Steam Might Be Getting TV Shows, Movies And Music

A small update to Valve's Steam software beta a few hours ago has added in some new app categories — including music, TV series, and films. Will you soon be able to buy and watch episodes of Gabe of Thrones through Steam?

As ValveTime recounts, Steam has gone through a lot of development since its launch in 2003. In September 2012 the Steam team launched Big Picture, although it hasn't had a great deal of improvement since that original release. In September 2013, Valve started offering software like 3DMark through Steam (oh, and Steam Universe), so this most recent beta update could be the continuation of a yearly upgrade cycle, and could mean see something pretty exciting happening in a week or two.

As it stands, Steam is already the digital download store du jour for gamers, eclipsing its nearest rival, EA's Origin, purely through the sheer force of a decade of user accounts. If it branched out into other media, Steam would be a to rival Google Play and Apple's iTunes Store. There are a few films on Steam at the moment — like Indie Game: The Movie — but a much wider selection of media would make it more appealing for building a long-lifed digital content library.

SteamDB broke the news of the app updates in a tweet early this morning Australian time:

To access the new app types — not that they exist as yet — you'll need to be a member of the Steam Beta Update group, which you can join in the Accounts tab of the software's settings page. [Twitter]

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    @transientmind might be getting his wish.
    Edit: updated pronouns

    Last edited 11/08/14 6:41 pm

      1) omigodomigodomigod
      2) Awh, thanks for the link! And it's his, but y'know, ambiguity is cool too.
      4) OK, let's see... I don't see any options currently for getting my pay direct-debited to Steam. Not sure how this is going to work. I mean, I guess a second job for all that useless crap like rent and food and power and stuff... although that would leave less time for actually watching the shows that my wage then buys... but pfft, since when has anyone ever made use of 75% of what they buy on Steam anyway?

      5) ...For all the talking I've done about the idea, I'm not going to see a cent of royalties for this, am I. :C

        Man if they did do this please include local caching: Imagine preloading episodes weeks in advance that get decrypted on the fly via an encryption key given at release.

        It will suffer the same congestion problems netflix if there are no local caching (p2p model may work as well). ISP's have way to much power over conflicting interests (comcast, timewarner etc).

        New achievement: exceed disposable income

          I wonder if they'll be applying that one retroactively with the date we first achieved it. (How many years ago did I get my first credit card?)

            Wonder if Foxtel will try to block it if it comes through so we can't get it in Aus.. Or some bullshit... FOXTEL NOW ON STEAM!

    While steam is an excellent service, I can't think of a worse interface for major software in 2014 to use for music, movies and tv.

      Big Picture needs a fair bit of work, then it might be passable. It just needs to look like XBMC or anything similar and it'll do a decent job, the main issue to address is getting content.

        Yeah I started using big picture on my htpc and it doesn't seem right, it feels like like a os you get inbuilt in your smart tv than.... well steam isn't that good to start with but it just doesn't seem right.

        Last edited 12/08/14 4:33 pm

          It just needs to integrate with Plex. That would be a winner.

            Haven't used plex, but then again I've never had the need for it, all those services are already done without plex and with out its freemeium (subscription) model.

      I'm glad someone else thinks this. Even Big Picture Mode is clunky. The new beta interface looks even worse.

    i did notice, at least when using the big picture mode, that there was an option to import my music library & play it through steam.

    so I did that.

    so yeah... it wouldn't surprise me if steam goes down that road.

    Last edited 11/08/14 4:16 pm

    This is a great idea and a great platform for it.

    All you need to use steam for is to download the movie (and buy obviously) - then surely you can do what you want with it? The benefit to steam is that you can re-download it any time in the future?

    2 things:
    1. It will still be beholden to local distributors. I'll be surprised if we see a significant price difference to the usual suspects.
    2. I hope they open up more local servers. I don't know about anyone else but I really struggle getting consistent good speeds (switching to Malaysia helps a bit). Speeds don't bother me much atm as I just leave games to download overnight but I can't imagine streaming anything.

    /negative nancy

    "Gabe" of thrones?? I'm not sure if this was by accident or on purpose and I missed the reference?

    @Campbell simpson
    not tryingto be smart im just really not sure if its a typo or a reference I don't get.. my gaming references stop at age of empires and abes oddessy

    It's worth remembering that Steam is far stricter on applying regional restrictions too games than say Netflix is with TV series...

    For example, once upon a time you could use a proxy and buy games at the USA prices (or buy the USA versions of games like Left 4 Dead 2), a long time ago that was changed too require a USA payment system then shortly after that they started blocking systems like Entropay that allowed you too pretend you had a USA credit card.

    Compare that too Netflix where it doesn't matter what payment method you use and you can bounce your location around at whim if you want too browse the UK content as oppose too the USA content.

    I love steam and have an extensive library of games on it but as an Australian I wouldn't get too excited about them offering TV shows/movies as we'll likely get screwed on it by restrictions from the local distributors. Although if we're lucky maybe "TV serial keys" will start appearing on GMG which seems too be the current favourite work around too crappy regional prices, unless that avenue gets blocked off at some point soon too :(

      I'm hoping less for a Netflix/iTunes store competitor here and more for a platform for cheap independent media, Greenlight for music/movies/TV if you will...

        Fair enough, that would definitely be great. I hadn't thought about it as an indie distributor (which is a bit stupid considering well...the games :P). A better place to access those would definitely be a bonus and indies tend not to do the horrible regional restrictions,

        If the market opened up and we saw a bunch of indie TV series that would be amazing (my personal preference lies much more with series than movies). I can't think of many that broke though the barrier of obfuscation that surrounds web series other than Sanctuary but that was proof enough that it can work, I miss that series :(

        Coming soon Humble TV Bundle! ;)

          And of course there is no reason Valve themselves couldn't produce the content. They already created their documentary "Free to Play", I wouldn't be surprised if after doing that the team in charge got a pay increase and a boat load of more work...

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