Way back in 2011, a live streaming video platform called Twitch was launched. It focused on live video game feeds and eSports competitions, and honestly unless you were a gamer you probably didn’t even notice that it existed.
But times have changed, and so has Twitch, who now hosts more than 1.5 million broadcasts and 100 million visitors a month. And it’s grown to be one of the largest sources of internet traffic in the U.S.
Twitch, owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon specializes in special event broadcasts and has recently become the new destination for marathon type content on the Twitch Presents channel (this month it’s featuring every episode of The Power Rangers).
But taking a cue from the live stream video trend, Twitch has transformed to not only cater to gamers, but provide a whole new offering to a more creative audience. It introduced Twitch Creative which consists of all types of creative live streams including but not limited to painting, illustration, drawing, sewing of all types, food, fitness, sports, programming, and game development. *See a full list here.
It’s giving creatives another robust channel to live broadcast on. So let’s talk about what you can expect on Twitch. First up, when you look around the Twitch Creative app, it does still look like a gamer site, so if you are looking for the clean, modern look you get with Facebook Live or Periscope, you’ve got the wrong app.
As a broadcaster, you have a large window for streaming, plus a feature box that normally features you. This can be manipulated or you can delete it altogether. And you can set up automation in your stream; for instance, if someone follows you, a predetermined action takes place on screen. You can also add music to your feeds or other people in an interview style format.
To get started broadcasting on Twitch, you simply sign up for an account, then using a computer, broadcasting software and a sufficient internet connection, you’re set.
One of the highlights of Twitch for broadcasters is their ability to take donations or be supported by the Patron. In order to do so, you simply need to apply to become a Twitch Partner which will allow you to monetize your content, determine the length and frequency of mid-roll advertisements, charge for channel subscriptions that provide additional perks, and sell merchandise, along with many other advanced offerings.
As a viewer, you can follow, chat, cheer, leave a donation–called Bits–or become a Patron, who’s a monetary supporter of a personality or channel. Minus the monetary support, its on par with the other live streaming apps in terms of what you can do.
And if you are wondering what to watch, the Spotlight on the top of the Twitch Creative Directory features broadcasters curated by the staff of Twitch which changes with content.
This new creative feed is getting a good amount of positive buzz in the live stream video community and is worth the time to check out if you are looking to get started or take your live streams to the next level depending on who your target audience is. It offers new opportunities and a whole new type of follower.
So what does Twitch have that might make it a force within the live stream landscape? It has users, and the infrastructure to support more. And it has a very distinct type of user that might have felt left out by the other live stream apps. It’s too early to say whether Twitch will be the next big thing. It’s flown under the radar for quite a while but with this new creative channel it could be poised to stake a claim in the new live stream landscape. It’s definitely one to watch.