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OPLIN 4cast #369: Twitch-ing in the library?

Posted in 4cast

TwitchTV logoLibrarians are no longer surprised to find people watching streaming video on their public Internet computers, with YouTube currently being the most prolific provider of those videos. But there’s a new streaming video service that is rapidly gaining in popularity (despite its lack of kitten videos). It’s called Twitch, and it’s a website where people can go to watch other people’s video games as they play. That’s it – just video games. If you haven’t already seen this on your public computer monitors, you probably will.

  • Twitch reveals it had 900K unique broadcasters and other interesting facts about its 2013 (VentureBeat/Jeffrey Grubb)  “[Twitch vice president of marketing Matthew] DiPietro pointed out that in January 2013, the site had around 25 million unique viewers. By the end of the year, the site averaged 12 billion minutes watched per month. That’s across 6 million monthly video broadcasts and 45 million unique monthly viewers. Twitch also did some research and found that its average viewer is 21. More than half of those viewers spend 20 hours each week watching Twitch, and 68 percent are watching less TV.”
  • How big is Twitch’s Audience? Huge. (Forbes/David M. Ewalt)  “San Francisco-based Twitch’s video platform allows users to watch live and recorded streams of video game tournaments, and to stream video of their own games and programs. The site was spun off from ‘lifestreaming’ web site in June 2011, and has raised about $42 million in three investment rounds from companies including Draper Associates, Bessemer Venture Partners and Thrive Capital.”
  • Video games as spectator sport: Why Twitch TV is booming (ReadWrite/Taylor Hatmaker)  “Twitch is a platform on which feats of gaming skill and viral oddities flourish in equal parts. Want to watch someone play the entirety of retro classic Super Mario 64 in a breezy five hours? Maybe you’d rather tune in with half a million gamers the world over for a live stream of a StarCraft match, complete with big budget ESPN-style commentary and analysis.”
  • Twitch dominated streaming in 2013, and here are the numbers to prove it (The Daily Dot/Patrick Howell O’Neill)  “Twitch has, in fact, already encountered growing pains in Europe, where a large esports fanbase has long made vocal complaints about video lagtime and low framerates. The problems have been so serious that competitors, such as European-based Own3d, have been able to briefly challenge Twitch’s dominance in the region. Own3d couldn’t pay its streamers and collapsed when a potential buyout by the video game streaming company Machinima fell through. But the potential for new European competition, run by more business-savvy competitors, is still there.”

Comparison fact:
Twitch’s 45 million unique monthly viewers watch an average 106 minutes of video a day. Hulu has about 30 million unique viewers a month who watch an average 50 minutes a day.