Got a great idea for a Stream Deck plug-in but don’t want to give it away for free? Wish you could buy premium software for the Stream Deck’s handy array of LCD screen-equipped keys?
Either way, it’s officially happening: Elgato general manager Julian Fest says a paid Stream Deck app store is coming later this year.
“We will go live later this year with a platform where people can distribute paid products, whether it’s plug-ins, profiles, icon packs — anything Stream Deck related,” Fest tells The Verge.
Yes, the Corsair-owned Elgato already has a software “store,” but you can’t buy or sell anything there — today, it’s simply a repository of plug-ins and icon packs you can download for free. Those who’ve wanted to start businesses around Stream Deck software have had to maintain their own websites and collect their own payments.
“We want to give makers a platform to also monetize their products if they want to,” says Fest. “This is probably the next big direction for Stream Deck as a platform — to give people an opportunity to make a small business out of what they’re building.”
We didn’t get to discuss potential revenue share or things like that, but Fest says the company’s been working on paid for “the better part of two years.”
It’s not the only new way Elgato might support B2B, by the way: Fest is also thinking about selling Stream Deck modules directly to other businesses.
While Elgato does do the occasional public partnership like these Discord-branded hardware items, most companies rolling out Stream Decks simply buy them at retail, and some of them would prefer if Corsair could offer them direct.
“We also see people buy retail Stream Decks, take them apart, and put them into a new product,” says Fest, pointing to how some sim racer companies integrate a Stream Deck into sim racer boxes so buyers can drive more realistic virtual vehicles.
“It’s safe to say we do want to make those people’s lives easier to where they can just get a module and not the full retail box because it’s just unnecessary waste — if you buy the product knowing you’re going to throw away the stand and enclosure, I don’t want to sell it to you,” says Fest.
He wouldn’t outright confirm that Elgato’s planning to sell a “Stream Deck for Business” or anything like that, though. It might not pursue that at all: “We are 100 percent a consumer-facing company, so some of the requirements that come from B2B are completely not aligned with our consumer roadmap.”
“How deep do we want to go into this? We’ll see.”
He says that personally, the B2B direction that fascinates him the most is professional broadcasting, where a studio may have $100,000 of networked A/V gear controlled by a single Stream Deck just because “it happened to become the most popular frontend to control all this stuff.”
“Press a button and the 5,000 faders all go crazy.”
Like its rivals Logitech and Razer, Elgato owner Corsair has been expanding over the past decade by buying up smaller firms. It became a billion-dollar company as of its 2020 IPO and sits at $1.8B now. Razer has recently been angling to compete directly with Elgato by launching its own Stream Deck competitors (among other streamer products) in partnership with Loupedeck.
Additional reporting by Jon Porter