Twitch (website)

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Twitch.tv
Twitch Logo.svg
Web address www.twitch.tv
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Streaming video service
Registration Optional
Owner Twitch Interactive
Launched June 6, 2011; 3 years ago (2011-06-06)
Alexa rank Increase 252 (May 2014)[1]
Current status Active

Twitch.tv is a live streaming video platform focused on e-sports and video gaming.[2] The website was launched in June 2011 by Justin.tv co-founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear as a subsidiary of Justin.tv focused on gaming-related content.[2] According to internal analytics from 2013, there are over 43 million viewers on Twitch every month, with the average viewer watching an hour and a half a day.[3][4][5]

History

When Justin.tv launched in 2007, the site was divided into several content categories. The gaming category grew especially fast, and became the most popular content on the site.[6] The company then decided to spin off the gaming content as Twitch.TV, inspired by the term twitch gameplay. It launched officially in public beta on June 6, 2011.[7] Since then, Twitch has attracted more than 35 million unique visitors a month.[5] Twitch has about 80 employees,[8] and is headquartered in San Francisco. On May 1, 2012, Twitch won a Webby Award called the "Webby People's Voice Award" in the games-related category.[9]

Twitch has been supported by significant investments of venture capital, including an 8 million USD investment in 2007,[10] an additional 15 million in 2012,[11] and 20 million in 2013.[12] Especially since the shutdown of its direct competitor Own3d.tv in early 2013, Twitch has become the most popular e-sports streaming service by a large margin, leading some to conclude that the website has a "near monopoly on the market".[13] Websites YouTube and Dailymotion have announced moves to host gaming livestreams as well, but have had a much smaller impact so far.[14][15]

In February 2014, a stream known as Twitch Plays Pokémon, a crowdsourced attempt to play Pokémon Red using a system translating chat commands into game controls, went viral; by February 17, the channel had reached over 6.5 million total views since its introduction five days prior, and was averaging concurrent viewership between 60 to 70 thousand viewers, with at least 10% participating. Vice President of Marketing Matthew DiPietro praised the stream, considering it "one more example of how video games have become a platform for entertainment and creativity that extends WAY beyond the original intent of the game creator. By merging a video game, live video and a participatory experience, the broadcaster has created an entertainment hybrid custom made for the Twitch community. This is a wonderful proof on concept that we hope to see more of in the future."[16][17]

As of 2014, Twitch is the fourth largest source of Internet traffic during peak times in the United States, behind Netflix, Google, and Apple. Twitch makes up 1.8% of total US Internet traffic during peak periods.[18] Beginning with E3 2014, Twitch was made the official live streaming platform of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.[19]

On 24 July 2014, it was reported by VentureBeat that Google signed a deal to purchase Twitch for approximately $1 billion.[20][21][22] As of July 2014, the report – which originated in May 2014[23] – remains officially unconfirmed.[24]

Content and audience

Twitch is designed to be a platform for real-time coverage of electronic sports. This includes coverage of large esports tournaments, personal streams of individual players, and gaming-related talk shows.[25] A number of channels do live speedrunning.[26] The Twitch homepage currently displays games based on viewership. The typical viewer is predominately male and aged between 18 and 34 years of age.[27] TwitchTV is looking to expand their viewers, including attracting more female gamers. To achieve this, one of the proposed goals is to increase the kind and types of games people come to spectate.[3]

Charity

Partners on Twitch sometimes host sessions for charity. By 2013, the website has hosted events which raised over $8 million in donations for charitable causes such as Extra Life.[28]

Lag issues

In 2013, particularly due to increasing viewership, Twitch has had issues with lag, particularly in Europe.[14] Twitch has subsequently added new servers in the region.[29] In order to address these problems, Twitch has also implemented a significant delay on streams, which has been criticized for negatively impacting broadcaster-viewer interaction.[30] Twitch says that the increased latency is an acceptable tradeoff for decreased stutter.[31]

Partners

In July 2011, Twitch launched its Partner Program,[32] which has reached 4,000 members.[5] Similar to the Partner Program of other video sites like YouTube, the Partner Program allows popular content producers to share in the ad revenue generated from their streams.

