Twitch and the phenomenon of streaming video games
Twitch has become the platform that has gained more ground and popularity on the internet in recent years. The portal, which became popular in the broadcasting of video games, now reaches all sectors and is presented as a fundamental player in 2021.
Ten years after its launch, more and more people take the floor on the ‘streaming’ platform and create content that is followed by millionaire audiences, sometimes surpassing television itself.
With growth similar to those of Instagram or TikTok, this platform popularizes a concept that until relatively recently was unthinkable: seeing what the other is doing on your screen in real time.
A proof of the great success of this model occurred in mid-January, when the Spanish ‘streamer’ The Grefg smashed all the records so far on the platform with 2.5 million simultaneous viewers during the exclusive presentation of your custom character in the popular game Fortnite.
Weeks earlier, Ibai, a popular Spanish commentator, broadcast the New Year’s Eve chimes through his Twitch channel. It achieved an audience of more than half a million viewers, more than some television networks in the country, according to data from the communication consultancy Barlovento.
The audience of this platform is mainly young: people between 13 and 27 years old who were born in the middle of the digital age and are used to consuming content on demand and interacting.
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The power to interact
Interaction is one of the keys to the success of the platform, which was acquired in 2014 by Amazon. During the broadcast, viewers can participate and interact with the ‘streamer’ and with content that is seen on the screen, which adds fun and allows the viewer to be part of the image they are seeing, which is difficult to achieve in other scenarios.
Lots of streamers
that now triumph on Twitch were popular youtubers,
who have taken with them millions of followers to the
The channel has the possibility of watching live broadcasts and also previous recordings, although its ‘live’ are the main attraction.
Twitch is accessible from all platforms: computers, cell phones, and video game consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation.
Many of the ‘streamers’ that now triumph on Twitch were popular ‘youtubers’, who have taken millions of followers with them to the new platform: this is the case in Spain of Wismichu, Auronplay, El Rubius or TheGrefg.
One of the reasons that motivated the transfer of ‘youtubers’ to Twitch is the income. On YouTube, revenue comes from advertising, but on the live stream platform you can make money from ads and subscribers.
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More than video games
It is increasingly common to see Live broadcasts on anything: political news, music, cuisine, graphic designers, talks about history, cinema or technology.
The Spanish journalist Emilio Domenech, alias Nanísimo, one of the regular correspondents of the Spanish television network La Sexta in the United States, broadcast the assault on the Capitol from Twitch and, during Thanksgiving, prepared a paella while reflecting on the outcome of the country elections.
Many of those who have opted for this channel are artists, especially musicians, who have used this platform to reach their audience at a time when the pandemic forced the cancellation of concerts around the world.
Twitch’s exponential growth has come precisely from this diversification of audiences: the platform has captured the attention of all kinds of creators and, consequently, its audience has gained diversity.
It’s like a hybrid
perfect between the traditional transmission of television and the freedom offered by streaming services.
And if that was not enough, The platform also has a tool to watch series and movies with the company of other users, thus forming a virtual movie theater in which everyone, from their home and using their phone or computer, can see the same content in real time.
You might think that traditional television has already done this since it was invented, but the difference is that with this method, it is the user who chooses what to watch, at what time and when to stop it.
It is like a perfect hybrid between traditional television transmission and the freedom offered by streaming services, with the plus that all users can be in different places.
With a growth of 200 percent in Latin America during 2020 (according to the same brand), Twitch is consolidated in the ‘hall’ of the most popular platforms in the world.
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Facebook Gaming: the competition
The great success of the video game stream is not only kept by Amazon through its Twitch platform. This tech giant shares a bit of that boom with another giant of its size: Facebook. And it is that Zuckerberg’s company was able to take advantage of the fact that some 700 million users play games, watch videos about games or participate in groups on this topic on the social network. The Facebook Gaming platform offers the same as Twicth: the possibility of watching live streamers’ video games. Or, failing that, the possibility of transmitting the experience for others to see. And the impact of this platform is so strong that Mixer, a program with similar characteristics that belonged to Microsoft, teamed up with Facebook to compete against Twitch.
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SILVIA GARCÍA HERRÁEZ