Twitch (also known as twitch.tv) is an American live video streaming service company and platform, operated as a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Twitch was founded in June 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear as a spin-off of Justin.tv. The platform operates as a gaming streaming platform with a range of topics and personalities including esports, live sports, online gaming, and just-chatting video. The platform was created as the gaming platform for Justin.tv, but since has grown to include other interests and topics.
Sara Clemens is the current CEO of Twitch, since taking the role in January 2018. Twitch.tv was purchased by Amazon on August 25, 2014 for $970,000,000 USD, with the name Justin.tv being discontinued in the acquisition. The service accounted for 40% of all livestreaming traffic in the US in 2014 (only behind Google) and reached an average of 15 million daily viewers by 2019.
Twitch makes up a major marketshare of livestreaming, including a broad range of broadcasters, viewers, advertisers, communities, and games. The platform reached 3.8 million unique broadcasters over February 2020, and 1.44 million concurrent viewers on average as of March 2020. League of Legends is the most-viewed game of all-time on Twitch, with over 29 billion views as of April 2020.
According to TwitchTracker, the number of average monthly broadcasts on Twitch has risen from 300,000 in 2012 to 3.84 million in 2020. Average concurrent channels have also risen from 2,200 in 2012 to 56,400 in 2020.
Twitch is mostly used by males, with a 2017 ComScore report showing about 81.5% of its user base were men. Half of those men were between the age of eighteen and thirty four. The male-female split has decreased recently, with the gender split falling to 65%-35% male-female by the second quarter of 2019.
Twitch is monetized through multiple income channels, including advertising, subscription fees, and percentages from in-app currency. The platform gained an estimated $1.54 billion in 2019, with over $300,000,000 USD coming through advertising. Advertising is shown before, during, and/or after streams. Twitch's on-site currency, called 'Bits', allows viewers to purchase livestream features including shout-outs, more noticeable messages, and special chat gifs and emojis.
Twitch has two subscriptions models, Twitch Turbo and Amazon's Twitch Prime, which allow viewers to subscribe to individual channels, support their preferred streamers, and view streams with no ads or pre-roll advertisements. Subscriptions allow consumers access to certain subscription-only streams and chats.
Twitch Prime is included with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video account, which cost $12.99 and $8.99 per month respectively. Twitch Turbo costs $8.99 per month.
The platform estimates 62% of viewers engage with esports or gaming personalities through chat or other avenues daily, with over 70% of those offering monetary support for their streamers. In addition, a Nielsen report shows 64% of gaming audiences purchase products recommended by broadcasters, which are often linked to Twitch's parent company Amazon for purchase.
Brooke Van Dusen
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
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