Care To Watch Some eSports?
This morning it was announced that Amazon will be spending nearly $1B to purchase a company some of you have never heard of but which supports over 50MM MAUs (Monthly Active Users). That company is called Twitch and is one of the biggest supporters of a major new trend in video gaming.
So, what exactly is Twitch? Twitch is an online platform that allows people to watch other people playing video games. The phenomenon I have just described is called eSports and is all the rage in the world of spectator sports. According to a new report by IHS Technology, video game players watched more than 2.4B hours of eSports in 2013, nearly double the 1.3B hours watched in 2012! And obviously, this figure just keeps growing.
And it isn’t just on Twitch. There are many channels on YouTube that feature eSports as well, including LoL eSports, eSportsTV and even Redbull eSports. Presumably, now that Amazon owns Twitch, Twitch will soon also have a channel on YouTube.
I first heard of Twitch when working with the Pokémon brand. In February of this year, die-hard Pokémon fans created Twitch Plays Pokémon which is an enormous multi-player version of the original Pokémon video games. Individual players each type in directions for the Pokémon characters and the game algorithmically determines what the Pokémon will do based on all of the inputs.
The results of the game? The game saw over 9MM unique viewers and more than 1.2MM total participants throughout the 16 days that it took to complete the game! We are talking some big numbers here. So big that the viewership of some events is even larger than broadcast or cable TV audience sizes! And viewers spend A LOT of time on these sites, watching competitions, playing multi-player games and viewing live demos of new releases.
So, what does all of this mean to marketers? Well, if you are trying to reach tech-savvy, males ages 15-34, this might just be the perfect place for you to go! Does eSports sound like something that would be useful for your brand?