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If you still don’t know what Twitch is, today we discover one of the fastest growing networks in recent years and the home of millions of video game lovers around the world.

What is Twitch and how does it work: index

What is Twitch

Twitch is the world’s largest live streaming platform, and since its inception, it has specialized in broadcasting video game sessions, although it increasingly offers a wider variety of content such as music, lifestyle, user chats, and sports. In fact, major sports clubs like Real Madrid, PSG, or Arsenal have their own channels on the platform. The platform itself defines its purpose as follows: “Twitch is where millions of people come together live every day to chat, interact, and create their own entertainment.”

To grasp the magnitude of Twitch, one only needs to look at theLive Streaming Industry Report by StreamLabs, which shows that in the third quarter of 2022, the platform dominated the market for live video views and broadcasts.

The study reveals that, in total, users on Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming watched a total of 7.27 billion hours of content on these three platforms during the third quarter of 2022. Of these, 5,712 billion hours were attributed to content viewed on Twitch.

Gráfica de la evolución de horas de contenido vistas en Twitch cada trimestre desde el tercero de 2020 al tercero de 2022

Source: StreamLabs

Regarding the number of hours that streamers dedicated to live broadcasting content, when summing the total across the three platforms, there were 226 million hours streamed in the third quarter of 2022, with 210.4 million hours streamed on the purple platform

Gráfica de la evolución de horas de contenido streameadas en Twitch cada trimestre desde el tercero de 2020 al tercero de 2022

Source: StreamLabs

Audience of Twitch

According to current data from the platform itself, Twitch receives more than 35 million visitors per day and has an average audience of over 2.5 million viewers. Furthermore, each month, approximately 7 million content creators go live on the platform, and in 2022, more than 11 million individuals ventured into their first Twitch broadcast.

In 2022, the total minutes watched on the platform reached 1.3 billion. Among Twitch users, two-thirds are male (65% male and 35% female), although in 2018, the gender gap was much more pronounced (81% male and 19% female). In terms of age, there’s no doubt that Twitch is a platform for centennials and millennials, as over 70% of viewers fall within the 18 to 34 age range.

By country, the United States has the most users; as of July 2023, 20.43% of the platform’s traffic originated from the United States. It is followed by Germany (6.78%), Russia (5.27%), South Korea (5.12%), and France (4.59%). Since September 2018, Twitch has been blocked in China.

History of Twitch

Twitch was born in 2011 as a spin-off of Justin.tv, focused in video game streaming. The community grew so rapidly that it soon caught the attention of tech giants.

In 2014, it was acquired by Amazon for $970 million after failing to reach agreements with Google. Today, the service is included as part of the Amazon Prime subscription. Although the platform is primarily known for video game streaming, over time, it has diversified its content to include music, sports, and other types of live content.

Since its acquisition by Amazon, Twitch has continued to grow, leveraging the success of eSports worldwide. It has gained so much popularity that there is even a TwitchCon, a convention that allows you to meet streamers, play games, and participate in eSports competitions.

How does Twitch work

Twitch allows users to create and watch live broadcasts. Streamers broadcast events in real-time and interact with the audience through chat.

twitch layout

Interface:

  • Center: In the center of the screen, you will see a slider with live broadcasts along with a series of category and channel recommendations.
  • Top Bar: On the left, the “Following” tab shows all the updates from the channels you follow (only if you have sign in), while in “Explore,” you can discover new channels that are currently live. Clicking on the three dots also gives you access to various corporate and informational sections of Twitch. The central bar allows you to perform searches, and on the right, you can check your rewards, notifications, messages, and access your account settings.
  • Left Panel: If you are logged in, you will see a list of the channels you follow and a list of recommended channels that are currently live.

Categories and Tags

When going live, the streamer selects a category and tags that will be used in search results and recommendations. There are numerous categories and tags on Twitch, so it’s crucial to classify your streams correctly to reach your audience.

Followers vs. Subscribers

Both followers and subscribers of a Twitch channel can watch the streams for free. However, subscribers pay a monthly fee that grants them a set of benefits and supports the content of the channel they subscribe to. Depending on the subscription tier, you may be able to watch ad-free streams, access subscriber-exclusive streams, engage in private conversations with the streamer, double your channel points, and use subscriber emoticons and badges.

How to create a Twitch account

Creating an account on Twitch is very simple. Whether on a computer or mobile, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Twitch website.
  2. Click on “Sign Up” in the upper right corner.
  3. Fill out all the fields in the form, including:
    • Username
    • Password
    • Phone number
  4. Enter the verification code you receive in your email account.
  5. Select your interests, and you’re done! You’re now registered.

Tip: Activate two-factor authentication to keep your account secure and be able to livestream.

How to earn money with Twitch

Donations

Adding a personalized link to your PayPal account or creating a donation panel allows viewers to make donations to your channel easily.

Affiliate Program

The requirements to become an affiliate are as follows:

  1. Stream for 500 minutes in the last 30 days.
  2. Stream on 7 different days in the last 30 days.
  3. Maintain an average of 3 or more simultaneous viewers in the last 30 days.
  4. Obtain and retain at least 50 followers.

