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Twitch Continues Its TV Programming With An Anime Marathon

New York Comic Con may be over, but Twitch is keeping the fan celebration going with a month-long anime marathon on its social livestream service.

Rooster Teeth’s RWBY kicks things off October 9, followed by Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters on October 23. From its booth at New York Comic Con, Twitch hosted livestream interviews over the weekend with the RWBY cast and crew. Anime fans could also tune in to live talk shows, gameplay and art streams from Twitch creators. Editor’s Note: The date for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Masters has been updated to reflect changes in the Twitch schedule. The original date was October 15.

“Our approach is about giving viewers a new way to experience content they love,” Annie Berrones, director of emerging content marketing at Twitch told AListDaily. “This is done by allowing them to watch shows together with other fans and chat (or meme) in real-time. Because of the community-centric nature of Twitch and our pioneering approach to chat—whether it’s anime, Power Rangers, Bob Ross, or one of a dozen other programs we’ve streamed—watching content on Twitch is an experience viewers can’t get anywhere else.”

RWBY is an award-winning American anime created by Rooster Teeth by animator Monyreak “Monty” Oum. Episodes of the show have been streamed by Netflix and Crunchyroll and have been dubbed in Japanese for Warner Bros. Japan broadcasts. Season 5 of RWBY will premiere in theaters October 12 and online October 14.

“The community has expressed their passion for anime and these are both shows they already know and love,” said Berrones. “For RWBY, it was also a great tie-in to let both new and old fans catch up the series before the new volume drops.”

Twitch was originally founded to stream games, but it has become a thriving community that gathers for whatever passions they share from gaming and music to art, TV shows, fitness and of course, anime.

“Because Twitch is a global service, viewers are constantly being exposed to diverse cultural influences,” said Berrones. “As a result, it’s the collective community that is elevating the appeal of content on our site. It’s also worth noting that since anime clubs already exist offline, we’re elevating that experience by making it easier to do online.”

Twitch audiences are able to chat with one another and in some cases, simultaneously stream marathons on their own channels. This month, Twitch is also releasing new exclusive emotes themed after some of the featured series. Emotes will be accessible to viewers who subscribe to the TwitchPresents channel.

For fans, this creates an interactive viewing experience during their favorite shows. For marketers, advertising on Twitch provides access to the anime market that fetched ¥1.8 trillion ($15.9 billion) in 2016.

Twitch partnered with Crunchyroll in July to host a five-day marathon, which garnered a positive response from the online community. The success of this event illustrates that anime “was more than a novel one-off experiment,” said Twitch, while also elevating its presence in the programmatic TV space.

Programmatic TV ad spending will grow 75.7 percent to $1.13 billion in 2017, according to eMarketer—representing 1.6 percent of total US TV ad spend. Next year, programmatic TV advertising will grow another 85.2 percent to $2.09 billion, and that figure will reach nearly $4 billion by 2019.

TV networks are creating snackable content on social networks and experimenting with new ways to reach young consumers. Other brands turn to livestreaming platforms like Twitch and Facebook Live to take advantage of real-team communication with users. In November, quick-service restaurant chain Carl’s Jr. sponsored a 72-hour livestream on Twitch that included live commercials, a first for the platform.