Advertising on the site has been handled by a number of partners. In 2011, Twitch had an exclusive deal with Future US.[33] On April 17, 2012, it was announced that Twitch announced a deal to give CBS Interactive the rights to exclusively sell advertising, promotions and sponsorships for the community.[27][34] On June 5, 2013, Twitch announced the formation of the Twitch Media Group, a new in-house ad sales team which has taken over CBS Interactive's role of selling advertisements.[5]

Platform support

Twitch is available as a mobile app on the iOS and Android platforms. Key features include viewing Twitch's streaming content in high definition and in landscape view. It offers a browsing option of the top streamers. Users can browse by game title or featured games. The app also allows users to follow their favorite channels. In the iOS version, there is also an in-app chatting feature which allows viewers to chat with other viewers.[35]

Twitch has been integrated into PC software, including video streaming to Twitch directly from EA's Origin software,[36] Ubisoft's Uplay,[37] games played on modern Nvidia video cards (via the driver's ShadowPlay feature),[38] and games such as Minecraft[39] and Eve Online.[40] Players also have the ability to link their Twitch accounts with accounts on Valve's steam software.[41] In 2013, Twitch released a software development kit to allow any developer to integrate Twitch streaming into their software.[42]

Twitch also supports streaming from some consoles. Twitch has dedicated software for the Xbox 360,[43] Ouya,[44] PlayStation 4[45] and the Xbox One.[46] CEO Emmett Shear has stated a desire to support a wide variety of platforms, stating “Every platform where people watch video, we want to be there.”[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Twich.tv Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Rao, Leena (August 11, 2011). "Justin.TV’s Video Gaming Portal Twitch.TV Is Growing Fast". "TechCrunch". 
  3. ^ a b c Webb, Charles (May 2, 2012). "Interview: The Big Broadcast - TwitchTV, eSports, and Making it Big as an Online Gamer". MTV. 
  4. ^ "Twitch Media Group". TwitchTV. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Lawler, Ryan (5 June 2013). "With 35M Unique Viewers A Month, Twitch Hires An In-House Ad Sales Team To Ramp Up Monetization". TechCrunch. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Matthew Lynley (March 10, 2011). "Live-streaming site Justin.tv buffing up for e-sports channels". VentureBeat. 
  7. ^ Alex Wilhelm (June 6, 2011). "Twitch TV: Justin.tv's killer new esports project". The Next Web. 
  8. ^ Sam Thielman (5 Jun 2013). "Twitch Bids Adieu to CBSi Ad Sales ESports hub sets up internal sales team led by CRO Jonathan Simpson-Bint". AdWeek. Retrieved 22 Nov 2013. 
  9. ^ "TwitchTV Wins a Webby People’s Voice Award". Business Wire. May 1, 2012. 
  10. ^ Alexander Sliwinski (20 Sep 2012). "Twitch receives $15 million investment to expand eSports broadcasts". Joystiq. Retrieved 2 Oct 2013. 
  11. ^ Dean Takahashi (19 Sep 2012). "Making every gamer famous, Twitch raises $15M to expand its eSports webcasts". VentureBeat. Retrieved 1 Oct 2013. 
  12. ^ Samit Sarkar (30 Sep 2013). "Twitch secures $20M investment to prepare for PS4, Xbox One". Polygon. Retrieved 1 Oct 2013. 
  13. ^ Ben Popper (30 Sep 2013). "Field of streams: how Twitch made video games a spectator sport". The Verge. Retrieved 1 Oct 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Patrick Howell O'Neill (16 Jan 2014). "Twitch dominated streaming in 2013, and here are the numbers to prove it". TheDailyDot. Retrieved 23 Jan 2014. 
  15. ^ Alex Wilhelm (30 Mar 2013). "As DailyMotion and YouTube turn up the pressure, Twitch looks to retain livestreaming ascendance". TheNextWeb. Retrieved 23 Jan 2014. 
