Turner’s ELeague Reaches Streaming Deal With Twitch

What Happened
ELeague, the upcoming professional eSports league co-owned by Turner Broadcasting and talent agency WME/IMG, announced a multi-year agreement with gameplay streaming giant Twitch on Friday. Under the deal, over a dozen weekly games of ELeague competition, which starts on May 24, will be live streamed on Twitch. During ELeague’s weekly airing on Turner-owned TBS channel on Friday nights, fans will also be able to stream the games on Twitch.

What Brands Need To Do
Over the past few years, eSports has grown from a nerdy niche into a media platform that attracts a massive audience and generates billions of dollars. This deal between ELeague and Twitch is illustrative of the fast growth and vast potential of the competitive gaming industry, and it also significantly expands the reach of ELeague games, offering brands a great channel to reach its highly coveted young male audience via sponsorships and ads.


Source: Variety

Here Comes Nom, The Twitch For Food Shows

What Happened
Live-streaming platforms continue to diversify as Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, launched Nom, a livestreaming site for food shows. Similar to the way Twitch has enabled video gamers to broadcast themselves, Nom is aiming to provide a platform for anyone who loves to cook to showcase their culinary skills via live broadcasts and connect with others in the food community.

What Brands Need To Do
Following Facebook’s official launch of Live Video at the end of January, live-streaming has been in the media spotlight and getting brands interested in trying out this emerging medium. In fact, a recent research from Brandlive found that 44% of companies have created live video content in 2015. With the launch of Nom, QSRs, cooking equipment makers, and other food-related brands gain a great new channel that they can reach targeted audience with sponsorships and branded content.

To read more on how brands can reach viewers on OTT streaming platforms with branded content, please check out the Appified TV section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: VentureBeat

Totino’s To Sponsor Pre-Super Bowl Show On Twitch

What Happened
Frozen pizza brand Totino’s is trying a new way to get in on this Sunday’s Super Bowl buzz without blowing millions of ad dollars: they are sponsoring a pre-game show on popular videogame streaming site Twitch. The General Mills-owned brand is sponsoring a three-and-half-hour long game show featuring celebrity gamers, hoping to capture the audience sitting down to watch Twitch before the big game begins.

What Brands Need To Do
As the leading channel for gameplay streaming, Twitch provides brands with a great platform to connect with Millennials. By sponsoring the pre-game show, Totino’s is trying to capitalize on increased Super Bowl Sunday viewership on Twitch, which reportedly sees a 10-15% spike in time spent on game day. In order to reach consumers on those streaming platforms, brands should consider seeking sponsorships with social influencers or planning their own livestream events.

For more information on how brands can reach consumers on ad-free services, check out the Ad Avoidance section of our new Outlook 2016.


Source: Digiday


Your Creative Process Can Now Be Livestreamed On Twitch

What Happened
Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform for eSports and video gaming, announced earlier today a new content hub that aims to spotlight the growing number of artists and creatives on its platform. Twitch’s main landing page now includes a tab labeled Creative, which links to an entire homepage dedicated to Twitch Creative where painters, designers, and musicians can broadcast their work as it happens.

What Brands Need To Do
According to Twitch, its creative community now has about a thousand active creators and two million monthly viewers. This sizable new subset of the audience on Twitch offers brands a new channel where they can broadcast their behind-the-scenes creative process and turn it into content marketing to engage with their fans. Moreover, Twitch monetizes through ads for non-paying viewers, and Twitter Creative will no doubt attract a specific set of creative-learning audience that some brands, especially those in fashion or art, covet.


Source: The Verge

YouTube Gaming To Offer Mobile Broadcasting And Ad-free Monthly Subscription

What Happened
YouTube Gaming continues to catch up with its archrival Twitch with an Android app update, which adds paid subscriptions, called “sponsorships.” For a monthly fee of $3.99, sponsorships let users go ad-free and unlock exclusive content from their favorite streamers. Moreover, the new update also lets users broadcast directly from their mobile devices, largely simplifying the set-up process.

