Frontline Marketing

Stream On: How Twitch Is Branching Out Beyond Gaming

Still Image from Carl Sagan Cosmos on PBS

By | April 24, 2017 |

Twitch may be known for gaming, but it has evolved into a massive community that extends into a vast array of other interests. The Amazon-owned streaming platform has just kicked off Science Week with a 13-episode marathon of the original Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, hosted by Carl Sagan. In addition to the classic TV program, Twitch is conducting a series of interviews with personalities from the science community to celebrate Science Week, Earth Day and March for Science. March for Science rallied tens of thousands of scientists and concerned citizens across an estimated 600 simultaneous locations on April 22.

Among those taking part in the event are Ann Druyan (Cosmos: A Personal Voyage and Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyssey), Ariane Cornell (Blue Origin), Matthew Buffington (NASA spokesperson), Scott Manley (astronomer and sci-fi gamer), Pamela Gay (CosmoQuest), Kishore Hari (Satellite City Coordinator, March for Science), Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy blog), Fraser Cain (Universe Today) and more to be announced.

“Carl [Sagan] wanted to tear down the walls that exclude most of us from the scientific experience, so that we could take the awesome revelations of science to heart,” said Ann Druyan, co-creator of Cosmos in a statement. “The power of the original Cosmos series, with its enduring appeal to every generation since, is evidence of how much we hunger to feel our connection to the universe. Truly excited to share Cosmos now with the vast Twitch community.”

The company has livestreamed everything in recent years from poker, to Julia Childs, to Bob Ross and the Pokémon animated series. Twitch’s Power Rangers marathon resulted in 12.9 million channel views alone. Twitch also launched its own music library, and has helped companies like Netflix promote Stranger Things and HBO market Game of Thrones directly to its active community. So what’s next for the streaming giant?

“While we do have a fairly regular pipeline of programmatic TV on our platform—such as the recent marathons of Power Rangers, Amazon Pilots, and now Cosmos—it’s too soon to say where it might evolve from here,” Twitch PR director, Chase told AListDaily. “In terms of original content, our Twitch Studios team is interested in telling stories about our community, which includes their recent mini-documentary Ironsights, but they are still testing the waters.”

Indeed, Twitch has evolved beyond gaming, but that passion remains at the heart of everything the company does.

“Twitch is the celebration of our love for games,” Kevin Lin, co-founder and COO of Twitch told AListDaily. “But games only define one piece of who we are. Over time, a lot of streamers were also artists and musicians, and IRL became a thing because creators wanted to be able to talk about life philosophies and shoot the breeze. As you see people get together at TwitchCon and people meeting together for the first time or viewers and broadcaster relationships, Twitch is about sharing commonalities.”

Twitch earns 37 percent of Gaming Video Content (GVC) revenue despite only having 16 percent of the viewers, according to SuperData. In addition, 51 percent of Twitch revenue comes from direct spending, versus 31 percent for the industry overall. Amazon recently launched the ability to purchase digital PC games directly from Twitch streams, making the platform even more attractive for developers, streamers and marketers alike.