Interviews & Opinion

Caffeine CEO Ben Keighran on what sets the platform apart from other streaming services

Caffeine CEO Ben Keighran on what sets the platform apart from other streaming services

It's been a busy year for the folks over at Caffeine. Since the launch of the platform back in January, Caffeine has amassed a slew of support from creators and fans alike.

Caffeine has been steadily updating its services to make broadcasting a viable source of income. Last month, the platform introduced monetisation options that differ a little to methods on other applications.

The company is based in L.A, but is also due to open up an EU office in Newcastle this month. We caught up with Caffeine CEO Ben Keighley to chat about the last six months and where the company hopes to go from here. Caffeine has had a pretty intense few months! What have you been up to since the start of the year?
Ben Keighley: It’s been an exciting year for us. We’ve been extremely focused on the really great things we can do for creators and their audiences.

In addition to announcing the Caffeine platform in January, we have just launched the ability for creators to make money, without the need for a partner program and without the use of ads.

The way it works is through the use of digital items. Users can buy digital items and have fun with them during a live broadcast. For example, they can use them to encourage a broadcaster or applaud them for something they liked.

We felt that this system worked better than advertising and other models we looked at, because those models get in the way of the experience. This model enhances the experience, improves the interaction between broadcasters and fans, and is a great way for creators to make money.

You’re about to open an EU office. What will this new UK branch bring to the platform? (Caffeine partners? Monthly subs etc?)
The purpose of our EU office is to foster relationships with local creators and game developers. We will assist with content moderation and maintain an extremely fun and friendly community on Caffeine.

Toxicity is a big problem for a lot of platforms, how does Caffeine intend to combat that?
Creating a fun and safe place to enjoy live broadcasts with friends is at our core. To create an amazing community and environment, we made product-, technology-, and human-powered choices right from the very start.

One example of a product decision was to make sure that when you open the Caffeine experience, the first broadcast choices you see are related to the people you follow. This way, you don’t land on random content with people you may not want to watch and interact with.

Another example is the ability to ignore users you don’t want to hear from. When enjoying a broadcast with friends, your real time communications appear up top, allowing you to communicate with your friends.

When you combine product choices like this, with technology solutions that screen out bad actors using machine learning, as well as human powered solutions such as 24/7 site monitoring, you can create a friendly community.

Caffeine is not just another normal streaming or video watching platform, but rather, a whole new product and community.

You’re currently competing with the likes of Twitch and Facebook; what does Caffeine offer that the big dogs can’t right now?
At Caffeine, we are creating a destination where friends share and enjoy broadcasts they love together. That is what Caffeine is all about.

Twitch isn’t personal like Caffeine. Facebook isn't focused on creating a simple place where my friends and I can enjoy live broadcasting. We offer an experience that is personal, fun and safe, simple and open to everyone, and dedicated to creating the best product experience and community for live broadcasting with friends.

What does the next year of Caffeine look like?
We are currently in pre-release and excited about the future. As we head toward an official launch, you are going to see lots and lots of great content and some amazing product innovations that will further separate us from the field. We have other exciting things to share and will let you know as soon as they are ready.

Anything else to add?
This is just the beginning. Caffeine is not just another normal streaming or video watching platform, but rather, a whole new product and community for live broadcasting with friends.

Live broadcasting with friends is important to us. We are about sharing live broadcast experiences with those close to us, and having friends interact with each other and the broadcaster in real time with no delay. We encourage you to try it and let us know what you think.


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.