SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million for its 60 million viewers, but the livestreaming company is already considering its next 55 million.
People who tune into the video site spend an average of 106 minutes per session watching video, according to Twitch senior vice president of sales Kym Nelson during a talk today at the GamesBeat 2014 conference. That’s a timespan longer than many Hollywood movies, and that level of engagement is attracting marketers who want to reach the young, game-savvy audience. While Twitch is happy serving that audience, Nelson explained that some of the company’s recent moves are about expanding Twitch’s appeal.
“As content starts to diversify, we’ll be able to bring in more kinds of people,” said Nelson.
She specifically highlighted Twitch’s recent efforts to integrate livestreaming on mobile. The megahits on iOS and Android, games like Candy Crush Saga, have massive audiences made up of every kind of person. Streaming that kind of content could help the site find an audience beyond the (generally) young men that already spend hours on Twitch every day.
Twitch isn’t just a platform for consumers of video; the Amazon subsidiary also has 1.1 million broadcasters. These are the people who make the site’s content. Nelson touched on how Twitch has enabled some gamers to break out in popularity and earn money through livestreaming.
“[Among our 1.1 million broadcasters], we have about 7,500 partners,” said Nelson. Partners can create subscriptions for their channels and share in Twitch’s advertising revenue.
“Some of our most successful [broadcasters] have made a living from broadcasting on Twitch,” she said. “Some do well because they’re very good and skill-oriented. Some do well because they’re entertaining.”
Building its audience will likely require Twitch to attract a wider variety of partners. The company’s revenue-sharing program is by invite only, and Nelson gave one big pointer to help new broadcasters get to a point where Twitch may take notice.
“Just be consistent in what time you broadcast,” she said.
Essentially, like television, Twitch viewers appreciate a predictable schedule. They want to make an appointment to watch their favorites play games live online, and that could eventually lead to a significant audience.
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