2020 was the year of Twitch. The conditions and the new monetization rules have been the determining factor in its growth. Thus, an unprecedented phenomenon has occurred, causing an exodus in YouTube content creators, who have found on Twitch a platform with better conditions to grow professionally.
Likewise, the change in the habits of the population, motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has played a key role in the popularity of Twitch. Tough restrictions and local confinements aroused user interest in internet content, increasing the flow of users on the platform.
This exponential growth represents a historic event in the development of this type of platform. In fact, today, it has become one of the main topics of discussion in online business schools .
Changes come with the pandemic
During the second half of 2020, Twitch saw a 40% growth in the total number of streamers. In addition, along with this growth in channels, there is the increase in viewers in live shows, increasing by 33% the interactions of users through chat messages.
This unprecedented development finds its origin in a set of causes, directly or indirectly related to the circumstances derived from the global pandemic. The local confinements caused the population to seek leisure alternatives in their homes.
On the other hand, the popularity of video calls also normalized the unprofessionalism of live broadcasts, revaluing the contents of Twitch. And it is that Twitch stands out mainly for being a platform dedicated to live broadcasts, in which its main characteristics are:
Search for clearer and more comfortable themes.
Live and continuous broadcasting, without time limitation.
Interaction with the public live.
This last characteristic, the interaction of the creator with the public, is rewarded both by engagement and financially. The platform offers the possibility of making subscriptions in various payment tranches (4.99EUR, 9.99EUR and 24.99). Thus, users also obtain benefits, depending on the amount selected, fostering commitment to the creator.
The keys to the change from YouTube to Twitch
Apparently YouTube and Twitch can seem like similar platforms. However, although they share certain characteristics, the reality is that the aspects that differentiate them have been the trigger in the exodus to Twitch. Many users make use of both platforms, but with a different objective. Twitch is focused on daily and live broadcasts.
On the other hand, YouTube stands out for offering a summarized content, also differing in the periodicity. However, in recent years YouTube Spain has exerted strong pressure on its content creators, demanding greater efforts to reach traffic and, in turn, to be able to monetize their videos.
The sale of spaces to multinationals, such as television reality shows, has fostered this tightening of monetization requirements. Along with these pressures to which youtubers were subjected, is added the ease of meeting the conditions to monetize their videos on Twitch, being necessary to have broadcast in the last month at least eight hours of video in seven days, with a minimum of three viewers per video and with about 50 followers on the channel.
After reaching these goals, the platform registers the streamers to the channel program and they begin to receive money. Twitch offers other alternatives to achieve economic benefits. The first is obtaining partners or subscriptions. It is requested to have an audience of 500 average users per video, broadcast at least 3 times a week and broadcast quality content.
The percentage that streamers receive from their subscriptions is 50%, the platform keeping the remaining percentage. The second alternative to monetize is similar to YouTube, through banner ads. However, many content creators make more money on Twitch with less audience. It should be borne in mind that, despite the fact that Twitch has become popular mainly for its gaming content, the reality is that it has expanded its content to other topics such as cuisine, politics and music, among others.
YouTube, since 2009, allows live broadcasts, but it does not reach the interaction with the followers or rewards YouTubers as Twitch does. Despite this, in 2019 it tried to fight back with YouTube Gaming, a project that, for the moment, has not managed to overshadow the Amazon platform. According to experts, Twitch’s growth rate is not only expected to not decline this year, but to continue throughout 2021, attracting well-known brands such as Pringles and Chupachups.