Twitch – It’s a Good Day to be a Gamer, and It’s Only Getting Better

Imagine a huge football stadium, a stadium just like this, packed with people; and everyone has his or her attention only, only on you —- PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.


Just let that thought sink in a little. IT’S PRETTY DARN COOL RIGHT?! Then it gets a little creepy, and that’s when you stop thinking about it. Anyway, that’s just a typical day for a popular Twitch streamer.

What is Twitch? You may ask. Twitch is a popular online service for watching and streaming digital video broadcasts. People could watch others’ broadcasts, as well as start their own channels. Twitch was founded in 2011, and the initial focus was entirely on video games. But the company has since expanded into streaming sections that dedicate to artwork creation, music, talk shows, occasional TV series and many more. The company was then purchased by Amazon in 2014, and it has been one of the highest sources of internet traffic for Amazon in North America. So far, the streaming community has over 2.2 million unique streams, and on average 15 million daily active users.

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OK, But why would anyone ever want to join Twitch? I remember the good-old-days wh

en couple of my friends would come over to my home, sitting around the three computers I have back home to just watch video games. To be honest, having three PC at home was pretty rare for a typical household in China back in 2005, 2006. So many of my classmates would travel quite far to my place, just to play and watch video games. We would swarm the three PCs, taking turns to play. While not playing, everyone just stared at the screen, commenting, yelling, cheering, and laughing. That’s what brought me to Twitch. Even not playing, watching others playing video games is like on an adventures with the person playing. You experience the same thrill and excitement.

In addition, more than 17,000 of the Twitch streamers actually earn money by playing video games, or, buzzword, providing content on Twitch. Through the Twitch Partner program, streamers could receive revenue from paid subscription to the channel and ad placements. Most streamers also receive donations from fans and viewers from time to time. Even the tax might be harsh on the donation money, popular streamers on average can make $20,000 – $30,000 per month, including subscriptions, donations, Ad fees, sponsorship and whatnot.


Think Twitch is just a small-niche thing? Think Twit-ce. Your favorite celebrities are now on Twitch as well. Featuring Snoop Dog, Stephen Curry, Quentin Jackson, Hunter Pence and many more. Not only that, the gaming community and broadcast streaming industry have grown tremendously in the past few years. With YouTube Gaming grew its streamer base by 343% and Twitch by 197% in 2017, many other tech-companies have their eyes on this growing market. Microsoft has also introduced its streaming service, Mixer, to go toe to toe with Twitch. Facebook has also been planning to move into the broadcast-streaming with its new program designed to attract notable creators to the social network. Facebook would also utilize other Facebook platforms like Instagram and Oculus to support this streaming platform.

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So, Will the future of content creation heavily in favor of live-streaming? The industry surely has the potential. However, there have always been controversies regarding the content regulations, health issues for streamers, social responsibility. So how far would live-broadcasting go?


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Fun Fact: I do have my own streaming channel, if you do love to support: , you could also learn some Chinese.



  1. jamessenwei · ·

    Hey Nero, enjoyed your blog post. Like you I have been following Twitch for a while now. It really is a fantastic platform. Great thing about Twitch is that it gives gamers another route to making a livable income. You don’t have to be the greatest gamer to do well on Twitch. You just need a great personality. I’m also a huge fan of the art creation streams. I think a lot of art creation can find its home on Twitch people many art lovers will be able to see the artistic process in real time as well as follow and support their favorite artists in another way.

    Aside note however is that Twitch probably has the worst, most troll infested chatrooms on the internet. It might turn off some users.

    1. NeroC1337 · ·

      About that chatroom, I was going to mention it in the post. Decided it probably would not be appropriate to post as a class blog. As I said, content regulation would be a huge challenge for Twitch. Too much regulation, you’re killing the fun; not enough, you might see society hating on Twitch very soon.

  2. HenryChenChen · ·

    Great post Nero, I think the idea of twitch is fantastic, and the business will goes bigger in the future, as the virtual reality game becomes more popular. In the past, especially in China, Korea, E-sports are very popular and there are professional gamers chasing for the championship and they got paid very well. Such platform as Twitch also gives us an opportunity to see how the Pros play. In the future, virtual reality game will become more popular, and there is huge potential in such market. This will help the business of Twitch as well.

  3. Nice thorough post. I had a chance to visit Twitch last year as a part of Tech Trek, and I will be going again next month. It’s definitely an interesting company!

    1. NeroC1337 · ·

      Thank you for the reply, Professor Kane. Whoa! Tech Trek is going to Twitch again?! I had a friend who is on the Tech Trek trip two years ago i think. And I was so jealous. I’ve been following the company for quite a while, and am thrill to see how fast Twitch has been grown since. Acquired by Amazon definitely brought Twitch into the public sight. I was worried that Amazon would alter the company culture and changed the company,
      but it looked like they have done a good job.(Wish I were in the Tech Trek course this year)

  4. DingnanZhou · ·

    Very interesting post! I did not know Twitch until I got to know you were going to present this in class! It’s good have a head start by reading this blog first. I was wondering if there is any distinct features that Twitch have to outcompete other stream video broadcast. How was your experience with Twitch comparing to the other video streaming broadcast Bilibili? Both are very interesting companies!

  5. tuckercharette · ·

    Nero I really liked your post but I do have my doubts about Twitch. What’s always surprised me is Twitch’s ability to stay in the spotlight at the forerunner. When Facebook was garnering it’s user base, it kept adding features that made the experience better and better for the users themselves. However, Twitch produces content which feels very similar to a Youtube video except it’s live. My question is, why do people keep turning to Twitch as the platform which they choose to produce their content on?

    I’ve logged onto a few Twitch streams in the past and the experience feels like one which could be replicated quite easily. Youtube has live streaming capabilities and has an absolutely massive user base, why is it even a question for streamers to stay on Twitch when they could convert to Youtube gaming?

    These are the questions I’m asking myself because my switching costs are super low between watching a streamer on Twitch vs on Youtube, the only difference is the meaningless URL link that I’m clicking on to get there. Let me know what you think!

    1. NeroC1337 · ·

      To answer your question, there are couple reasons that Twitch remains on top. One is Twitch has a more complete and well-rounded system, including its donation system, subscription system, the ability to DIY your channel, etc. Although you could stream on many other channel, Twitch so far provides the most user-friendly, comprehensive functionality, and well incorporated system to use. That also would attract more content creators to Twitch, because you can get paid more easily on Twitch than many other platform.

      Which brought us to the second point, I think a huge amount of and also good quality of KOL, content creators, or streamers that Twitch has really give Twitch the edge. Like for you the switch-cost might be low, but for a person like me, who really follow and like the streamers, these people would essentially follow the streamer to wherever the streamers go. And now the best streamers are on Twitch. So I think the community that Twitch built really keeps it on top.

      However, as I mentioned, competitions are rising. Whether or not Twitch will stay on top in the future is debatable. But I would say for the next 5 years, Twitch would still be a leader in the industry, simply because of its streamers aren’t going anywhere shortly.

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