Despite millions of daily users, there are still plenty of people who are unaware of one of the most popular streaming services around – Twitch. If you’re a gamer or just a tech savvy individual who knows all about it already, you can skip the next couple of paragraphs to where we talk about how brands are using it to connect to a new audience. Meanwhile, let’s get everyone levelset on what Twitch is.
What Is Twitch?
We know, there are more streaming services available than you can keep track of, but Twitch isn’t some new phenomenon built in the past couple years. The service, with more than 15 million daily active users and 4 million unique monthly broadcasters, is set to celebrate a full decade of existence in 2021.
And while being best-known for streaming live video game action – that’s still the top generator of traffic – the service has just about anything you’d want to watch. There are cooking classes, live music sessions, Q&As from a variety of topics, and even podcasts & talk shows.
Twitch is available on many platforms. You can visit the official Twitch website to watch streams, or use the app, which is available on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, and devices like Chromecast and Apple TV. If your device has access to the internet and supports apps, you can probably use it for Twitch. And maybe most importantly to users, creating an account is free. You need an account in order to leave comments on streams, as well as to subscribe or follow other content creators.
Many of the streams on Twitch feature players playing through games live – typically with a live feed of themselves playing in one corner of the screen – while they interact with their audiences through chat. That tends to be a pretty typical format for Twitch, but the platform is also used to broadcast e-sports tournaments and things like talk shows that focus on gaming. Within gaming, there are dozens of niche interests and markets served by streamers, whether it’s a specific game, like Horizon Zero Dawn or League of Legends, or a type of gameplay like speed running or first playthroughs.
Twitch by the Numbers
For the purposes of this blog, we’ll have our eyes on the video game streaming. On any given Tuesday at Noon, you can find 260,000 viewers watching Fortnite battles, and another 210,000 tuning in to watch gamers play Grand Theft Auto V.
There are 34,000 users on the FIFA 20 channel, watching various games from different users, and oh, 30,000 more with their eyes fixed on virtual chess matches.
The platform’s 15 million daily users AVERAGE nearly two hours a day watching Twitch live streams. So let’s quickly look at demographics, too. More than 80% of Twitch users are male and 55% are between the ages of 18-34. And then there’s this eye-popping stat – 50% of millennial males use the streaming service. You read that right – five-zero.
The (Big) Marketing Opportunity with Twitch
With each of the video game channels garnering millions of followers, you can already see just how valuable this space is to both brands and the content creators themselves. Tell any marketer that they have the potential for thousands, if not millions, of captivated viewers at any given time, they’ll tell you that you’ve struck gold.
Though the direct impact of influencers on sales can be difficult to evaluate, there’s concrete evidence that Twitch influencers drive sales.
In the case of the game Punch Club, it estimates that Twitch is responsible for 25% of the game’s sales based on the behavior of Twitch’s Steam connected viewers who watched Punch Club and went on to buy the game.
Most streams lend themselves well to advertising opportunities, but maybe more than any other segment of audiences, the need for seamless, authentic marketing content is a must. When looking to partner with a content creator, one must know this isn’t just a hobby with an audience. Most streamers make a great living from their work on Twitch, through donations, subscriptions, and lucrative brand partnerships.
By executing influencer marketing campaigns on the platform, brands can gain access to what some consider the holy grail of demographics. In regards to engagement, the unfiltered and often lengthy duration of Twitch livestreams makes for highly authentic content and in turn highly authentic partnerships.
Marketing on Twitch by partnering with an influencer can be as simple or creative as you wish. A streamer might include your brand in a sponsored stream title or on a tile on their channel page. Other options include brand placement on the video stream itself or behind the streamer on their webcam. As with any influencer partnership, a streamer can mention your brand organically, or it can be brought up when certain occurrences happen during the stream.
And the most popular streamers on Twitch have millions of followers themselves. Ninja tops the list with 15 million followers and nearly 500 million channel views. With those numbers come millions of dollars, as well. Top Twitch influencers can bring in more than $1 million a month playing Fortnite, for example.
But a brand’s partnership does not have to solely rest with Twitch influencers. The service itself offers ‘traditional’ advertising opportunities as well – from video to banner ads to just about any placement you can think of, your brand has the opportunity to get in front of millions of eyeballs.
Brisk + Twitch Case Study
If those available opportunities with influencers or on the actual platform aren’t enough, there are also ways to use Twitch content beyond it, through licensing agreements. Better explained through an example, Jodi Harris of Content Marketing Institute describes how PepsiCo did just that for its iced tea brand, Brisk.
“A recent successful example is PepsiCo’s 7-Eleven Summer Series Presented by Brisk, (Pepsi’s brand of iced tea). PepsiCo took the concept of being an event sponsor to a whole new level by creating original programming to coincide with the release of a limited time product with exclusive retail placement. PepsiCo and Twitch created an off-season competitive gaming tournament for the popular video game Rocket League where the event’s commentators and personalities consumed Brisk and performed in skits about purchasing the product at 7-Eleven.
Viewers not only cheered for shoutcasters (live gaming commentators) to consume bottles, they engaged with Brisk via social media after the broadcasts were over. They named their cars Brisk in the game, created videos speculating about potential Brisk-themed in-game car customization options, and took over the Rocket League subreddit with threads about Brisk.”
Measuring Marketing Success on Twitch
When it comes to measuring performance, Twitch provides unique ways of doing so. Unlike a traditional TV advertisement or even social media post, your brand is mentioned on stream, where viewers instantly react. With scheduled streams, you are able to accurately track how being mentioned on Twitch can direct viewers to your brand.
The streamer can also use Twitch chat to monitor immediate feedback from viewers and adjust their tactics accordingly. This provides an advantage over more traditional advertising tactics, which take time to develop measurements for the effectiveness of messaging. Tweaking a brand’s message almost in real-time is a marketer’s dream.
When you put it all together, there’s no wonder why some of the biggest brands in the world have diverted marketing budgets toward Twitch. And we have a feeling that trend will continue – the data is just too good to ignore.