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Streaming Video

Overview

As Steam moves into the living room with Steam Machines, Steam Link and the Steam Controller, Steam as a platform is well positioned to provide entertainment beyond games to our customers. With this in mind, Steam has developed a streaming video platform based on the MPEG-DASH Standard to allow delivery of both short- and long-form content to customers. We are inviting all Steam partners who have appropriate video content to use the streaming video platform.

Platform Features

  • Cross-platform support for Windows, macOS, Linux, Steam OS and Steam Link in both Desktop and Big Picture
  • Instantly watch video content without first downloading any files
  • Native integration into the Steam Client
  • No custom flash-wrapper application development required
  • Adaptive Streaming automatically adjusts playback quality based on available bandwidth
  • Closed Captions / Subtitles supported with FCC compliant caption formatting options
  • Steam integration including watch time, discussions, reviews and trading cards.
  • Controller support including Steam Controller and XInput Controller mapping configurations
  • Advanced user features such as playback speed and keyboard shortcuts
  • Industry standard DRM encryption using Google Widevine
  • Alternate audio and video tracks for languages, alternate angles, aspect ratios, commentaries, etc.
  • Purchase and Rental Sale Models
  • Self-Ingestion and Publishing Process
  • Playback in Virtual Reality HMDs via SteamVR Desktop Theatre
  • Bundling opportunities across videos, games, software, music, etc.
  • Native Episodic Content Support (Series, Seasons, Episodes, Bonus Content, etc.)
  • Native Bonus Content / Extras
  • Next Video Suggestion In Player
  • SteamVR 360 Video Support (in Beta May 2017)

Getting Started

Follow the steps below to prepare your video content for release on Steam:

Streaming Video Delivery Information

Please use the settings below to ensure quality and performance of your streaming video on Steam.

Container

  • Format MPEG-4 (.mp4)

Video

  • Codec: H.264
  • Profile: High
  • Level: 4.0 - 5.2 Supported
  • Bitrate: 10,000 - 20,000 Kbps
  • Frame Rates: 23.976 – 60 fps (non-interlaced)
  • Resolution: Resolutions up to 1920x1080 are supported. During upload you can opt into removing black bars from your source content for better support of ultra-wide monitors.
Notes
  • Prepare the video file exactly as the end user should experience the video.
  • Do not leave lead-in or lead-out markers or title cards.

Audio

  • Codec: AAC
  • Bitrate: 192 Kbps for Stereo, 320 Kbps for 5.1 Surround.
  • Sample Rate" 48,000
  • Channels: Stereo (L & R), Surround 5.1 (C, L, R, Ls, Rs, LFe)
Notes
  • Please ensure 5.1 sound channels are mapped correctly (C, L, R, Ls, Rs, LFe).
  • Steam does not require both Stereo and Surround unless the mixes are markedly different.
  • When preparing alternate audio tracks (audio dubs, commentary tracks, etc.) please ensure the audio is the same length as the source video file.
  • The language of the audio will be used to determine if an audio dub or subtitles should be automatically enabled. The language can be set on the Video Management page after the video has been ingested.

Captions

  • Format: WebVTT (W3C Spec)
  • Supported Languages: Arabic, Brazilian, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Spanish-Mexican, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.
  • Encoding: Unicode (UTF-8)
Notes
  • Subtitle and Caption files are uploaded directly into the Video Management section of your video app after the video file has been ingested successfully.
  • Captions for the deaf or hard-of-hearing (SDH/CC) and Subtitles for languages are supported for all languages.
  • Captions and subtitles must be uploaded in the WebVTT format. For format conversion tools, please see the Video Preparation Tools section for the program Subtitle Edit.
  • WebVTT cue settings and {\an1-9} alignment options are supported. WebVTT Voices and Regions are not currently supported.
  • Please ensure captions are time aligned for the video file being delivered. No commercial breaks and please use media time.

Adobe Media Encoder Presets

Download these presets for Adobe Media Encoder CC to create compatible video files for Steam.
  • H.264 Video (20MBs) with AAC 5.1 Audio (320Kbps)
  • H.264 Video (20MBs) with AAC Stereo Audio (192Kbps)
  • AAC 5.1 Audio Only (320Kbps) for Alternate Audio Tracks
  • AAC Stereo Audio Only (192Kbps) for Alternate Audio Tracks

Bundling Video with Non-Video Content

Videos sold on Steam cannot be packaged directly with non-video content due to the different Tax Withholding Rates. However, Bundling of video and non-video content can be done using bundles on Steam.

For downloadable extras (soundtracks, art, etc.), please review the Associated Software Files topic.

Video Preparation Tools

There are no requirements to use specific tools for preparing videos for Steam. However, here are a list of tools that have helped us.
  • FFmpeg - Free, open source tool that can be used to encode video and audio for delivery to Steam.
  • Adobe Media Encoder - Commercial application that can be used to encode video and audio for delivery to Steam.
  • Subtitle Edit - Free, open source Subtitle editing tool with format conversion, time correction, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can customers download videos purchased on the streaming video platform?
    We are currently investigating download options for videos and hope to have a solution available in early 2018.
  • Can customers watch videos on their phones?
    Playback of video content on iOS and Android devices is planned for early 2018.
  • Can I put free content on the streaming video platform?
    If it is strongly linked to your game and of sufficient length (more than 15 minutes), then yes. If you are planning to put it on YouTube anyway, then just link to that from your Store page.
  • Can I restrict the countries video can be sold or played back in?
    Steam has a global customer base and users expect global access to content. If country restrictions are required for your video content, please Contact Us so the restrictions can be set up before your video is released.
  • Where can I find streaming video content on Steam?
    Videos appear just like games or software on Steam with their own store pages. All streaming videos use a video icon to better identify in lists and search results. Click to visit the Steam Video Hub.
  • Where can I find customer support information about streaming videos?
    All streaming video store pages automatically contain a link to the Streaming Videos on Steam FAQ.