The Rise of TwitchTV
For those of you that may not know, TwitchTV is a streaming platform, used by nearly 2.2 million active users as of May 2018. It is a place where content creators can go, cut on a camera/webcam (if they so wish), access to the vision of their current screen, and take viewers on an adventure with them.
I’m not really here to give a huge history lesson on where Twitch came from, or how it was created, I wanted to talk about the platform itself, and how it is evolving – and why you – the consumer should be keeping an eye on this platform as it continues to catapult into the echelons of the entertainment industry.
I, myself, got turned on to Twitch a couple years ago on a whim of an advertisement from a World of Warcraft player I kept an eye on. During this period I was playing something called a “Mistweaver Monk” in WoW, which was a very complex healer at the time. Utilizing a guide online to help me wrap my hands around the class, I eventually stumbled upon his ‘stream’ – this guide author played his “Mistweaver Monk” live on the internet, for everyone to come watch, while he raided bosses online.
I thought, “Jeez this is cool, I get to see the guide in action, in its’ native environment, live.” – YouTube videos are full of edits, made to be the perfect execution that the author wants you to see. On TwitchTV you were consistently exposed to imperfections of play that the creator could not edit out, it was live – and he could comment on it.
Creatives communicating with their fan-base? This was such a unique concept to me at the time, but this is what truly drew me to the platform instantly. It was nice to see someone who knew their class, someone who wrote this guide that I’m sure thousands of others were using, playing in front of us humbled, talking about the class, and answering questions.
You see, I never jumped on this platform, I want to some day, there is so much potential there, but I don’t quite have the lifestyle, or setup for something like that yet, but that still doesn’t prevent me from enjoying it, or getting involved in the communities.
Twitch is slowly becoming the go-to place for gaming entertainment, but that’s not all. It is also becoming the platform of Television shows (Bob Ross, Pokemon are a few that come to mind). Creative category is starting to show people making music, making art, and designing things. Plus other numerous categories that allow creatives just to engage with their audience, bringing them along on their vision of entertainment.
E-Sports, which I will only touch on lightly here, are basically highly competitive video gaming competitions, viewed by millions around the world. Planning on doing a blog just about this, but what I really wanted to touch on, is that TwitchTV has become the home to watch Championships in games such FortNite, League of Legends, DOTA 2, Counter-Strike, and many more – and it’s thanks to this platform that E-Sports are slowly becoming a mainstream realization that once was considered a niche, or ridiculous.
In September 2018, Counter-Strike Global Offensive was viewed a total of 51.1 million hours over all viewers, just for E-Sports competitions. Putting that in retrospect, the number of viewers of the Super Bowl in 2018 was 103.4 million people. Sure, the Super Bowl is still absolutely crushing viewership, but it’s almost alarming to see something like a single video game getting 51.1 million hours of viewership over a month for competitive gaming.
Also, let me touch briefly on the career-making, and profitability the creatives are seeing through this platform. You can subscribe to a ‘Creator” or “Streamer” at base – for $5. This person then receives half of this money outright, monthly. This does not include ad revenue they receive while someone watches them, sponsorship from companies they may have, or even donations these individuals receive just for doing something they love.
Ninja, arguably the most popular streamer on TwitchTV as of this blog post, is reported to have around 52,788 subscribers, if he made $2.50 per sub he would make $131,970 a month in subscribers alone. Obviously subscribers are very fluid, and change constantly, but it paints a pretty lucrative picture about what kind of career in streaming you can create.
I foresee, in the future, Twitch becoming a premier place to watch Television, where shows decide to have their “Season Premiers” and strike their home upon. I also can see Television show ‘creators’ getting into the chat with their show, and interacting with their audience, taking feedback, and maybe putting it into their show going forward – while this may not be happening today, or may be against terms of service, I think it will change.
I have watched many live podcasts, or live dungeons and dragons sessions. These are becoming mainstream, and so too, will the things I have mentioned before.
I applaud of the entertainers out there, love what they are doing, and will continue to support them where I can, because this is the future of entertainment. Soon Television will die, and you won’t buy cable. We as grandparents, will turn Twitch (or whatever streaming platform reigns supreme) on the Television for our grand-kids and let them watch Cartoons, as they interact with others in a chatroom.
This is the future.
Until next time,