Live streaming, one the biggest entertainment consumption medium of the modern era. Long gone are the days when we had to sit in front of our ‘idiot box’ to watch our favorite team play, or even listening to our favorite musician live only to be interrupted by some other family member who wanted to watch soap opera. Today live streaming has become an integral part of our lives. No longer we have to be afraid that our fun time will be interrupted by someone. We can watch live events wherever we want whenever we want and who else comes in mind when we talk about live streaming other than ‘Twitch.tv’. Well maybe Azubu, Panda.tv, Hitbox and other hundred different websites but we cannot deny that it was Twitch that helped in popularizing live streaming in the mainstream entertainment industry. Known formally as Justin.tv, Twitch was initially a subcategory for Justin.tv’s videogame streams. Later folks at Justin.tv decided to put in all their resources into Twitch and it seemed to have paid off because today Twitch.tv boasts more than 100 million viewers monthly. The amount of Twitch viewer count is so big that almost half of the males in U.S. born after the 80s have had been on Twitch. Not only did Twitch revolutionize live streaming, it also gave a huge boast to the gaming industry too. Due to Twitch eSports are now competing with traditional sports for number of viewers. League of Legend World Championship of year 2013 was watched by 32 million people majority of which were tuning in through Twitch. Now we have professional eSports players who have hundreds of thousands dollars worth of live streaming contracts.
Not only that, Twitch.tv also made celebrities out of gamers folks from around the world. With live streamers like Nightblue3, and captainsparklez having more than a million subscribers, they are no less than a Hollywood movie star in terms of public outreach. These streamers also make a lot of money, going up to a hundreds of thousands dollars for A++ streamers.
Apart from this Twitch also helps in bringing gaming communities together. Twitch chats work as a monolith where everyone spams the same thing, whether it is Kappa or BibleThump etc. These Twitch chat emoticons have become so popular that they have become a staple reply to a lot of things on the internet. Saw something funny, spam that Kappa, saw something mildly saddening, respond with a BibleThump. Twitch also does some cool stuff at times like Twitch plays Pokémon where Twitch chat messages were converted in game commands. The event went viral and the channel reached 6.5 million viewers in just five days since its release.
Twitch’s massive expansion rate was so big on September 25, 2014 Amazon acquired Twitch for US$970 million which prompted Google to launch YouTube Gaming to which Twitch responded like this.