’re playing Fortnite one night and I thought, wow, there should be a platform to showcase all these digital moments. We started researching and found all the people on Twitch streaming to a small audience and we quickly realised that there was no way for these creators to get discovered. Hover was something we worked on part-time, but then the pandemic hit, and we thought if we were ever going to go all-in our idea, now would be the time.’
Esports.net: Given that your model is designed to bring attention to smaller streamers, how do you plan to disrupt the monopoly held by the top streamers in the industry?
Hover: ‘The average stream is 4 – 6 hours yet we live in a world where most consumers make decisions in the first 3 seconds. Our goal is to help streamers take 6-hour streams and turn them into enjoyable 60-second clips. On Hover, we match your content to viewers that are most likely to tune in to your stream at the click of a button. For the first time, content will help consumers discover new creators, rather than scrolling on a streaming platform and entering a random stream with no context.’
Esports.net: What’s the future vision for on-platform creators when they essentially surpass or transcend the small streamer niche?
Hover: ‘Hover is a platform for everyone, regardless of size. We are seeing all types of creators sign up, whether they are a new, aspiring streamer, or a Twitch Partner that averages thousands of viewers. Every creator always wants to continue building their brand and growing. On the flip side, curious viewers are interested in consuming new content and discovering new creators. What excites me about our product as we grow is how quickly the best content creators are going to get discovered.’
Can Hover Truly Disrupt a Platform Like TikTok?
Esports.net: The Hover platform has been compared to TikTok in a number of ways – does the sheer magnitude of that platform give you any cause for concern?
Hover: ‘Right now, we’re focused on the basics and things we can control. We don’t think of TikTok as a competitor, since we are seeing early on that the type of content that is being consumed on Hover is very different than the content that typically works on TikTok. In a perfect world, we will become the short-form gaming home for the 3 billion gamers of the world.’
Esports.net: As your platform promotes gamification in some way, could you see any cryptocurrency opportunities arising on Hover in the near future?
Hover: ‘We’ve been keeping a close eye on how cryptocurrency, web3, and play-to-earn will make an impact on gaming and the industry as a whole. There have definitely been some ideas discussed, but we’re so focused on the immediate objective at hand that if we ever did something, it would be way down the line.’
Esports.net: To close out, what are your thoughts on the current state of the streaming industry?
Hover: ‘It’s amazing to see where streaming is going. To me, streaming is the new TV – I think it’s only going to grow year over year as more and more people experience it. It’s only a matter of time until more people get addicted to interactive, live-form entertainment. At Hover, we’re really going to stay on the short-form side, focusing on helping viewers find the next big streamers. There are so many talented creators out there that have no way to grow, and they ultimately burn out. As we help these creators grow, we know some will ultimately end up changing the industry.’
Will You Try Hover?
Featuring gamification, leaderboards, and direct Twitch integrations, Hover is certainly a much-needed platform for small streamers. At the moment, Hover’s build is mere months old, with the alpha having been released almost two years ago. Following a successful string of promotions on social media, Hover is growing at a rapid rate. There are partnerships present between Hover and the likes of Artesian Builds, Pipeline, Steel Series, and Dixper, which go some way to supporting streamers.
The platform promotes a ‘Next Top Streamer’ content, employing the community and a board of judges to vote on the next streamer to receive the accolade, along with prizes. It’s an attractive premise that encourages longevity and new users are flocking to the platform to take part. If you want to sign up to Hover, you can support the author of this interview by using the referral code: NUKAGG.
TikTok – watch this space.