TWITCH DITCHES THE TRAINING WHEELS

If waiting three and half hours to get into TwitchCon is any indication, Twitch is one of the hottest creator platforms on the planet. The hype around megastars like Ninja and Myth have agencies and brands buzzing. Here are some major takeaways of what’s happening on the new frontier known as Twitch.

For everyone:

For Twitch, part of growing up means shedding the label of being a “gaming platform”. Twitch has consciously focused on repackaging content to highlight more In-Real-Life (IRL) channels that feature the platform’s diversity. Prior to the conference, Twitch made moves to help viewers more easily find content that interests them and their specific tastes. The platform re-organized channel categories with a heavy emphasis on daily, personal interests by swapping the general labels of “IRL” and “Creative” with much more specific topic sub-categories for easier searchability. These included:

-- Art

-- Makers and Crafting

-- Food & Drink

-- Music & Performing Arts

-- Beauty & Body Art

-- Science & Technology

-- Just Chatting

-- Travel & Outdoors

-- Sports & Fitness

-- Special Events (Conferences, Game Releases)

-- Talk Shows & Podcasts

For the CMO:

Like a lot of digital platforms, Twitch is still trying to prove to decision makers that it has advertising value. CMOs want proof so Twitch is focusing on the metrics they care about.

Twitch is supplying advanced data and feedback to streamers to help with quality of broadcast and other streaming insights, allowing for more sophisticated marketing efforts.

  1. Advanced streamer data will make it easier for CMOs and brands to identify who the rising stars of the Twitch universe are and make bets on those that could explode in popularity. The end goal is all about monetization for Twitch, and if they can prove that influencers are seeing results, brands will want to invest.

  2. New Twitch technology can still offer a competitive advantage to the CMOs willing to do the right market research. Streamers will continue to push boundaries and look for new ways to entertain thanks to elements like mobile backpacks that make streaming in public easier. CMOs should be aware of these trends and be ready to pounce when the market conditions are right.

For brands:

Twitch knows that to survive in a landscape with competitors like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, they need brands to spend money to gain access to their loyal viewers. Twitch has placed a priority on opening itself to brand investment thanks to new tools within the site.

  1. The clearest validation for Twitch moving up to the adult table at Thanksgiving is that they are finding ways to monetize their content like the other powerhouses in the space. Bounty Board is Twitch’s turn-key solution for running advertising campaigns. BB may actually offer a competitive advantage against other platforms because it targets small to mid-sized streamers where there is the most audience engagement and response. Bounty Board is in contrast to other platforms that reward only the influencers with the most followers.

  2. Brands need to secure sponsorships while they still can. As Twitch matures, influencers in the space will rise in popularity. Currently, the platform is very top-heavy with a handful of channels gaining the majority of followers. As Twitch’s popularity increases, a rush of non-endemic brands are rapidly entering the space and staking their claim before they are frozen out by competitors.

For influencers:

The addition of more specific channel categories will greatly assist in influencer discovery. On top of the categories Twitch added new sub-features like:

  1. Tags for streamers to easily define the content they’re broadcasting and increase their searchability.

  2. More targeted & suggested content for individuals based on past viewing activity.

  3. Rotating Featured Broadcasts at the top of the landing page featuring IRL categories in addition to standard gaming channels for variety in discovery.

The final word:

Twitch is on the rise and viewers are tuning in. Whether you’re a brand, CMO, or creator, this platform is one to pay attention to — we know we will be!

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