Live-streaming service Twitch.tv popped into existence less than two years ago, but already seems to have become an integral part of contemporary PC gaming, like keyboards, or swearing at new MOBA players. And the numbers seem to back that haphazard theory up. In February of this year, 28 million unique viewers tuned in to watch broadcasts from about 600,000 broadcasters. On average, visitors watched more than 1.5 hours of video per day.
“Twitch launched in June of 2011 and our growth ever since has exceeded even my expectations, which were not small.”
Them’s the words of Twitch CEO Emmett Shear.
“A year and a half later, the community of broadcasters and viewers has multiplied hundreds of percent. Brands like Electronic Arts, Activision and Sony Online Entertainment have begun integrating Twitch directly into their products, charities have collectively raised more than three million dollars using Twitch as a platform, and conventions are now turning to Twitch as their exclusive streaming partner. We want to make broadcasting a standard piece of the gaming experience, and we’re starting to realize that goal.”
Twitch released their Broadcasting SDK toward the tail end of last year, which allows developers to connect their games directly to Twitch and have players broadcast from within their games. Twitch reckon this has removed a final hardware and software barrier to broadcasting.
“Twitch has become the go-to live video platform for the entire video game ecosystem,” said VP of Marketing Matthew DiPietro.
“Our broadcaster base includes everybody from passionate individual gamers to large video game companies and organizations. eSports organizations, gaming media outlets, game developers, video game talk shows, conventions, charities and more all find a home on Twitch, with a passionate audience craving their content.”
The success of Twitch is, one would suspect, inextricably tied to the continued rise of eSports via StarCraft and relative new kids League of Legends and Dota 2. For many, those games are as much about ogling the top players as they are about playing.
What’s more, the sad and unusual demise of streaming competitor Own3D has seen a slew of high-profile broadcasters drift back to Twitch in the last month or so. That can’t have hurt their viewer numbers, though the pockets of some big-name streamers have yet to recover.
Are you a regular Twitch user? Who do you ogle?