Twitch drives esports boom. Can it go beyond gaming ?

As the platform moves away from gaming we take a look at what the future holds

By Ella Wilks-Harper, contributor, Reuters Community

Reuters Institute found the consumption of online video has grown in recent years, largely through the adoption of native video formats by social media platforms.

Twitch, the video streaming site is an example of a social media platform proving that despite recent falls in Facebook Live views, live video as a format is still hugely popular.  

Attracting millions of daily views and with over 2.2 million creators, the platform has been cited as one of the key drivers in esports. Last January, the esports smashed the previously set Twitch viewer record reaching over 1 million streaming views.

Video streaming has allowed the best teams and gamers to attract their own audience of followers across all corners of the globe

Joshua Duboff, senior product manager, sports & entertainment at Reuters

However recent content partnerships, including Disney Digital Network, indicate an evolving community of viewers eager to engage with live video beyond gaming.

Buzzfeed have been experimenting with multiple Twitch streams and recently livestreamed President Trump’s press conference after the Singapore Summit live. Other publishers include NASA who livestream from the International Space station, allowing viewers to see astronauts space walk.  

Twitchs’ popularity also indicates how younger audiences favour engaging, interactive live video. Demographic data from September 2017 shows 81.5% of users are male with 55% aged 18-34. With a large and young audience, the platform is likely to see more publishers enter the playing field.

With the ability to comment in real-time, make ‘clippings’ to showcase snippets of livestreams and make their Twitch sessions that friends can join, more young people are engaging with live on the platform.

Last year, we saw a 100% year on year increase in digital lives. Far from being a fad, 61% of digital leaders are planning to focus on live video in 2018, according to the Reuters Institute. We have made it even easier for our clients to experiment with live allowing them to send live content straight to a variety of social media sites straight from our platform, Reuters Connect.

Our in-built planner also allowed our clients an advantage when covering the lunar eclipse in February. This allowed them to plan a coverage strategy of complementary content, pre-promote the event and build an audience before it even started. The result was one of the most popular lives of the last year.

 

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