As TwitchCon 2018 is going full today, Amazon's live streaming division Twitch is looking forward to claiming its appreciation for…
As TwitchCon 2018 is going full today, Amazon’s live streaming division Twitch is looking forward to claiming its appreciation for its community by doubling interaction tools and monetization.
Emmet Shear, CEO of Twitch and other development leaders talked about the rapid dynamics of the live streaming service and the involvement of both streamers and fans. On average, over one million people match Twitch at any time. Every day nearly half a million streamers go to Twitch.
By 2018, more than 235,000 streamers have taken their first steps by earning Affiliate status and over 6,800 streamers achieve the Partner level. Over 18 billion messages have been sent in 2018 over chat and Whispers features. Fans have shown support with more than 85 million “Cheers” and subscriptions this year. More than 1
50 million clips have been created to show the most memorable moments at Twitch this year.
Earlier this year, Twitch introduced Community Marriage, which gives viewers the opportunity to gift subscriptions to other viewers in a channel. In nine weeks, streamers have earned over $ 9 million through this feature. An individual even gave 6,600 gifts to viewers of $ 33,000 in a single night. On the scene on Friday, Shear said twice the amount of money paid to affiliates and partners during the past year.
In a conversation with Thursday’s developer, Shear and his development-related vice president Amir Shevat said the theme of the TwitchCon show in San Jose, California is “growing, connecting and enjoying.” Twitch releases new tools to make it easier for streamers to be detected. And it will enable new types of revenue generation, including department stores and advertising on extensions, or overlay on the Twitch interface.
I talked to Amir Shevat yesterday after his main talk at TwitchCon Developer Day on Thursday. Here is an edited transcript of our interview.
SpelBeat: What do you think were some of the bigger things that devs here cared for?
Amir Shevat: I think there are two things. One is that there is a trend towards more developers coming on the platform and more brands come on the platform. Today we launched Design of Humans merch integration. We see more common brands, and not just game integration, but more tools for streamers and viewers to engage.
We talked a little about it in the panel. We redefine how we interact and how communities interact with each other in the channel. It’s a message. This is a big move, and it’s not just for games. It is for all types of entertainment. It will be commonplace. The brands and developers go along.
The second is that we see many developers to join and we want to help them with what they have given us feedback on. Build better tools to make it easier to build on Twitch and help with the discovery. I do not know if you were in the streamers panel, but the discovery is very important. And then monetization. When we began to talk about monetization, everyone in the audience was silent. It’s amazing, because it’s important to us. We want to make this a flourishing business for people.
GamesBeat: What has been turned on so far for monetization, and what is the message of things coming?
Shevat: ] This year we launched Bits in extensions. Bits are a virtual good you can put in and exchange for interactions. Say I have a game with some lives and I want to get more lives. I can use Bits to get it. Or I want to play a sound like an audio alert. There is a split between streams and developers on the value of that bit. Viewers spend bits and there is a tear splitting.
GamesBeat: Is this really taking away?
Shevat: Yes. Things like sound warnings – I talked to a developer who left his job and started doing it full time. That’s a good sign. What happens next is things like – we will enable different levels of value that developers can provide to different types of subs. Tell me I’m a streamer. I have people who are not subscribers, and then I have people who are subscribers at different levels. Developers will be able to be aware of the tier arrangement, the status and provide different experiences to different subs. They will be able to provide value for the voter’s account to their subs.
GamesBeat: Do you have some examples of how to compare that type of service?
] Shevat: Right now this is the future, so we’re just thinking about experiments. But I could have emoji in chats. I can say that a tier gets the general channel emoji, and then gets tier three streamer’s chosen emoji. You can think of benefits like things in goods, or in game integrations, with things like free keys. As a streamer, my top level can get free games every month. Game developers can participate in the value exchange. They could say to streams: “We’re launching a new game. Here are 100 keys to give your best subscribers.” Think of it as a way to truly match the incentives for all players and hopefully make everyone’s experience happy and productive.
We are launching merch today. It is in collaboration with Amazon Pay. People can actually sell things. We have seen it as a big request from both streamers and developers. Finally, we are thinking of ads. Imagine I’m playing a game and I’m on my last life. I can see an ad saying “See here to play another game with a life extension.” Again, I see the ad and revenue splits between streams and developers.
GamesBeat: And that advertiser reaches the crowd’s audience?
Shevat: Exact. There is much commitment. There is also a lot of intent.
Shevat: The interaction between moving viewers to be active participants may be painful. For example, if you look at Fortnite, it has been watched in 17,000 years in the past year. You have so much dedication that you can turn out to be passive involvement, or a little passive plus chat, to be active involvement. That’s the great opportunity there.
GamesBeat: ShadowFox mentioned that you want it to be a positive interaction and not an obstructive. You do not want the audience to make it impossible for you to play.
SpelBeat: Developers must really think about what kind of interaction they will put into these things.
Shevat: I mentor many startups. That’s always the case. You always need to think about how to make your users right. I have done it in mobile apps and other places. Here is the case too. How can you encourage people to do the right thing and create positive interactions?
SpelBeat: An extra life is a good example.
Shevat: An extra life, a chance to strengthen your shield, an ability to make the lights in a dungeon lighter. All of these things can be part of an amazing experience. I’m talking to some developers who just want to put graffiti on the wall. They were willing to create this crazy game integration where the streams pay for spraying on the walls of the game.
SpelBeat: Is it possible that you may pile a group against another on a stream? Anyone who wants to make it harder for you to play against someone who wants to make it easier.
Shevat: There is a Japanese developer who already does. Depending on yes or no in the chat there is a sound playing, like “YEAH!” And their choices are playing. Another aspect that is interesting is the viewer of the viewer’s interaction. What we’ve heard from streamers is that they are sometimes very engaged with the chat, but sometimes they want the chat to take care of themselves. An extension that helps viewers to engage with other viewers is crucial to the health of a community.
SpelBeat: Right now, what’s the money in one way that earns money?
Shevat: ] The two most popular ways are through subscriptions on their channels and through advertisements. But we also have a full range of ways. They can earn money by biting, or by selling goods.
One of the most effective ways to make money is through Twitch Prime. Twitch Prime is a free advantage for Amazon Prime, as long as members join their accounts, they get a free portion every 30 days. It has been very beneficial for our partners. They saw a huge increase in revenue based on all the subs that come through. When using the free Twitch Prime sub, it’s the same as turning on the subscribe button. Just by being a partner, they also earn a lot of incremental income from influenza programs and sponsorship.