Video gaming fiends with an itch hit Twitch – FRANCE 24


Seven years on from the rebranding of its original incarnation, video game live-streaming platform Twitch boasts more than a million people tuned in at any moment and interest is rising.

Today’s top “streamers” are celebrities who can earn fame and a healthy living from competitive video gaming — but co-founder Emmett Shear says his lightbulb moment came back in 2010, four years before Amazon swooped to net Twitch for a cool $970 million.

“In 2010, I realised the content I loved, that I was watching on, was all gaming content,” says Shear.

“(I) loved the streamers, so I decided we would start focusing on just gaming, and there was a huge opportunity there,” Shear told AFP.

So Twitch came into being — the name alluding to a player’s action response time.

Twitch brands itself as a global community showcasing “unique, live, unpredictable experiences created by the interactions of millions,” the entertainment ranging from “casual gaming to world-class esports to anime marathons, music, and art streams.”

China blocking the platform last September was a bump in the road but the company was already going strong on 2017 revenues of $1.7 billion — 54 percent of a gaming content sector cake worth $3.2 billion, according to data from market intelligence agency SuperData.

SuperData says the platform of net giant Google held a mere 22 percent market share in 2017 as “despite having half the GVC (gaming video content) audience of YouTube, Twitch?s audience is more engaged and willing to spend on their favourite broadcasters”.

“Twitch has been conceived for video game spectators, unlike other platforms,” says Laurent Michaud, director of study for France’s IDATE digital think tank.

Today, some 670 million people watched at least one video game in 2017 — watching as streamers shoot at zombies, cast

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