Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, it seems like everyone is integrating live streaming into their platforms. Yet, there is one live streaming giant that is beginning to take on the entertainment industry by storm, and it goes by the name of Twitch. This platform has become very popular for video game live streaming, but it's quickly proving ready to be more than a place for watching streamers play video games.

What is Twitch?

Owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon, Twitch is a live streaming video platform where users are encouraged to chat, interact, and make their own entertainment together. Twitch has very quickly become crucial to the esports and video gaming industry. As of 2019, it has been the leading live streaming video service for video games in the United States since 2017. In fact, Twitch has 15 million daily users and has attracted more than 35 million unique visitors a month. With the esports industry predicted to surpass $1 billion in revenue this year, Twitch has become more vital than ever to esports. As vital as Twitch is to the esports and video gaming industry, Twitch has recently been branching off into different industries. With more than 27k partner streamers and 150k affiliate streamers, Twitch has everything from music, games, talk shows, sports, travel & outdoors, chatting, food & drink, and special event live streams. It is clear that over the past couple of years, Twitch has become more than just a live streaming platform for gaming.

In September 2019, Twitch rebranded itself by launching a new look and logo for the first time since Twitch began in 2011. This rebrand was part of a brand-marketing effort to show that Twitch is more than a live stream gaming platform. The goal of this brand marketing campaign is to demonstrate how Twitch's many capabilities offer opportunities for other entertainment industries to utilize its technology. In fact, Twitch's VP and commercial director for esports, Kristen Salvatore believes that due to the large esports audience on Twitch, leveraging Twitch's sales expertise to ensure non-gaming brands enter the space in a meaningful way is a first step to help advertisers reach esports fans. Therefore, many industry experts predict the platform is ready to explode in the music and sports industry.

How Will Twitch Explode in the Music Industry?

The music community on Twitch is very vibrant and supportive. Experts predict that Twitch's music community is ripe to explode in the next year. Twitch has been beneficial for musicians because the platform allows them to play live and talk directly to their viewers, enabling musicians to develop a real and engaged fan base. These fans pay to subscribe to Twitch musicians' channels and tip them real money for performing covers and original songs. Live streaming on Twitch also allows musicians to build an intimate fan-artist relationship.

The Twitch music community is now so vibrant that many Twitch musicians, even ones who were completely unknown before they started streaming, now make a full-time living from doing nothing but streaming on Twitch. Even popular, mainstream musicians are streaming on Twitch these days including:

  • Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie - who goes live on Twitch to chat with his fans in Q&A sessions and plays games
  • Lindsey Stirling - who promoted her new album "Artemis" through a virtual concert
  • Matt Heafy of Trivium - he has live-streamed his vocal recording sessions, views from the stage during concerts, and guitar shredding.
  • DJ DeadMau5 - played games and live-streamed himself programming his stage props on Twitch

Industry experts believe Twitch is bound to explode in the music industry in the next year; allowing users to discover new musicians and develop more intimate relationships with their favourite artists. Twitch is becoming a go-to destination for fans to experience more content from their favourite musicians, right from the comfort of their screens.

How Will Twitch Explode in the Sports Industry?

Since 2017, Twitch has received numerous co-streaming rights and partnerships with traditional sporting events. This includes partnerships with the WWE, UEFA Champions League playoffs, MLS, NBA G League, Lucha Libra AAA Worldwide, the Stadium Sports Network, and an exclusive streaming partnership with the National Women's Hockey League.

One of Twitch's biggest live sports partnerships is with the NFL, as the host of the NFL's Thursday Night Football.

Twitch announced its multi-year partnership with the NBA as the official international streaming partner for USA Basketball.

In addition, Twitch recently announced they will be teaming up with the Oakland Raiders as a founding partner in launching the new home of Raider Nation, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Allegiant Stadium will have a Twitch-branded lounge that will integrate Twitch's live streaming capabilities and active community into a variety of events for fans to experience. Top-billed sporting events, esports competitions, and concerts are Twitch activations planned to take place at the Twitch lounge in the future.

As Twitch continues to gain more co-streaming rights and partner with sports leagues, it will be ready for explosion in the sports industry. There is no doubt that Twitch will be playing a dominant role in bringing sports to more audiences.

What Does This Mean for Marketers?

Twitch wants the world to know it is ready to be more than just a platform for video gaming live streaming. With Twitch's advertising capabilities, growing music community and increasing sports partnerships, the opportunities are abundant for marketers in 2020.

Want to start engaging with Twitch fans and learn more about them in the process? We now offer the ability to integrate with Twitch's social login on campaigns so you can capture data and learn more about these fans. Check out this example from Blazer5 Gaming where fans were prompted to log-in with their Twitch account to enter to win a prize pack.

Want to keep up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the music and sports industries? Contact us to see how we can help.

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