Industry Impact
As YouTube gradually closes the gap between its gaming division and Twitch, these new features, especially the “sponsorships,” give gamers some incentives to put up their content on YouTube Gaming, as it does not require exclusivity as Twitch does. And with the proliferation of content, YouTube Gaming should be able to attract more eyeballs, which, combined with the vast amount of user data that Google has, offers brands and advertisers a great platform to target millions of young millennials that make up the gaming community.


Source: The Verge

Event Recap: Highlights From The First-Ever TwitchCon

Twitch’s first ever conference dedicated to its community was far from ordinary. From September 25th to 26th, the heart of San Francisco was home to over 20,000 fans, gamers, and broadcasters. Throughout the event, the IPG Media Lab team interacted with partners, attended sessions, and even had sit-downs with Twitch influencers Itmejp and DansGaming. Here are some of the highlights of TwitchCon 2015.

During the keynote, Twitch unveiled that they will be finishing their roll out of their HTML5 video player in early 2016, and that there will finally be a Twitch app available across the Playstation Network. The apps will feature full chat integration, complete emoticon support, and will highlight broadcasts across PS4, PS3, PS Vita, and PS TV.


Aside from the staggering $173,320 prize pool, the H1Z1 Invitational was a showdown amongst some of the most popular broadcasters on Twitch such as Lirik, Summit1g, Itmejp, and Sodapoppin. H1Z1 is a combat-oriented game forcing players to fight to the death on a shrinking map until there is one player left standing. At one point there were over 130,000 concurrent viewers watching the live stream on Twitch.

Later, SF-based Twitch and LA-based Red Bull faced-off on the main stage in a Super Smash Bros. exhibition match where the winning office got to choose the location of a $10,000 prize-pool Super Smash Bros. event. Twitch beat Red Bull 3-0, unsurprisingly.


Even though TwitchCon primarily focused on offering its community workshops and classes to help improve their Twitch channel, brands should take notice. The event offered great insights on how Twitch built such a tight-knit community of influencers and fans and how they propelled the service into what it is today. It showcased Twitch’s wide variety of influencers, their tastes, and how they represent themselves to the community, and the ways influencers promote brands on their channel without offending or losing their followers.

Overall, TwitchCon was a huge success especially among millennials. Not only did the event attract a mass audience but also topped 1.9 million unique online viewers across the event’s various streams.



Header image courtesy of www.twitchcon.com


PlayStation 4 To Support Gameplay Livestream To YouTube

What Happened
Sony’s PlayStation 4 just received a major update, adding more cloud storage and the ability to stream game footage live on YouTube. Already equipped with the capability to stream gameplay live over Twitch, this new added support for YouTube would make streams visible on its newly launched YouTube Gaming mobile app and channel, no doubt helping to attract a bigger audience.

What Brands Should Do
With the rapid rise of eSports, also known as competitive gaming, a whole new media platform largely built upon livestreaming platforms like Twitch is now drawing hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide.  Sony’s decision to support YouTube Gaming will no doubt further expand the reach of eSports. Therefore, instead of dismissing it like Jimmy Kimmel recently did and alienating a significant segment of young, digital savvy audience, brands of all types should get on board with eSport, which some big-name brands like Coca-Cola, Red Bull, and Samsung are already vying to sponsor.


Source and header image: PlayStation.Blog‎

Amazon To End Support For Flash Ads

What Happened
Earlier this week, Amazon announced its decision to stop accepting Flash-powered ads on its site and advertising platform, effective September 1st, putting another nail in Flash’s coffin. Last month, Mozilla blocked Flash in its Firefox browser following a security breach, while popular e-sport streaming site Twitch also started to replace Flash with HTML5 video.

What Brands Should Do
Flash, despite being prone to security loopholes and ill-suited for mobile screens, has proven to be oddly resilient, possibly due to institutional inertia among digital creatives. But as the industry pushes toward HTML5, we will most likely be witnessing the demise of Flash soon, and brands would be wise to make the switch sooner than later, both for ads and for product demo videos.


