A phenomenon like Twitch does not appear overnight, although it may seem otherwise. It is an environment where a lot of information and content has been rotating at breakneck speed for several years. Specifically, it was developed by the hand of a project called Justin.tv, a startup founded in 2005 in the orbit of students within the Yale campus.
If we think back to 2005, when Justin.tv started, video game streaming was difficult and the connections and infrastructure were not the same as they are today. They arrived early. Users who wanted to broadcast something at the time needed webcams, microphones and specialized software. To the point that one of the first hires Justin.tv (the Twitch seed) made was a specialized video game caster that helped people set up streaming of their videos online.
Today this has changed. Amazon-owned Twitch is already right behind Netflix, Apple and Google when it comes to internet traffic in the US alone. According to The Wall Street Journal, it accounts for 1.8% of internet traffic and 58% of Twitch users spend more than 20 hours a week watching videos on the platform.
We are experiencing a huge change in digital platforms, which evolved from a textual model to a video model and to video in real-time, where this platform is one of the protagonists. Although the presence of online video game player profiles is resounding, it is also leaving space for other categories. In 2020 it experienced a sharp jump in the total number of active channels. The year started with 3,935,308 active channels in January. After a small drop in February, it rose to 5,080,031 total active channels in March. It then skyrocketed to 7,213,644 and since then, more than 7 million channels have been created each month to reach a peak of 7,709,990 active channels in 2020.
Twitch as a great digital marketing tool
Although YouTube and other more traditional channels continue to have a very broad penetration in the population, Twitch is a great competitor. At the national level, content creators such as Ibai Llanos or TheGrefg stand out, who have gathered hundreds of thousands of people when interviewing sports leaders such as Sergio Ramos or Piqué.
It would be unfair to compare this platform with television, as they have a different DNA. But this phenomenon is still a sign that something is changing. The platform logged an impressive 17 billion hours viewed last year. It can’t be hidden: Twitch is a phenomenon that shows that the creator economy and that certain audiences are turning to other platforms and, with it, looking for new ways to engage with creators and brands.
The extension does not matter, because what matters is the content. The famous interview with Piqué alone lasted more than three hours, spectacular figures for any support. Attention is shifting elsewhere and with it to brands seeking new audiences and new narratives.
In addition, the platform step by step is gaining content creators, due to its policy of attracting talent. Its remuneration model makes it easy for creators to potentially be more profitable than on other platforms. The flexible system lies in the profitability of its communities. But it is important to note that a follower is not the same as a subscriber within Twitch. The follower does not pay a monthly subscription, while the second does and the fee can vary from about € 4 to € 24.
Obviously this does not go unnoticed by brands. With a model that combines content creation through third parties, promoting social commerce and using display formats, many companies have started to activate their promotional actions on the platform. Your initial goals are visibility and outreach in new demographics, but step by step you can take better actions aimed at generating sales.
The advertising formats are diverse and present different options, such as bounty boards. The brand launches a bounty and puts it within the information of its program. From there, creators navigating the bounty board market will only need to go live with campaigns that they think match their affinities. To this you can add rich video formats. Combine content creation with advertising.
In short, Twitch seems to usher in a future that is already real and tangible, where content creators, brands and users focus on content consumption and entertainment. And it seems that everything becomes entertainment. The 17,000 million hours consumed last year alone on the platform owned by Amazon attest to this.