Corporate Adaptation Through Twitch
Updated: Apr 18, 2021
In the age of virtual communications, Twitch is taking a lead.
In the past 6 months, COVID-19 has continued to spread its influence, uprooting people and businesses everywhere. Many industries and employees are suffering personally and financially from the pandemic’s reach. With the number of cases rising in the United States, many organizations have temporarily shut down physically and transitioned to online. Forced into a compromising position, companies are faced with the prospect of layoffs, furloughs, and other controversial strategies to stay afloat. Amidst the confusion and stress of the pandemic, digital companies and platforms have been growing substantially. Best suited to navigating the digital landscape, they have gone largely unaffected negatively by the pandemic. One such company that continues to prosper during this time is Twitch.
Hosting a variety of live-streams where viewers can watch and interact with streamers anywhere in the world. Launching originally in 2011, the service has become a fan-favorite, becoming the go-to streaming platform for youth and audiences under the age of 50. Managing to avoid the displacement felt by most organizations and companies, Twitch’s viewership has soared due to the global, digital nature of its platform. By housing hundreds of daily free content, the platform can entertain audiences with Q&A hangouts, art, gaming, and other types of streams. With concerns over the rate of infection and many choosing to quarantine, people are stuck indoors with little to keep them occupied during their downtime. Twitch offers a means of escape and a way to connect with others that Zoom and other alternatives cannot.
Viewers aren’t the only ones paying attention, many companies and organizations are taking an interest in the platform as well. Pulling any average of 15 million daily users, the service is appealing to businesses in terms of advertisement, promotion, and engagement measurement. Featuring a sponsorship on a stream can generate a lot of publicity for a company and its product. Similar to social media, marketing, and public relations are carried out through advertisements or influencer promotion. Advertisements can be posted across the platform or utilized as a commercial during a stream. Video ads can last for 30 seconds and occupy a maximum of three minutes per program.
In the case of measuring audience engagement, Twitch can be beneficial to use alongside other data analytics software. The service easily displays these measurements on a streamer’s dashboard tracking average minutes and hours watched, emote usage, concurrent viewers, and other types of viewership. Chat engagement is another form of measurement that is helpful to consider during or after a stream. As the main form of communication between streamers and other viewers, the chatbox allows audience members to converse, ask questions, or participate in real-time polls. In an age where communication and understanding your audience has become more essential than ever, services such as Twitch offer a unique opportunity for organizations to be noticed and reach out to audiences.
While esports often dominate the platform, notable name brand companies and organizations have already jumped on the digital trend, dedicating a part of their brand or service to live-streaming. Chuck E. Cheese, for instance, has taken to streaming kid-friendly games, effectively gaining them 26,000 followers. Politicians Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have partnered with streamers to play games as well. Burger King also tried to use the platform, but pushed their advertising too far, resulting in their streams being viewed as just another marketing campaign. Twitch is another great option for broadcasting limited-events and supporting movements due to its global reach and accessibility. Organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, 1,000 Dreams Fund, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association have recently held live-streaming events to raise awareness for their cause.
For companies and businesses from any industry, Twitch can be a valuable resource if used correctly and in moderation. Flexible in design and how it is utilized, the service can help businesses develop a more human side to their brand, interacting with target audiences on a personal level. In a time where people have become starved for entertainment, Twitch is an appealing platform that can attract a variety of audiences.
Maple Street Media is a student-run public relations firm operated through Champlain College's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). The firm draws on the talents and experiences of students from all different walks of the college to provide services in graphic design, social media marketing, copywriting, and more.
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