Twitch is the streaming platform dedicated to video games. That’s pretty much all it does but video games are not for children any more. It’s big business. The video game industry made $93 billion in 2013. In just its first three days after release, Grand Theft Auto 5 made more than $1 billion in sales. movie blockbuster Iron Man 3 only brought in $372 million in its first weekend across the globe. Twitch launched in June 2011 as a spin-off of Justin.tv but has become the go to place for video game live streams on the Internet. Twitch reaches more viewers during prime time than MTV, TNT and AMC with live streams on the Internet, reaching over 45 million viewers every month. Is streaming the future of broadcasting?
I would say yes. Netflix is Golden Globes and Oscars for its streaming shows. Broadcasters will be forced to adapt or get left behind. HBO has a streaming service called HBOgo that you do not need a cable subscription for. Although the service only works that way in Europe. In the states you will need to have cable to use the app. However, it is a sign of the times and a first step into independence from broadcasters. Twitch has successfully courted over 900,000 broadcasters looking to take that jump into its streaming to it’s service. They have developers, publishers and of course gamers uploading video 24/7. Thanks to the fast growth of eSports and early adoption of gamers to the service; Twitch is the home of many of the official tournaments for competitive gaming. Powerhouses like Starcraft 2, Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Dota 2 are all broadcast on Twitch. These broadcast are like sporting events there is full commentary, interviews and draws huge crowds.
Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 use are will have Twitch integrated into the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Twitch on the PlayStation 4 has over 125,000 broadcasters. PS4 owners now make up about 20% of the broadcaster of the service. Live streaming our games will become as common as using Google is today. Twitch works well and shows anyone can become a broadcaster similar to how YouTube showed anyone can be a star. The next step is for other companies to embrace this concept. It may not be long until the “Internet of things” starts to live stream everything like the Truman Show. With the recent purchase of Nest, Google may be already headed that way. Twitch has already captured the attention of that oh so important and vital 18-49 demographic that traditional broadcasts crave so much. What is next for them? They could be the next Netflix in that, the company could start its own high quality shows. However, it could also start to charge a premium for events and tournaments.