Reaching an Almost Unreachable Audience

Posted on October 8th, 2019 by Mary Caitlyn Polovich

While it isn’t a social media platform, Twitch has a lot of potential for advertisements that reach a huge (and growing) population. StreamElements reports that Twitch is the top live streaming platform with 2.7 billion hours of live content viewed in the last three months, compared with 735 million hours on YouTube and close to 200 million hours on Facebook Gaming. 

Those numbers alone speak to the enormous impact advertising through Twitch could have. But there’s more… 

Twitch recently launched a new marketing campaign along with rebranding in its colors, logos, and tagline, “You already belong here,” in the hopes of attracting more than just gamers to their platform. The rebranding comes after multiple years of efforts to broaden its scope of audience. 

Last year, the platform introduced 10 sections with specific themes — such as crafting, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), and outdoors for everyday streaming in real time. They also launched an interactive karaoke-style game, Twitch Sings, through a competition called Stream Star in which the winner is promised $20,000 and a record deal. 

One feature that is really insightful about how the future of how a new generation will consume sporting events — and how reaching that audience will evolve — is the fact that  Twitch offers to stream games. Twitch has agreements with the NBA and NFL, Wrestling and Women’s Hockey that allows users to stream games while also being able to commentate in real time with other streamers.

With Twitch’s audience expanding, companies are starting to insert ads into the streams and sponsored channels. Wendy’s and Hershey’s are two companies who have jumped at this opportunity to reach a sometimes unreachable audience. Because Twitch naturally attracts a tech savvy crowd, most of them are running ad blockers — which makes having a chance to reach them even more desirable for advertisers. It should also be noted that last year the company stopped offering an advertisement-free option for Amazon Prime subscribers. 

There are currently three monetization offerings on Twitch:

  1. Ads: Partners get an undisclosed cut of ad revenues from ads that play on their channel. 
  2. Virtual goods: Viewers can purchase “Bits” to help show support for their favorite Twitch partner. Viewers can use their Bits in varying amounts to get animated emoticons in chats, participate in subscriber-only chat rooms and get acknowledgement from a partner; partners get 1 cent per Bit used to support them.
  3. Subscriptions: Partners can earn revenues from subscriptions to their channel. Subscriptions range in price from $4.99 to $24.99 per month.