Twitch, the livestreaming platform for gamers, believes that a sense of “community” is fundamental to its appeal to users, and thus also to marketers hoping to reach this valuable audience.

Emmett Shear, Twitch’s co-founder/CEO, discussed this subject during a session at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) 2020 Annual Leadership Meeting.

“We thought we were starting an entertainment business, and it turned out we were starting a community-oriented business,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: For Amazon’s Twitch, it’s not just the game, it’s the community.)

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, currently dominates the livestreaming space for gaming, commanding 73% of all hours spent on the major platforms in its category, according to analytics provider Arsenal and software developer StreamElements.

As Twitch has sought to understand its appeal to millions of gaming fans, it has learned that the audience’s ability to engage with players and with each other are important.

“We ask people, ‘Why did you come to Twitch today for the first time?’ And their answer is, ‘I wanted to watch this great event’, ‘I wanted to watch this stream’, or, ‘I had heard about ... this celebrity,’” Shear said.

But, he added, “if you ask people why they stay, it’s for the community” – an insight giving Twitch a powerful indicator of what its strategy should be.

While the largest streams command the most attention, he continued, the smaller- and medium-sized ones are “equally as important”, because it’s easier to interact and build a feeling of belonging within a smaller cohort.

As such, one core aim for Twitch is to ensure that its platform offers the necessary tools and features for building communities and fostering points of interaction.

“Our point of view is that these communities get planted by streamers, and then it’s our job to help water them [and] make sure they have favorable growing conditions,” Shear said.

Sourced from WARC