04/14/2022

Twitch and shout

Author: Gianni Decoster, Paid media expert at Emakina.BE

A few weeks ago The Streamer Award ceremony broadcasted live on QTCinderella’s Twitch channel (706 000 followers). It rewarded the best streamers in 27 categories in front of no less than 260 000 viewers (peaking at 380 000). The hashtag #thestreamerawards quickly broke through the top five Twitter trends in the US. Regardless of whether you’re a bit overwhelmed by this platform or a huge fan, the Amazon-owned Twitch is making its presence known.

Back in February 2022, Twitch introduced its brand-new worldwide advertising certification “Twitch Gameplan” that will make you a real expert of the world’s leading interactive live streaming service with content ranging from gaming and sports to entertainment, music and more. 

But, before even considering launching ads on Twitch, we first need to understand what it is, and what makes it the best live streaming service available on earth.

The story behind the success

Let’s rewind a bit. It goes back to 2006 and its Justin.tv origins. Four college-attendee founders had, at the time, a crazy idea to live-stream one of them (Justin) 24/7 for the whole world to see. Given that this was 16 years ago, it wasn’t that easy to execute. Livestreaming technology didn’t exist. Phones didn’t have the performance they have today. The technology available was quite expensive and of poor quality.

In a world where live streaming online was simply unheard of, that (spoiler alert) did not stop them at all. They built their streaming technology, loaded it on a website and made it accessible to everyone. It offered users the chance to broadcast content and share it live with viewers. Gamers quickly jumped on the opportunity to play multiplayer online games and live-stream their experience at the same time. By 2007, Justin.tv had more than 30 000 streaming accounts. 

Since then, the Justin.tv site was improved and upgraded with unique services, introducing a beta of Twitch.tv in 2011. This version quickly gained popularity and welcomed 35 million unique users. In 2013 Justin.tv was permanently shut down and gave its crown to the next king of streaming: a new home for gamers called Twitch. The platform even launched its first partner programme to remunerate content creators. 

From Justin’s home to gamers’ homes

Since the humble beginnings of streaming and Justin.tv, gaming has exploded and continues to be a major source of entertainment for many of users. Back in 2007, there were 217 million gamers. Today there are 3 billion gamers worldwide.

As gaming evolves, each game introduces something different, attracting diverse audiences. This has been a great growth driver for Twitch. With an average of 30 million daily active users and 71 million hours of content viewed every day, today’s main Twitch audiences are made up of engaged young adults aged 18-34 who are browsing content from nine million active monthly streamers.

You might think that gaming is the most acclaimed part of Twitch. However, it’s not the only category of content on the streams. In 2015, the live platform introduced its first IRL (In Real Life) category Just Chatting, where streamers can talk and engage with the real-time chat on any topics that pop up. It’s now the most popular non-gaming streaming category on Twitch. The categories that follow are:

  • Cooking: trying out new recipes live
  • Sport: watching your favourite football, NFL, NBA, and other games live
  • Creative: where artists share the creation process, beauty tips and tricks, or even software and game development
  • Music: where streamers perform any song on request
  • Special events: linked to events created by streamers (often for charity). E.g. Zevent gathered multiple French streamers to raise funds via viewer donations. Or ‘speedruns’, where gamers gather to see who can finish a game the fastest.

Twitch and advertising

But what about advertising? All the main social media platforms in the world have their own ad catalogues dedicated to brands that want to gain visibility. Twitch is no exception. As the platform accounts for 72.2% of all the accumulated hours watched on the internet, it is no surprise that advertisers want to take advantage of these billions of eye balls.

Twitch now offers them a wide range of ad types.

Not familiar with these? We got you. Here’s a summary:

  • Homepage carousels are displayed on the Twitch homepage in one of their rotating carousels. 
  • The homepage headliner is a branded banner on Twitch’s homepage.
  • Medium rectangles are 15-second video or gif ads that pop up when scrolling through content.
  • Streamables let the user see a full-screen ad during a Twitch stream. It is a 30-second, unskippable livestream ad.
  • Super Leaderboards are 15-second video or gif ads that appear as a banner on top of the user’s screens when they are exploring Twitch content.
  • Twitch premium video is displayed on desktop, tablet, and mobile. They are integrated into the stream and they can be unskippable 30 seconds pre-roll ads or 60 seconds mid-roll ads during the stream’s break.

On average, people on Twitch are more likely to watch at least 75% of premium video ads running on channel pages.

And as for display advertising, they are very popular in programmatic buying. The cherry on the cake is their capacity to build and integrate custom programmes during a live stream, allowing viewers to interact/play with as the stream is rolling.

But this can go even further. Porsche took its chance and developed a “live escape room RPG… a real-life game where viewers control a real-life human being”. In the experience, called ‘Formula E Unlocked’, players enter a live-stream game set in a Porsche factory. Players then vote on the decisions and actions of two drivers as they attempt to reach the Formula E car reveal. 

This very unique way to reveal a new car merges the automotive industry and the world of gaming, with over two million people interacting with the game overall. All the participants were rewarded with a unique Emote – twitch emojis – that they can now use freely on any chat.

Content and community above all

In 2022, Twitch keeps growing, holding the title as THE go-to place for live gaming and non-gaming content, where content creators share their passion with millions of users. It’s also a place where users get together to work towards incredible initiatives, like the humanitarian ZEvent where some of the biggest French streamers raised $11M for Action contre la faim simply by playing games.

Did you know? 

Emakina has a full team of social media experts ready to help you develop your business through social channels including Twitch. Want to know more? Visit our social media service page and contact us for more information.  

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