Many experts agree to say that the future of TV is interactive & social.
And sports organizations & athletes have to find ways to engage with their audience. Most leagues have therefore launched their eSports tournament, to offer something to their fans. Many athletes went live, either on their personal social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube…) or organizations ‘channels. And it proved to be quite a success partly because of interactions with the audience.
In the Sports world, Twitch is kind of forgotten by most sports organizations, but there are different reasons to consider it an option to complete fan engagement strategies:
It is one of the most popular forms of online entertainment today. Launch in 2011, it never stopped growing and got acquired in 2014 by Amazon for an estimated 1 billion USD. Every day, over 1.3 million people are tuning in to Twitch at any given moment, and Twitch sums up 15+ million average daily visitors and there are more than 750 million live hours watched (source: Twitch internal data, Jan 2019). And the time spent by the viewers is very high, with 544 minutes watched per viewer per month (source: Comscore video Metrix), right behind Netflix and before YouTube and Facebook.
Twitch is a social TV: it is based on Live, strong communities and multiplayer entertainment. And of course, entertainment has changed. People want to be entertained, but also want to have a part in how they are entertained.
And Twitch is not only about gaming and esports, music & sport for example are growing verticals. Twitch is also about creating relevant live sport content: talk shows, live sports events. Streamers converse Live with their community.
Some sports organizations and athletes turned to Twitch during leagues’ time out. Some examples: Kun Agüero from Manchester City, Luka Doncic or Meyers Leonard in NBA, Phoenix Suns & Dallas Mavericks to play NBA2K, UFC champion Demetrious Johnson, Minnesota Twins pitcher Trevor May, Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc, Antoine Griezmann… Twitch even got the digital rights (NBA G-League, Formula 1 Mexico Grand Prix, Lucha Libre AAA…) from different properties and tested broadcasting where you, as a fan, could choose with which streamer you could watch the game and interact. More than watching, it is a full interactive experience.
And this content can be monetized and sponsors integration is simple. Revenue shared business model exist as well. It is also a great opportunity for brands to reach a young and engaged audience with their own communication codes.
Still very flexible, Twitch seems to be an untapped potential for sports organizations and athletes wishing to become streamers, to grow and engage their fanbase, and monetize their content, in a time where all need to generate new revenue streams. If you want to know more, please listen to our #SISMasterClass (in spanish) I had with Ignacio Estanga, Latin American Content & Partnerships Director at Twitch:
Yes I believe the future of live sport is interactive, and social ! What do you think?