Twitch, TV or not TV

If you didn’t know, Twitch.tv is a website, very similar to youtube, based on a creator content and subscriber platform. The website’s main focus is relying on nontraditional “professionals” to create watchable,  live content based off of their personalities and reactions as they play video games. When going to the website you are prompted to make an account so the website may keep track of your interests and so your viewership can be accounted for on creator’s channels. This aspect is what starts to become very similar to Youtube. With very little structure or direction you are able to find just about anything video game related you want to see, as long as it is thought to have an audience. Creators make money based off of how popular they are, how many subscribers they have, and how many views they get. Where Twitch begins to separate itself from Youtube is in the final way that creators can make money, direct donations and payed memberships. Youtube has actually taken this idea from Twitch with their new service called Youtube Red.

Twitch.tv was created in 2011, and at that point it was nothing close to being considered as TV programming, since then it has undergone many changes. It has kept it’s simple membership and donation platform that I talked about earlier, but in 2014 it was bought by Amazon. At the time it didn’t seem to make much sense, but since then, services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime have exploded into the streaming and creating of TV or TV-like content market. Amazon has effectively set themselves up with a large service that contains an almost unlimited amount of content that holds the heavy interest of anyone from a casual gamer to a devout professional. They have also been able to do this with out contributing to the production cost of the content or the paying of the content creators. Do to the nature of Twitch and how it is more reliant on content creator personality than the actually video games that are played, if Amazon wanted to add a little bit more structure to Twitch they could easily have a infinite content machine churning out new, more scheduled, and accessible programming without ever needing a new story driving element.

-Nick Luedeke

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3 Responses to Twitch, TV or not TV

  1. mediaphiles says:

    This reminds me for some reason of the movie Nerve. I’m sure that the actual concept of the site is not quite like the game in the movie, though. I think it is interesting that there is an entire youtube channel contributed to video game reactions. Having not played video games since I was younger, I would not have guessed there was a network of people large enough to create a Youtube-like channel. I think this is a really cool thing to have for the gaming world and obviously successful is Amazon is spending so much money on it and Youtube has developed a similar streaming network.
    -Nicolette McCann

  2. mediaphiles says:

    This is really interesting to me because although I do not have interest in the streaming of video games and stuff like that, I do play a lot of video games. I have heard about twitch a lot but never really knew exactly what it was until reading this. I think esports and the video game industry will continue to grow in popularity and evolve to the point where they are recognized by the population as a whole as more than just an entertainment source but an actual competitive gaming industry.

    Max Lissette

  3. marymdalton says:

    Interesting post!

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