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.
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.
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:
http://live.bilibili.com/52234 , you could also learn some Chinese.