Livestreaming platform Twitch has continuously grown since Amazon’s $970 million acquisition, evolving into something more. Now, the website pulls in as many viewers as major cable news networks over in the US.
Last month, Twitch managed to hold an average of 962,000 viewers at any given point, and while there was dips and peaks, this puts the platform in the same count as CNN, Fox News and sports network ESPN.
“For comparison, 2017 total day viewership for Fox News Channel and ESPN was ~1.5 million, MSNBC was 885,000, and CNN was 783,000,” Notes Macquarie Capital analyst Ben Schachter, “putting Twitch squarely among the most-watched US cable channels.”
Of course, Twitch is free in comparison to cable networks, but it is also newer in its approach, housing user created content that often surrounds gaming but has breached out into creative elements over the past few years. The real drive, however, is the ability for viewers to interact with entertainers via chat, and potentially get involved with interactive portions such as jumping into the same game.
While content provided on cable networks is often a traditional collaborative process, content on Twitch primarily centres around a single entertainer that relies on viewers to act similar to that of investors. Viewers support content creators by subscribing monthly in brackets starting from $4.99, or tipping one-time donations in the form of money or Twitch’s premium currency called Bits.
Twitch’s success is bolstered by the support of console manufacturers, Sony and Microsoft, which have both implemented ways to stream to the platform directly from the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One respectively, although most continue to use PC due to the versatility of the software. Both consoles also allow for easy viewing, helping support already established content creators.
It seems like the only way is up for the platform, particularly as Esports continually penetrates the mainstream market, even going as far as to inch into ESPN’s line-up. Twitch still maintains the bigger deals to exclusively air Esports events, however, which will undoubtedly be a contributing factor to its growth.
KitGuru Says: I’m quite the regular on Twitch, often noting down the effort that particular streamers place into their branding, approach to content and marketing themselves outside of the platform. It seems that it’s almost impossible to grow without the help of external platforms such as Discord and Twitter, however, making it a much harder job to maintain. Do you frequent Twitch often? What do you like to watch?