Not just confined to music and movies, streaming has also changed the gaming community. Starting with the growth of YouTube, live streaming games now supports its own dedicated platform Twitch. Started in 2011 as an online community for players to share videos of their own gameplay. It is now mostly known for its popular stars like @Rocknrollaaaaaa and their live streams.
Each month Twitch receives an estimated 100,000,000 unique views. These visitors are drawn to Twitch by its estimated 1.8 million streamers. Together this created one of the largest online gaming communities and proved pretty lucrative. This was proved when online retail giants Amazon bought Twitch for $1 billion dollars.
How does Twitch make money?
Of course Amazon didn’t invest in the popular streaming service out of goodwill. They saw a chance to make money and lots of it. The biggest revenue stream is from advertising on Twitch. This is a two pronged revenue stream. One the one hand gamers or fans will buy what’s being advertised. On the other hand, gamers and fans who hate advertising will pay to avoid adverts. A tactic that is employed on several other streaming platforms including Spotify.
The other main source of income for Twitch is via its partner’s programme. This is exclusively available for gamers who maintain a channel audience of 500+ and broadcast at least 3 times a week. The biggest benefit of this is Paid channel subscriptions. Split 50:50 between twitch and the channel over starts at $4.99pm.
Fastest growing category on Twitch: Casino Streaming
The fastest growing category of Twitch channels is casino streaming. Allowing fans to catch all the action from live poker tournaments and online slot games. Casino streamers aren’t just amateurs either they’re often highly skilled professionals. “The idea is that these streamers have cracked the slot game code and can game the system in order to achieve high wins at a low cost to them” – Casinos.co guide to casino streaming.
As you can imagine this makes for great entertainment. Imagine watching a player’s eyes light up as they win mind blowing jackpots. Casino streamers can also live stream from top poker tournaments and you can just imagine the nail biting suspense. (To prevent cheating these streams are subject to small time delays.)
Besides being immensely enjoyable to watch Twitch is also a great learning tool. Often subscriptions to channels will get you access to live chats. This is where fans can really learn the thought process of each streamer. Perfect for when you’re trying to brush up on your own card skills.
New Career Opportunities
Once upon a time the general population might have laughed at the idea of gaming as a job option. Well now jokes on them, thanks to Twitch professional gaming is a real career prospect. Not just part-time while you work a “real job” either. We’re talking full time career with five to six figure salaries. Thanks to partnerships, sponsorships and cash prizes the door to making a living from gaming is wide open.
The Next Social Media Platform
Created to cater for the gaming community through live streaming, Twitch shares many social media traits. The successful incorporation of social elements and live streaming make Twitch what it is, a community. Like with any community Twitch is all about making connections. This is done with social elements like direct messaging and following other users. Chat rooms are also set up to connect users with streamers during their live streams. These relationships often spill over onto other networks like Facebook and Youtube. However, this is set to change. As Twitch continues to grow it is very likely it will develop into a standalone social media platform.
Backed by Amazon and supported by millions of viewers Twitch and streaming are here for the long-haul. Whether it will grow into the next Facebook or even surpass Facebook only time will tell.