  16. ^ "How Twitch is crowd-sourcing an amazing Pokémon multiplayer game". Polygon. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Twitch Plays Pokemon captivates with more than 6.5M total views". Polygon. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Wall Street Journal chart lists Twitch.tv fourth in U.S. peak traffic". Wall Street Journal via On Gamers. 5 Feb 2014. Retrieved 10 Feb 2014. 
  19. ^ "Twitch Broadcast Schedule for E3". TheNextWeb. Jun 2, 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Takahashi, Dean (24 Jul 2014). "Google’s $1B purchase of Twitch confirmed — joins YouTube for new video empire". VentureBeat. Retrieved 24 Jul 2014. 
  21. ^ Spangler, Todd (24 Jul 2014). "Google Seals Deal to Buy Twitch for $1 Billion: Report". Variety. Retrieved 24 Jul 2014. 
  22. ^ Mahardy, Mike (24 Jul 2014). "Google buys livestreaming service Twitch". IGN. Retrieved 24 Jul 2014. 
  23. ^ Spangler, Todd (18 May 2014). "YouTube to Acquire Videogame-Streaming Service Twitch for $1 Billion: Sources". Variety. Retrieved 27 Jul 2014. 
  24. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (25 Jul 2014). "Twitch: what is it, and why has Google bought it for $1bn?". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 Jul 2014. 
  25. ^ Miller, Patrick (October 31, 2011). "Twitch.tv Releases iPhone App, Feeds Your Addiction". PC world. 
  26. ^ Sebastian Haley (5 Feb 2013). "Can live speedruns compete with e-sports? (interview)". VentureBeat. Retrieved 23 Jan 2014. 
  27. ^ a b "CBS Interactive Expands Into eSports Category With Exclusive Live Gaming Video and League Partnerships". PRNewswire. April 17, 2012. 
  28. ^ Jeffrey Grubb (31 Oct 2013). "Livestreaming community on Twitch has raised $8 million for charity; plans to raise more this weekend". VentureBeat. Retrieved 24 Dec 2013. 
  29. ^ "Twitch.tv Adds New Servers and Upgrades Video System". Gameranx. 13 Dec 2013. Retrieved 20 Dec 2013. 
  30. ^ Rory Young (16 Dec 2013). "Twitch.tv update imposes delay of up to 60s in all streams, viewer interaction severely affected". Neo Seeker. Retrieved 20 Dec 2013. 
  31. ^ Staff (20 Dec 2013). "New Video System: Update after One Week in Full Service". Twitch. Retrieved 24 Dec 2013. 
  32. ^ Tassi, Paul (July 27, 2011). "JustinTV Lets Gamers Earn Cash with New Twitch Partner Service". Forbes. 
  33. ^ John Gaudiosi (9 Sep 2011). "StarCraft II Pro Gamer Steven "Destiny" Bonnell Explains How TwitchTV Is Changing the Game". Forbes. Retrieved 1 Oct 2013. 
  34. ^ Lish (April 17, 2012). "CBS INTERACTIVE EXPANDS INTO ESPORTS CATEGORY WITH EXCLUSIVE LIVE GAMING VIDEO AND LEAGUE PARTNERSHIPS". MLG. 
  35. ^ "TwitchTV Launches iPad and Android Apps; Expands Mobile Market Presence for Live Video Game Streaming Movement". Business Wire. April 12, 2012. 
  36. ^ Jeffrey Grubb (7 Nov 2012). "Origin gets video broadcasting in next update". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2 Oct 2013. 
  37. ^ Brett Makedonski (19 Sep 2013). "New version of Uplay features Twitch integration". Destructoid. Retrieved 22 Jan 2014. 
  38. ^ Twitch.tv (17 Dec 2013). "ShadowPlay Twitch Streaming Functionality Enters Beta". Retrieved 31 Jan 2014. 
  39. ^ Tracey Lien (21 Nov 2013). "Minecraft's Twitch integration now available". Polygon. Retrieved 22 Jan 2014. 
  40. ^ Joshua Derocher (11 Dec 2013). "EVE Online adds Twitch integration". Destructoid. Retrieved 22 Jan 2014. 
  41. ^ Jenna Pitcher (5 Jul 2013). "Steam accounts now link with Twitch". Polygon. Retrieved 22 Jan 2014. 
  42. ^ Jeffrey Grubb (17 Jun 2013). "Twitch blazing a path to livestreaming ubiquity with its updated SDK (interview)". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2 Oct 2013. 
  43. ^ Stephanie Mlot (14 May 2013). "Twitch TV App Launches on Xbox 360". PC Mag. Retrieved 22 Jan 2014. 
  44. ^ JC Fletcher (29 Mar 2013). "Ouya ships with native Twitch app". Joystiq. Retrieved 22 Jan 2014. 
  45. ^ Mike Futter (11 Nov 2013). "Twitch On PlayStation 4 Makes Brilliant Innovations". GameInformer. Retrieved 22 Jan 2014. 
  46. ^ JC Fletcher (10 Jun 2013). "Twitch streaming integrated into Xbox One". Joystiq. Retrieved 22 Jan 2014. 

External links