Game On with Twitch!
The world of gaming has recently made its way onto the main stage for media, but for years the underground competitive and hardcore gaming scene has been thriving. The gaming community has one of the most loyal fan bases in the world and marketers have been trying to figure out how to tap into that growing industry.
How can marketers reach these dedicated players? One company has figured it out and has been paving the way for new revenue streams.
When it comes to Website Strategy, Execution, and Gaming no company does it better than Twitch. Twitch is the largest Live Streaming Video Platform in the world with over 100+ Million unique viewers per month, and over 1.7 Million unique broadcasters per month. The opportunity to create a following is the dream of many streamers; the dream of making a living off of what they love to do. Twitch allows people to chase their dream by partnering with them, which allows Twitch and the Streamer to both make money through Ads, T-Shirt sales, and Donations. The Live Streaming business is very competitive and you have to differentiate yourselves from the pack.
Why are people on average spending 2 hours a day watching others play video games? It's not that farfetched of an idea when you take a look at professional sports like football, and basketball. Huge fan bases who watch highly skilled athletes competing at the highest level. Same goes for competitive gaming and even some cases with casual gamers. They are extremely skilled and/or entertaining. People like to see people who excel at something they love. Plus, Twitch allows you to interact with someone you may idealize or watch for days on end. It's the same rush you get when you "Tweet" at a celebrity and they respond or follow you back. The community you build with your fans is loyal and that's the main reason why so many are willing to donate their money, buy your apparel, and subscribe to your channel with the hopes that their contributions allow you to continuously provide entertaining content. These fan bases get even bigger for the professional streamers who actually compete in tournaments and competitive play. Most of the players are associated with professional teams and organizations. These teams include rosters, substitutes and even coaches. Now you can see the parallel between eSports and other sports industries. The teams compete in tournaments all around the world for large cash prizes. People tune in to watch these global events in millions; rivaling events like the Super Bowl and the NBA Championships. The marketing opportunities are endless.
Marketers have begun to sponsor these "Athletes" and professional streamers, providing them with their products so that they can advertise and promote it. Many companies will provide discount codes that are associated with that individual or even a team so that their fans are more likely to use those products and support their streamer/competitive player. Companies are advertising directly to their target markets when they do this, and are able to learn what they want in future products and ways to improve their businesses. Many teams will license their logo/color scheme to these sponsors and have a product of that company with their team colors and logo. This can also be sold to fans and boost both communities and profits. After all these teams and players have their own brand just like the companies they are sponsoring and they too are trying to promote themselves.