Twitch’s affiliate program offers the following advantages:

  1. Subscriptions

In addition to the Prime Gaming subscription, Twitch offers subscriptions priced at $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99. Streamers receive a 50% share of subscription revenue. However, for highly successful channels (averaging more than 10,000 viewers per month), they can earn up to 70% of the earnings.

suscripciones

2.Bits

These are virtual currencies that users can purchase to send Cheers, animated emoticons to celebrate the best moments. Streamers receive 1 cent per Bit.

3.Advertising

Earn a portion of advertising revenue on your channel and determine the duration and frequency of mid-roll ads. Earnings depend on the CPM (Cost Per Mille, or cost per thousand impressions) and active ad campaigns.

Twitch-ad

4.Selling videogames and realted products

Post links to a product on Amazon in your channel. If a viewer purchases a product through your link, you’ll earn a commission for all items in the shopping cart, not just the ones you advertised.

Partner program

In addition to all the benefits of the affiliate program, partners have more customization options and channel tools. Explore all the difference here.

The requirements to become a partner are:

  1. Stream for 25 hours in the last 30 days.
  2. Stream on 12 different days in the last 30 days.
  3. Maintain an average of 75 viewers in the last 30 days.

Prime Gaming

Prime Gaming is a service included with Amazon Prime and Prime Video that offers:

  1. A free monthly subscription to an affiliate/partner Twitch channel.
  2. Exclusive games and content.
  3. Loot gifts.
  4. Free subscription for Twitch.tv.
  5. Exclusive emotes.
  6. More chat color options.

You can try Prime Gaming for 30 days completely free, and after this trial period, you can continue using the service for $4.99 per month, with the ability to cancel the subscription at any time.

War between Twitch and YouTube

Twitch’s business model, along with criticisms of YouTube, has led to a significant migration of content creators from YouTube to Twitch in recent years.

Twitch began reaching out to YouTubers, promising them higher earnings, and the results were not long in coming. Many creators have publicly stated that they earn more income through Twitch than YouTube, even with fewer views and followers.

Some of the most notable moves came from creators like PewDiePie, Casey Neistat, Logan Paul, Ibai Llanos, AuronPlay o El Rubius to name a few.

YouTube quickly counterattacked by signing exclusive streaming contracts with Twitch gamers like Valkyrae, LazarBeam, and Muselk for their YouTube Gaming service, successfully regaining some of the lost stars. Even Facebook Gaming entered the gaming live streaming market, indicating that the battle for video game live streaming is only just beginning.

Currently, Twitch has its own ecosystem of prominent influencers, including well-known figures like Rubius and Auronplay. In Spain, two names stand out above the rest: TheGrefg, who held the record for the highest live audience on the platform for a long time, and Ibai Llanos, who surpassed that record in June 2022 with the “LaVelada” livestream (3.3 million viewers) and once again broke records in 2023 with “La Velada del Año 3” reaching 3.4 million viewers. Llanos is undoubtedly the most recognized face for non-Twitch users, thanks to his involvement in eSports and partnerships with figures like footballer Gerard Piqué, among other initiatives.

Pandemic, a springboard for Twitch

The coronavirus pandemic significantly boosted Twitch’s consumption. The number of active channels grew from 3.75 million in February 2020 to 7.4 million in July of the same year. This represented an increase of nearly 200% in just four months.

Source: TwitchTracker.com

In response to the exponential growth of the platform and to prevent users from getting tired of the same type of content, Twitch decided to invest in new formats and diversify its content offerings.

Some examples of this type of content include series, live interactive shows, and self-produced interviews related to video games, sports, or music, all aimed at attracting different audiences to the platform.

For instance, in July 2020, several Premier League matches were live-streamed on Twitch, and organizations like the NBA, NHL, MLS, and MLB have also established a presence on the streaming platform.

Current situation of the platform

According to data from TwitchTracker, in July of this year, the number of active streamers reached 7.58 million, surpassing January (7.55 million) as the month with the highest number of active streamers in 2023. Throughout this year, the trend has been irregular, with a decline in February, a rise in March, another drop in April, and a resurgence in June.

gráfica de evolución del número de usuarios activos en twitch

Regarding the average number of viewers per month, while the year started with an irregular trend, it has stabilized since March. However, the peak of this year (2.54 million) occurred in February. In July, the average number of viewers stood at 2.45 million.

While in 2021, Twitch emerged as the social network where users spent the most time, in 2022, it dropped from the first to the fourth position, with an average daily usage of 1 hour and 30 minutes. However, in 2023, it has managed to climb the ranks to become the second social network where users spend the most daily time, with an average of 1 hour and 28 minutes.

Twitch’s future looks promising

Despite all that has been discussed, it should not be considered that Twitch is going through a bad period, far from it. One only needs to look at the astronomical figures of users, views, and content creators.

We must consider the revolution that the pandemic brought to this social network. The conditions resulting from it created an ideal scenario for this platform and other social networks. It was expected that at some point, the enthusiasm might wane a bit. With the return to “normal,” we have resumed old habits and undergone a slight digital detox (we are still hooked, but now we go out), so it’s not surprising that the use and consumption of a platform like Twitch has decreased.

Adding to this, the fact that awareness of this social network continues to increase year after year, the future scenario appears more than favorable. Can Twitch become the future of entertainment?

 

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