Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins broke platform records for concurrent viewers on a personal stream earlier, thanks to a guest appearance by Hotline Bling singer Drake. The two were close to doubling that of previous record holder Dr. DisRespect, but still fell shy of the all-time record of 1.1 million concurrent viewers.
Dr. DisRespect only set his record of 388,000 concurrent viewers last month, due to the online celebrity’s return after a two-month break from the platform. Ninja has grown exponentially since that time, garnering 635,000 concurrent viewers during his time with Drake, as well as singer Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster. Despite not reaching the 1.1 million concurrent players that watched the Eleague Major: Boston tournament, it is still highly impressive for a personal stream.
— Drizzy (@Drake) March 15, 2018
Drake, Ninja, Travis and Fortnite also dominated the trending topics of the online world, becoming the top four Twitter topics across the US, and for a brief time sat in the Worldwide trends section too. Of course, Drake’s 36.8 million followers on the platform, combined with Scott’s 3.23 million and Smith-Schuster’s 538,000 followers helped Ninja promote the stream.
And it looks like this isn’t over just yet, if Smith-Schuster’s tweet is anything to go by:
I just wanna shoutout the goat @Ninja for having me, I got MAJOR love coming your way homie. This is just the beginnin I promise‼️‼️‼️
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) March 15, 2018
Drake explained during the stream that the unusual collaboration came about from the singer playing Fortnite and watching streamers with his band when taking breaks from the studio. The two struck up a connection and the rest is now history.
The collaboration looks to make use of Fortnite’s newly implemented cross-platform play, as Drake is known to use a PlayStation 4 with a Scuf controller and Ninja dedicates his time to playing on PC. Epic Games has yet to comment if this was the case.
Drake’s next album cover… pic.twitter.com/gKOvRxwkFD
— Miguel Lozada (@Miguel_Gator) March 15, 2018
While the collaboration gave fans a chance to learn things about the singer that they might not know, like Drake uses the John Wick skin, is a vegetarian or that he controversially likes pineapple on his pizza, the most interesting part to me is the validation that this brings to Twitch as a platform and the power behind different types of celebrities.
“The reaction to this Twitch stream shows the power of mixing a major celebrity with a very popular game in a live streamed environment,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, games analyst at IHS Markit to the BBC. “While most of the commercial attention has been concentrated on the potential for esports video, this example of live entertainment demonstrates the wider value of games content to the video (and music) industry.”
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KitGuru Says: If you thought Drake was lord of the memes before, there’s plenty more where that came from after this collaboration. Do you think this is a good thing for Twitch or just a publicity stunt that will be forgotten in no time?