Twitch Plans to 'Aggressively Broaden' its Content and Expand Beyond Gaming as it Battles YouTube

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Twitch, the platform known as a place to watch streamers play games like League of Legends, Fortnite, and Overwatch, is now looking into becoming a "broader video service" that would cater to lifestyle vloggers from rival company YouTube.

According to a report today by Bloomberg, Amazon-owned Twitch has decided to "aggressively broaden" the programming on the platform to directly compete with YouTube, and gain more advertising revenue in the process. Amazon and Twitch have reportedly pursued exclusive live-streaming deals with "dozens" of popular media companies and personalities who are currently on YouTube.


These deals are said to be worth "as much as a few million dollars a year," and include a share of future advertising sales and subscription revenue. "A few deals have closed," although some approached by Twitch have not agreed to the company's terms, including a minimum amount of hours required to livestream per week.

Despite Twitch's plans to add more non-gaming programming, the company is still focusing on live streaming video.

“There will be a steady drumbeat of lots of new content we’re bringing on,” says Michael Aragon, Twitch Interactive Inc.’s senior vice president of content. “We’re growing well, and that makes us an attractive destination for people looking to do new things in live, interactive entertainment.”

When Amazon bought Twitch in 2014, the live streaming service was exclusively focused on video games and didn't let anyone post videos that weren't related to gaming. In recent years, Amazon slightly expanded the scope of the platform with "Twitch Creative," encouraging non-gamers like chefs and artists to stream on Twitch. There have also been marathons of old Saturday Night Live episodes and some live sports.

Despite this introduction of new content, Twitch is still primarily video game-focused today. When browsing the Discover tab on iOS, popular live gaming streams, gaming channels, game clips, and more fill up the space. While Twitch will retain all of the live-streaming features and community of gamers it currently has, today's report suggests that users can expect to see more non-gaming streams in this area down the line.

This "broader video service" expansion appears to have gained even more momentum recently, as Twitch looks to bring people to its platform who might be more susceptible to advertising. As it stands, Twitch's target audience of young male gamers "tend to be resistant to ads." Justin Warden, CEO of e-sports marketing agency Ader Inc., explained that "few brands are excited about reaching an audience of hardcore gamers," but there is interest for "working with an influencer or personality."

YouTube has been losing favor in the creator community for a few years now, most recently causing controversy in May by testing a non-chronological video order in the user's subscription feed. In January, YouTube and Google announced new rules surrounding creator monetization and partnerships, particularly de-monetizing videos that have controversial or inappropriate content. This caused many YouTubers to consider lessening their focus on the platform and look into supplementing their income with other services like Twitch.

Top Rated Comments

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28 months ago
I still don't understand why some want to spend hours watching someone else play video games rather than do so themselves. It's like the kid at the arcade who was all out of tokens and instead had to stand around with a sad look on his face, watching others have fun playing instead.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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28 months ago

I still don't understand why some want to spend hours watching someone else play video games rather than do so themselves. It's like the kid at the arcade who was all out of tokens and instead had to stand around with a sad look on his face, watching others have fun playing instead.

I recently started watching Twitch early this year after discovering Prime benefits. I've got a full-time job and 2 kids. Some days I may not get a chance to play until I'm too tired to do so. It gives me a chance to still experience gaming. I'm also the type of person to get way too into a game and stay up way too late to keep finishing things. Sometimes I may pull up Twitch during my work breaks, which is just about enough time to watch most of a game of Fortnite or PUBG.

Twitch also provides me a way of watching true gameplay to know if a game is worth buying. Limited time means I don't want to waste it on a game I won't like.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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28 months ago

The first company to provide a solid YouTube alternative that has a major creator move over to it is going to be rich. But that’s the problem: the big creators don’t want to move because even with reduced revenue they’re still making millions. Unfortunately YouTube is probably going to have to screw up even more before something changes.

The issue is big creators don't have to move. They are all on YT, IG, Snap, Twitter, etc. It would take some type of exclusivity deal to get the big creators to drop their diverse income streams. They would most likely be taking up front money with the knowledge that they'd be losing a portion of their audience.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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28 months ago
Are there 2 words in this world more deplorable than "lifestyle vlogger"?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago
This was bound to happen after Amazon bought them. They'll ruin the site by making it too broad and then a new site will emerge dedicated to game streaming and it'll take over.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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