Farhan Ahmed, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Twitch, who was recently involved with bringing Formula 1 to the platform, joined us for about 40 minutes for a dive into what Twitch is, where it all began, what it’s viewership looks like and how sports organisations are using it to engage with new audiences.
He answered a number of questions and provided some top tips around how to develop and audience on the platform and how content creators can monetise their channels.
What is Twitch and where did it all begin?
“Twitch is multiplayer entertainment: communities and creators working together to create live, shared and interactive experiences.”
At the most basic level, Twitch is a platform for streaming live content, however, as Farhan explains in the webinar, there is a focus on development and are tools and extensions which users can use to monetise their audiences.
Twitch had its start as justin.tv, a startup founded in 2005 by Justin Kan, a student at Yale University. Kan created Justin.tv where he streamed his daily life and it eventually pivoted to allow users to stream their own video online, finding popularity with video gamers.
Justin.tv was officially renamed Twitch Interactive Inc. in February of 2014 and in August 25, 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch for a cool US$970 million.
While Twitch has its roots in the gaming community, a growing awareness and popularity of esports coupled with the need to engage with new fans, have seen major brands such as the BBC and Red Bull as well as traditional sports like the NBA and Manchester City Football Club look to Twitch.
Sotic’s clients are always looking for ways to engage with new audiences. For some that means tapping in to a female market however, for almost all clients it means looking at how to engage better with young fans.
While Twitch’s user base roughly reflects that of many of Sotic’s clients in terms of gender breakdown, the age profile of its users, which is predominantly under 35, is a big attraction. 26% of Twitch users are aged between 13-17.
Consumption on Twitch
The average Twitch user spends over an hour and a half on the platform each day consuming content.
In 2018 there were over 505 billion minutes of content watched on Twitch. So far in 2019 that figure is at 639 billion minutes so the platform is seeing exponential growth. (https://twitchtracker.com/statistics)
What types of content prove popular on Twitch?
Farhan explained that right now, non-gaming content makes up just 10% of all Twitch content. So at this stage Twitch represents an opportunity for traditional sports rights holders rather than a sure-fire, sure-thing.
The MLS, the NBA and closer to home, the Rugby Football League have all streamed live matches on the platform while Sky stream a weekly magazine-style show on the NBA.
For those who do not have control over their own broadcast rights (for example, clubs whose broadcast rights are tied up in an over league-wide deal) streaming footage from training or press conferences is an easy place to start suggests Farhan, and something that gives viewers a real insight in to the behind-the-scenes.
Top tips for developing an audience on Twitch
So if you are interested in using Twitch to try to engage with new audiences, what are the top tips Farhan offers for success?
1. Frequency and scheduling transparency – Build some cadence with your streaming and make it a regular thing. Farhan suggests streaming at least 3 times a week as building consistency will help drive destination viewing habits.
2. Duration – Long-form content does best, at least two hours
3. Community Engagement – Twitch is a platform that has its roots within a community so acknowledging and engaging with your community viewers through the chat while streaming is really important.
4. Push for followers – use calls to action for your viewers to follow and/or subscribe to your channel. Farhan also recommends getting involved with other channels and chats to build reciprocal engagement but do this with authenticity to be credible. If you’re hijacking a chat purely to promote a sales message you’ll be found out very quickly.
This is just a taster of what we discussed on the webinar which is about 40 minutes long.
You can watch the full broadcast here and why not sign up to the Sotic newsletter and be the first to hear about future webinars and events?
Interested in this content?
Why not also check out some of our other blogs such as this one on Content Gating.