Marketers – Ignore Live Streaming at Your Peril!

gh twitch live streaming

Think of the Internet like it’s your TV and websites like they’re your TV channels. The channels 3, 6 and 10 – the ones “everyone watches” – are just like the websites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Then there are those cable TV channels in the upper 800s that some people watch – you know who you are. Those channels are like the obscure websites few people have even heard about.

But cable TV and the Internet are different in an important way. TV is rigidly structured, while the Internet is very fluid. A little-known niche website today might be considered prime time next week. These days we’re seeing live video services rise from small communities to thriving media pillars − we watched this happen with Snapchat and Instagram not too long ago.

When college student Justin Kan founded Justin.tv in October of 2006, he did so as a novel way to have some fun. Kan, wearing a baseball cap with a webcam powered by a laptop-backpack rig, intended to ‘lifestream’ online 24/7. While ‘lifestreaming’ may not have stuck around, the concept behind it did. What started as a piece of comedy may have brought rise to one of the biggest mediums on the internet today: the live stream.

Twitch.tv Leads the Race

The reigning champ of live video streaming is Twitch.tv − which Amazon purchased for $970 million in 2014. While Twitch was founded as Justin.tv’s gaming spinoff, its userbase of 15 million daily active users also tune in for live streams of podcasts, music and personalities, which they watch for an average of 95 minutes every day.

There is ample opportunity for content creators and advertisers on Twitch and other livestreaming services like the newly created YouTube TV. The H3 Podcast, one of YouTube TV’s largest weekly shows, is estimated to bring in upwards of $100,000 every week through a combination of advertisers, viewers and paid subscribers.

Twitch’s most-viewed personality, a gamer by the handle of “Ninja,” has raked in more than $2.5 million on viewership alone. These numbers don’t take into account lucrative sponsorships, paid subscribers and revenue from other platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, where most high-profile streamers upload edited highlights of their live streams for additional revenue.

When people subscribe to Amazon Prime, they receive a free subscription to view any Twitch broadcaster. This alone pushes additional dollars − hundreds of thousands of them − to streamers every month while driving uninitiated Amazon shoppers to discover the platform.

“But Gamers Aren’t My Market”

Think again. “Gamers” no longer make up their own specially segmented market profile. While they typically match the profile of an average millennial, it may surprise you to know that 40% of Americans over 50 have played a video game in the last 60 days. As you lower the age of the profile, that statistic peaks at 73%.

With video consumption projected to account for 82% of Internet traffic by 2020, the time to start considering the power of live streaming content, partners and advertising was yesterday. Live streaming used to be “the future of entertainment” on the Internet. Now it’s a reality with a strong value proposition: Video content with no middleman and immediate gratification.

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GillespieHall Digital Content Creator

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