How is it that an idea of a group of youngsters, seeing that it would be funny to live-stream their gaming, became a multimillion-dollar business with millions of users all throughout the world? We´ll tell you all about it below.
The Origins of Twitch
Back in 2007, Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, together with their colleagues Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt, released Justin.tv with the “simple” idea of broadcasting Justin’s life all day long. Lots of things happened in the middle, but the important thing is that they realized gamers were the ones using the app the most, so they decided to launch a secondary product especially for them.
That’s how Twitch was born. A platform completely dedicated to e-sports broadcasting. The name comes from “Twitch Gameplay”, which is a term used to describe players’ response time. And that’s its magic too: for the first time, you could see how gamers reacted in real time, magnifying their laughter, protests and celebrations.
Its audience grew so much in such a short time that it became the most popular gaming live streaming platform in 2014, and the fourth most visited website in the US, behind Google, Netflix and Apple.
In 2015, music-streaming categories were added, as well as Twitch Creative, a space to broadcast live drawing sessions, animations, cooking tutorials and others, which helped other audiences discover the platform. Even today, the category which draws the most people online is “Just Chatting”, a place to stream interviews, to react to videos or to chat casually, just like any other social media platform.
On Twitch, we find streams with unbelievable numbers, like Ninja, known for his Fornite live streaming (with more than 15 million followers), Rubius, for the European public (with 6 million followers), and Coscu, a pioneer who brought the platform to Argentina and who leads in Latin America (with 2 million followers).
Twitch has taken off even more as a consequence of the pandemic, since millions of new people have discovered this entertainment platform, making it the most popular right now. But, why do millennials and centennials choose Twitch? Let’s see.
Five Reasons Why Twitch Is Successful
1 – Real Content
In each stream, we can see what the person who broadcasts is doing in real time, there are no intermediaries. It’s a new entertainment concept, way different from traditional TV, which is more “cautious”. In Twitch, spontaneity and unpolished content are valued, because the content feels more real.
One of the features that made Twitch popular is the fact you can share your comments in real time and you can interact with the streamer. The live chat offers:
- The possibility to send emojis made for the platform.
- The possibility for moderators to monitor content.
- Bots to solve FAQs.
It’s a chat that definitely helps revive the feeling of community that other platforms have lost.
3 – Accessibility
Whether it’s from a PC, a mobile phone or a Smart TV, any person can enjoy Twitch for free, even without the need to have an account. With adapted usability and design, and without leaving aside its optimized streaming quality, Twitch managed to leverage each device and seize the opportunity to reach a wider audience.
Even though Twitch started as a gameplay platform (and that’s still its strong suit) and we can find absolutely any videogame title, we may also find transmissions dedicated to IRL, i.e. chats with the audience, music performances, sports, art and more. That’s why, when looking for entertainment, variety is guaranteed.
5– Subscribers and Collaboration
Twitch is free, but it allows people who create content to earn money through monthly subscriptions or users’ donations. That allows streamers to create more content of higher quality for those who decide to support them. Besides, creators support each other through hosting (re-broadcasting another channel) or raiding (“invading” another channel and sharing viewers).
A New Level of Streaming
Twitch is definitely the here and now of online streaming. The number of local viewers speaks for itself and it’s growing at the same rate as the videogame industry (something we’ll discuss some other time). Now, we’d like to know: do you think it’ll be as popular in the future or is it just a temporary thing? We’ll read you in the comments!