Source: Digiday

Twitch And YouTube Fighting Over E3 Streaming

Read original story on: The Verge & Variety

The E3, (short for Electronic Entertainment Expo), the CES for the video gaming industry, is currently underway. All giants in the gaming industry and adjacent are coming out with big announcements, vying for the attention and wallets of all gamers worldwide. But on a smaller scale, a fight for eyeballs is also playing out between Amazon-backed Twitch and Google-owned YouTube, which we anticipated weeks ago.

Last Friday, YouTube timely announced the imminent launch of YouTube Gaming, a brand new app and website carting specifically to gamers with features that sound exactly like Twitch’s offerings. E3 offers YouTube a great opportunity to start gaining traction among the gaming community, and the leading online video site is a shiny new E3 hub, which features “a 12-hour live stream marathon” filled with gamer interviews, commentary from YouTube stars, as well as exclusive demos of the newly announced games.

As the de-facto streaming site for video gameplays, Twitch enjoys an inherent advantage given its audience demo and platform focus. Besides the standard wall-to-wall live coverage of the E3 events, it will also, for the first time, allow users to “co-stream” all of Twitch’s broadcasts from the convention, so as to broaden the reach of its user-generated content and enrich its streams. It will be interesting to see how Twitch holds up against YouTube’s attacks, especially considering Google was reportedly set to acquire Twitch for $1 billion before backing out due to alleged conflicts with YouTube.



Partner Spotlight: Twitch

With over 150 million monthly users, live-streaming platform Twitch unlocks massive audience potential for brands. Essentially a community-driven ESPN for gaming (though its offerings go far beyond), Twitch has the largest attention share of any online platform behind Netflix— and by far the largest scale of any live video platform.

Brands have been slow to adopt Twitch, owing to its gaming-centric audience and innovative live-streaming approach. However, now that apps such as Meerkat and Periscope are household names, Twitch needs to be added to the conversation that television and online video have occupied for years.

What is Twitch, and why do so many users visit it?
Twitch emerged from Justin.tv (one of the first live-streaming destinations online) when its creators realized gaming companies were, uniquely among content owners, actually in favor of users streaming their content. Fast-forward to last year, when Amazon purchased the network for nearly $1 billion.

How did that happen? It turns out gamers really, really like watching and sharing video games. Twitch essentially pioneered an entirely new user behavior, and millions of visitors joined in. The platform became known as the most comprehensive destination for the gaming community, including user gaming videos, e-sports tournaments, electronic music, and more.

Twitch has totally upended the way gamers consume content, but is diversifying into other areas as well. This month, HBO will air the pilot of its “Silicon Valley” property on Twitch before the new season premieres, and host Q&A sessions with the cast. Twitch is also pursuing premium relationships in music, film, and poker.

What should I know about Twitch’s audience?
150 million global users visit the platform monthly, with 6.9 million uniques daily. As its audience is so massive (and enduring — the average consumption is over 100 minutes per person, per day), Twitch represents an entirely new channel to reach young, male consumers in particular. Although gaming is at the core, Twitch’s offering goes far beyond, and the platform should be considered as a network in itself.

How can brands use Twitch?
Twitch is employing innovative advertising solutions: the company offers traditional activations (display and video inventory), but also native advertising and sponsorship (activations with its highly developed influencer network, sponsorship of e-Sports events, and social engagement).

Examples of native activations include the 7UP-sponsored Twitch stream of Ultra Music Festival, and a Mountain Dew platform takeover, which garnered 8.5 million views over six days. Along with HBO, Discovery has launched a property on Twitch and YouTube. Labels such as Rhymesayers have uploaded music on the site’s growing streaming library. And while an April Fool’s Day channel of Darude’s inane “Sandstorm” playing nonstop may not be so interesting, the 10,000 followers gained in that one day speaks to its centrality as a platform.

Image courtesy of Twitch