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TWITCH.TV – AN INTRODUCTION TO THE FUTURE OF LIVE BROADCASTING AND WHY POKER PLAYERS AND AFFILIATES SHOULD USE IT TO THEIR ADVANTAGE

Monday, 02 May 2016

TWITCH.TV – AN INTRODUCTION TO THE FUTURE OF LIVE BROADCASTING AND WHY POKER PLAYERS AND AFFILIATES SHOULD USE IT TO THEIR ADVANTAGE

 

Staying in touch with all the new developments and technological advances is probably one of the most important and most challenging aspects of our professional lives.

 

As we continually witness the overwhelming impact of new technologies on our work lives and as AI and (ro)bots threaten to significantly reduce the need for human labor in many industries - the challenge of staying in touch with technology is more pressing than ever. Simply put, if you don’t adapt quickly – you lose!

This article is a first in a short series intended to address poker players/affiliates working in an increasingly competitive market. This introduction aims to act like a signpost for all of us struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of change. It is an informational warning for yet another crucial change in direction because, as we all know - the one who gets to see the next battleground first - reaps most of the rewards.

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THE BIG SWITCH - INTRODUCTION TO TWITCH.TV

As most of us are already aware, online streaming video content is quickly becoming the most prevalent and easily accessible way of consuming entertainment. The impact of this change for advertisers and marketers is easily comparable to the rise of TV in the time of press and radio in the 1950s. This is an important fact everyone working within the marketing and advertising community should take very, very seriously. It shows us the next migration, a new battleground for engaging our audience!

Twitch.tv started back in 2011 as a gaming section of a (then) larger video-streaming website called Justin.tv. Rising in popularity, Twitch.tv quickly outgrew its native website and became a separate platform many are hailing as the future of live TV. Many people agree that Twitch.tv’s highly successful model might actually revolutionize the way we consume (and interact with!) video content.

With video streaming growing steadily every day, live online broadcasting is just starting to take its toll in our industry market. We have all seen and have been baffled by the enormous popularity of online video game streaming shows like PewDiePie who quickly (without us even properly noticing) conquered a whole population of young YouTube viewers, making him the most watched channel on YouTube since its creation. Well, take notice, because now - there is a new platform dedicated only to this type of content (and poker is a part of it)!

THE NUMBERS

With 1.7 million broadcasters and more than 100 million community members, Twitch.tv is by far the largest and most widespread live web streaming platform on the entire internet!

It is also a social video platform where anyone can contribute and become a broadcaster themselves. The site has grown so fast that its scope is predicted to take over the entire video streaming industry.

There is no question Twitch.tv’s rise has truly been astonishing. In 2013, The Forbes magazine called Twitch.tv “the ESPN of Videogames” and in 2014, the site was considered to be the fourth largest source of peak internet traffic in the US. trailing only Netflix, Google and Apple!

Twitch.tv’s value was further confirmed when, on August 25th, 2014, the site was purchased by Amazon for a stunning $970 million! Just last year, in 2015, The Wall Street Journal announced that Twitch.tv “reached 100 million users a month!”

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The conclusion that can be drawn from these reports and the staggering numbers of yearly, monthly and even daily traffic should be enough to consider the larger consequences of these new developments. Twitch.tv is the next platform you have to turn to. Its model is here to stay and in order to remain successful or even alive in this competitive industry, you must quickly find ways to engage its growing audience in the most serious way possible.

WEBSITE DESCRIPTION

Using the website is quite simple and intuitive. The first thing you see on the homepage is a live broadcast, exactly what Twitch.tv is all about. Very straightforward, straight to business!

The page design is simple and functional, there are not too many buttons, links and needless distractions. In fact, besides the immediate live broadcast that dominates the screen, you only have the search function, a browse button, login or sign up and an upgrade link. Nothing more and nothing less.

 

The sign-up process is very simple and it allows you not only to manage your favorite channels, games and video, but it also gives you an easy opportunity to create your own broadcasting channel and get in on the action.

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UNDERSTANDING THE APPEAL OF TWITCH.TV

One of the most important factors for understanding and using Twitch.tv is really connected with the comprehension of the appeal the audience has for this kind of content. If you are having trouble understanding why people are using this site to watch other people play games, here is the simple answer – it is fun, exciting and it gives you an opportunity to communicate, share an experience and even learn new things.

While an average person might find it very hard to understand the appeal of watching other people play and comment on video games, for a Twitch.tv user (who, on average, spends 106 minutes watching the Twitch.tv streams every day!) the interaction is the key!

Twitch.tv is a live social video (and chat) platform that enables a constant live interaction between the broadcaster and the audience. So, it is not only about watching, it is about involvement. This is an important fact for all of us in this industry because it shows where the next place to get involved is. Twitch.tv users are in constant interaction with the broadcasters and we can be too. Not only can we (or anyone else) use these existing channels, but we can also make and manage our own.

These broadcasters are actually finding that using Twitch.tv is not only a way to connect, have fun, entertain, interact, share and sometimes even educate your audience - it is also a way to make money!

A SPACE FOR POKER PLAYERS/AFFILIATES

Lately, Twitch.tv has been working extra hard on broadening its scope into non-gaming content. While (from its very start) its focus was predominantly directed towards the video-gaming industry, now - there is a number of other channels that open up space for many different kinds of business and entertainment activities.

At the end of last year, Twitch.tv introduced a non-gaming category titled “Creative”. Here, you can already find amateur and professional artists, chefs, sculptors and all kinds of different users that watch (and/or stream!) their creative efforts to a growing audience. Beside this, Twitch.tv went even further allowing their site to live stream all kinds of different conferences, music performances, shows, festivals etc. Most impressively, in only three years, Twitch.tv grew to the point where its traffic accounts for 40% of all internet live-streaming content.

Having all these numbers in mind, it is not unreasonable to assume the $970 million buyout from Amazon.com is actually an investment into something that might, even now, be considered – the future of TV.

The possibilities for using Twitch.tv in poker and the affiliate business is huge and getting in on it in these early stages might be the key factor that might grant you success!

While computer, console and other types of games are all highly represented on Twitch.tv, Poker is practically just starting to grow, waiting for its chance to boom and become as popular as we all know it can. With this in mind, we must focus our efforts and get involved as quickly as possible. So, use this opportunity to get involved and be at the right place from the very beginning. This way, you might get a head start in the future of poker broadcasting!

Stay tuned and keep checking the PAW website for out next article about Twitch.tv. There, will we provide you with a simple guide on how to easily setup and use Twitch.tv.

 

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