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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Twitch

Major online video streaming platform, Twitch, has gained huge popularity since its introduction to the market in June 2011. It now has over 2.84 million users, over 9 million active streamers/channels, and over 20 billion total hours watched. The company, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million, has its benefits and drawbacks just like any other public online platform.

Advantages

1. Income potential - Twitch streamers can earn money from sponsorships, partnerships/affiliate programs, ad revenue, tiered subscriptions, and tips from subscribers (known as Bit donations). Twitch livestream videos can also be spun into YouTube videos, which streamers can also earn money from. Twitch streamers can also open up a Patreon account to receive extra donations from subscribers for exclusive content and interaction. Twitch streamers earn on average around $3 per viewer. “Popular” streamers earn around $3 000 to $6 500 per month. The highest paid Twitch streamer so far in 2022 made $750 000 in his most fruitful month.

2. Most popular for live streaming - Twitch is more popular than platforms such as YouTube and social media platforms when it comes to live streaming. So if livestreaming is what you want to do, especially if your content is related to gaming or any other interactive activity, then Twitch is most likely the best option for you.

3. Wide reach - Twitch receives a wider viewership than other live streaming platforms such as Caffeine, Facebook Gaming or Mixer (which Microsoft has now shut down). Although YouTube has a wider reach when it comes to regular video viewership, it has much less viewing hours for live videos than Twitch. Twitch allows you to reach a much wider audience who are interested in live video streaming.

4. Can market oneself - Twitch streamers can advertise themselves, their skills or other ventures that they own during their live streams. For example, Jonny is an aspiring Formula 1 Esports player and has entered multiple competitions and done much to market himself on established online platforms. However, he has not been able to get recognised by big brands and organisations. He can begin streaming on Twitch where he can properly display his skills and reach a wide audience of Esports enthusiasts who can help him get to the grand competitions of Formula 1 Esports.
Streamers can also promote their brands, businesses and social media accounts on Twitch.

Disadvantages

1. Difficult to moderate channels & content - moderation on Twitch has been an ongoing problem since its creation. Trolls are apparently abundant in livestream chats and difficult to dispose of. This can prove problematic for streamers trying to attract quality sponsors and brands. It can also be a problem for viewers in the teenage age group and below. Twitch does have several moderation tools which can be found on its website at Moderation on Twitch, but most users of the platform claim they are not very effective.

2. Content is only exclusive to Twitch for the first 24 hours - any content streamed is only kept on Twitch for 24 hours and is not allowed to be shared anywhere else for this duration. Breaking this rule could lead to the user’s account being suspended.

3. Twitch charges a commission - Twitch takes an enormous 50% commission on any money a streamer makes. For comparison purposes, YouTube takes a 45% commission on ad revenue and 30% from channel membership fees (this includes taxes, transaction costs and other fees).
In 2019 the World Health Organisation announced that gaming disorder was now a mental health issue. It is estimated that 3-4% of gamers are addicted, meaning that 60 million or more people around the world struggle with what is now officially a disease. This is relevant as the majority of content on Twitch is geared towards gamers.
However, some studies show that Twitch can help relieve mental stress. It has also become a platform where plenty of mental health discussions have been taking place, with more streamers creating content on the topic. One such creator is Dr. Alok Kanojia, Twitch name ‘HealthyGamer_GG’, who is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist.

Twitch is also used by celebrities and other content creators to market themselves and get their message across.

Tips for using Twitch

  • Connect and interact with your viewers and subscribers as deeply as possible. Get to know them on a personal level but do not reveal any of your personal information.
  • Always notify someone you know in the outside world when you are streaming.
  • Get a chat bot to monitor your chat and eliminate any malicious comments.
  • Only use Twitch if you are 13 years of age or older.
  • Stick to content that adds value to your life.
Since Twitch is aimed heavily at gamers, its benefits can be better leveraged if the user knows how to develop those games in addition to playing them. Itgenio offers a course called Unity, where your child can learn how to develop the games often played on Twitch streams. Sign up now for a free trial lesson with us today! See you in class!
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