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YouTube has added another popular personality to its roster of live-streaming stars as former esports commentator and content creator Jack “CouRage” Dunlop has signed an exclusive deal with the platform.
Dunlop, managed by Loaded, currently has more than 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube and has amassed over 37 million stream views and more than 270 million total video views across various platforms.
“I’m very excited to continue expanding my relationship with my YouTube audience as well as leverage the platform for new collabs and experiences,” Dunlop said Monday in a statement. “This deal with YouTube allows me to create more content and engage with my fans in real time.”
Dunlop’s deal is the latest in a growing battle for exclusive stars on streaming platforms. In August, Twitch superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins departed the Amazon-owned service for Microsoft’s Mixer. Less than a month later, Twitch responded by signing Fortnite streamer Nicholas “Nick Eh 30” Amyoony from YouTube. In October, Twitch lost another of its homegrown stars when Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek also migrated to Mixer. And last week, YouTube inked an exclusive streaming deal with Australian Fortnite content creator Lachlan Ross Power.
“We want to grow live-streaming,” Ryan Wyatt, head of gaming at YouTube, tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Though the competition to sign streaming stars has been heating up in recent months, Wyatt says YouTube’s strategy differs from other companies, focusing more on talent that is already native to the platform. “First and foremost, where we will invest is with creators on YouTube who are growing fast or already established,” he says. “We’re going to continue to invest in YouTube creators moving forward. We’re not poaching and stealing [from other platforms].”
Wyatt cites Dunlop’s “tremendous growth rate” on the platform as one of the deciding factors behind the new deal. “I’m trying to grow YouTube creators on the platform,” he says. “Bringing [Dunlop] onto the live-streaming side allows him to focus on his growing his overall business on YouTube.”
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