Twitch is a live-streaming platform in which creators can display their video-gaming prowess, music playing skills, or simply just talk to an audience about any and all topics. What started off as mostly a platform for content creators who play video games, the platform has exploded into a major media platform that allows creators to share their lives with anyone who is interested in tuning in. In 2017, it is estimated that creators on the platform made $87 million. This puts Twitch in second in year over year revenue growth for platform creators, only behind Instagram. Twitch streamers can essentially make money through viewer donations and stream subscriptions which give users special emotes to use in the chatroom. Ninja, perhaps the most popular streamer, made nearly $10 million in 2018.
Many may wonder why people who play video games all day should be able to make so much money. For me, I am not surprised by these figures because it purely reflects on how we consume media today. Today, people want to pick and choose what they want to watch at any given moment. Twitch gives people the opportunity to select whatever game they want to watch be played and who is playing it. As well, people like interacting with media. Twitch gives people the chance to talk with the content creator and others in the chat who enjoy the same things they do in real-time. This gives a more personal experience when it comes to consuming media. When I worked at NBCUniversal this past summer, I was able to observe how the company is adapting to how people consume media today. Undoubtedly, our habits and desires have changed, which has threatened traditional forms of media. The recent success of Twitch streamers makes this ever so evident.
Personally, I love watching Twitch. As a person who loves video games, I enjoy watching those who are extremely good at the games that I like to play. When you find streamers that you like, it feels as if they become your friend because you are able to interact with them live. This ability is what separates Twitch from other platforms, such as YouTube and Netflix. People begin to idolize streamers as if they were a famous basketball player or singer. Twitch streamers have become celebrities and it is no surprise that people wish to support them and companies want to advertise through them.
Let me know what you think. Are these numbers surprising to you? Do you feel that the recent success of Twitch Streamers is reflective of preferences today? Do you like watching Twitch? If so, who is your favorite streamer and why do you like watching them?