Twitch – Do You Need to Care?
Twitch is that live video-streaming program which boasts of more than 55 million users every month. But do you know that this extremely popular service was started as an accident? It started as Justin.tv in 2007 as an all-hours video-streaming of life of Justin Kan, the co-founder. Of course that was not the entire topic of the service; later in the same year, Justin.tv was made public thereby people could “livestream” to a variety of “channels”. At this commencement, Justin.tv was a type of internet television, providing live broadcasts of various topics. The topic of “gaming” formed an especially larger portion of the audience of Justin.tv, to such an extent that the company required to spin out gaming on its own website Twitch.tv. Now after three years, Justin.tv has expired and Twitch Interactive is the current name of the company which was bought just by Amazon for $970 million.
Twitch – What is it?
Same as Justin.tv, Twitch.tv too is a live video-streaming service. But unlike Justin.tv, Twitch.tv is dedicated solely to gaming. Twitch focuses more particularly on e-sports, the rapidly increasing world of aggressive games professionally played for money.
For instance, Twitch hosts a continuous broadcast of the annual game tournament – “The International”. At The International, there is a competition amongst teams in a Valve game called DOTA 2. Twitch livestreams those tournaments in real time. More than 20 million spectators turned in this year. More than 2 million viewers turned in at the same time at one point. And yes, the winner team bagged just a bit more than $5 million!
What do those 20 million viewers watch? They actually watch live video of a video game tournament being played by other real humans. The live video usually has commentary (many times by the players and other times by various people) and often has an image-in-image view of the face of the player. That narrative can be applied to a lot of the Twitch content although with various levels of production. The International is an enormous event; therefore its transmission has great production values.
All in all, Twitch is a platform mainly for fans of e-sports to watch live gaming tournaments. However the Twitch participation has another side too. A chat widget is embedded within every channel of Twitch users, allowing the people transmitting the live video to communicate directly with the spectators. So the Twitch offers greater interactivity to viewers rather than just watching e-sports played live.
Reason of Popularity of Twitch
Twitch has an enormous user base, more than 55 million, that too, unique viewers every year, and more than 1 million people make use of Twitch to livestream every month.
The channels that receive most views, i.e. heavy hitters, tend to become “partners”. Its “partner” program is described by Twitch as: “a unique group of the most popular video transmissions, personalities, teams, leagues and tournaments in the world”. This includes all things from The International to live transmissions of press conferences; at the big gaming trade exhibition of this year, E3, Twitch made live transmissions of press conference of each console maker.
However, the people transmitting on Twitch vary tremendously. Although e-sports rank high on the most-viewed list, Twitch is also a home to some unbelievable (and unbelievably bizarre) content produced by users.
Still one more use of Twitch is the incident called “speedrunning.” The word literally refers to complete a game as fast as possible.
When it comes to common public, livestreaming became quite mainstream the moment it entered the living room. With PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, living rooms were instantly thrust on the web in full sight of the world. Regarding PlayStation 4 tech exhibition The Playroom, it was forced on Twitch to ban the game outright. It allowed users to transmit directly a full-screen video of their living rooms.
Do I Need to Care?
Yes, if you love money! With that enormous user base of Twitch, a huge opportunity is available to jump in and start livestreaming. You would be able to make it a full-time show, between ads on your content through partner program of Twitch and charging contribution price to your channel, which offers an ad-free experience to viewers. Of course, you are one amongst million others. But that’s no reason to stop, right?