Twitch: the biggest video platform you’ve never heard of

by Nathan McGregor

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

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Our resident Digital PR experts take a look at the new – but also not-so-new – video platform that is dominating the digital world, Twitch.

Digital PR Twitch Header

TWITCH is a live streaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon. Launched in June 2011, Twitch has since captured the attention and retention of the mammoth online player community, more commonly known as video gamers.

Despite its dedication to the gaming realm, Twitch has branched out considerably to include streams committed to a variety of creative outlets such as art, music, talk shows and foodie portals.

A huge part of what Twitch does is operate as a live broadcasting platform. We are already well-versed in Instagram and, arguably the juggernaut of the social media live universe of the past few years, Facebook, that you may be forgiven for having never come across Twitch.

Moreover, we’re no stranger to seeing brands promote adverts, events, games or PR stunts as a Facebook Live. The numbers and levels of engagements used to speak for themselves. It was a no-brainer.

But has time changed? Has the target audience upped sticks and moved?

The evidence would suggest so, and there are already measures in place to find out where they have gone and how to get them watching your content again…


TWITCH VS FACEBOOK LIVE

Facebook Live views are increasingly on the downward slope. With that, digital media marketers and brands are beginning to look elsewhere in an attempt to attract and retain a new and defined audience. One that will, in essence, appreciate their content and find it engaging.

So, why turn to Twitch?

In January, Macquarie Capital analyst Ben Schachter noted that the average viewership on Twitch was 1 million digital viewers whilst Facebook Live views have been gradually levelling out for some time now – for example, Buzzfeed revealed some of their Facebook Live videos achieved less than 50,000 views.

The evidence here suggests that it’s becoming harder to engage with an audience on Facebook and that perhaps the greater numbers are perched on Twitch.


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DIGITAL PR ANALYSIS OF TWITCH

Aesthetically pleasing and simple to use, Twitch has opted for a search over scroll function. Unlike Facebook, Twitch is wholly dedicated to allowing viewers to watch and stream digital video broadcasts. Users of the site can even earn money through the Twitch partner programme that provides streamers with added perks such as paid subscriptions and ad placements.

As a one-stop wonder, this is a website that knows itself. Viewers visit the site with the specific intention to view live videos, whether it be for gaming wars or mesmeric art graphics.

Similar to YouTube, Twitch maintains that spellbinding ability to captivate its audience by offering a ceaseless flow of intriguing content. An extra advantage for media companies, such as BuzzFeed, is that they can arrange recorded content, as well as series reruns, beside broadcasting live videos. The ability to monetise content is a big attraction, putting Twitch ahead of Facebook on the popularity leaderboard for potential publishers.

Further still, as a consequence of their highly involved and interactive chat communities, captured events can become a shared real-time experience on a global scale.

The platform you’ve never heard of is already ticking many boxes – real-time audiences, larger numbers, multiple broadcasts at the same time allowing conversation and engagement to flow, events, the works – Twitch seems to have it all. The added bonus being the obvious monetisation feature that comes with using the platform. Brands can create content and, if it’s engaging enough, be reimbursed for it.

Everyone wins.


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WHEN BRANDS ATTACK

In one of the biggest twists of fate ever, Facebook have now decided to launch their own video game streaming hub, Facebook.gg, with many assuming it’s creation as an attempt at direct competition with Twitch.

Launched on the 7th June 2018, Facebook.gg, is making a claim to become the sole destination for video content. This has been met with much scepticism as, arguably, the Twitch audience is currently well-defined and Facebook will struggle to peel those viewers away.

Spamfish, a Twitch-partnered streamer explains that ‘’there’s so much money in streaming right now’’. That makes sense because for content publishers, digital PR consultants and advertisers, men aged 15-30 are the prime target market as they are more likely to purchase from an online ad via online gaming.

Is Facebook making an attempt to take away Twitch’s audience in the hope of turning a profit? Twitch has been around for nearly eight years growing it’s fan base, so it’s fair to assume that this will be a Goliath task.

However, Facebook have previously dipped their toe into the live broadcasting realms, including the likes of a pilot programme called Gaming Creator Pilot Program, and partnering up with broadcasters such as Counter-Strike Go eSports.

These projects, at first glance, look relatively unsuccessful. It might be unfair to continue speculating on this as Facebook.gg is in its infancy but the market is so densely dominated by YouTube and Twitch that it appears as if it’s too little too late.

One thing for sure is that video is a huge marketing tool for digital PR agencies, marketers, organisations, content creators – everyone! That it really is imperative that you understand what video – live, recorded, PR video, the works – can do for your business and, most importantly, your bottom line.

It looks like Twitch is here to stay. Well, actually, it’s been here for a while. Quietly going about its business, going from strength to strength.

If Twitch is already grabbing the attention of Buzzfeed from Facebook, should your business not be planning that, too?


Want to make sure your business gets noticed online by our Digital PR experts and PR Video professionals? We are offering a free one-hour consultation – simply fill out the form below or follow this link.

Take your digital footprint to the next level today by creating killer content online, videos that capture the attention of your audience, or by making all the major newspaper headlines. Our digital PR experts are primed ready to go.

Just don’t get caught playing Fortnite…

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