The Rise of Online Streaming, Engagement and Opportunity.

By Carl Hagberg- Flink

Senior YouTube Specialist

With more and more people being isolated in their homes and taking up social distancing precautions to decrease the spread of Covid-19, we have seen people looking for entertainment and a community more than ever before.

However, what we need right now is social closeness and physical distancing which many of us are finding this through gaming. Twitch content consumption increased 79% compared to this time last year, and YouTube Gaming increased by 15%, both of which reflect the popularity of the live streaming medium now that people are consuming higher volumes of entertainment from home.

We've also seen major spikes in data usage across the UK at the release of new updates for the popular games, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone and Red Dead Redemption 2. There were 17.5 terabits per second usage on Tuesday 21/04, compared to 4-5 terabits normally, driven by gaming and game updates.

The Growth of Live Streaming

The fact that people are consuming more and more live content isn't something new, we have seen this growth over a number of years now. But the rapid increase due to COVID-19 shows that when we are distancing ourselves from each other we are looking for a sense of community and belonging to a group more than probably ever before.

Live streaming is built on acknowledgement from the person you are watching. Let’s look at how the whole donation, subscriber and follow cycle works. You watch someone, become a subscriber and donate money - they then call you out and acknowledge your support. This creates small dopamine injections in our brain when someone we like says our name or recognises us for doing something nice.

You are now connecting with other people in the chat who are watching the same content as you and experiencing the same highlights and the lowlights. That is what’s building the community and making the creators grow. Twitch is about being able to tune in to your favourite content creator and get a 1-1 connection with them. You can watch anything from gameplay of the Valorant release to Hafthor “The Mountain” Björnsen lifting 470KG deadlift. Twitch is really the platform that connects you, your interest to a live creator whom you are able to cheer, support and celebrate live.

Engagement Within the New Audiences

Engagement has also increased across channels on Twitch but the most surprising one might be that engagement with sponsored content is up 23%. That means that advertisers are getting 23% more effective since February compared to what they were getting before.

It all points to one thing. People are looking for a community online where they can engage, take-part and feel a sense of belonging too in this crisis.

How can Advertisers Act on this Right Now?

CPMs for live sponsor integrations are still significantly lower than Video-On-Demand (VOD) so if there was a time to test out live streaming integrations, it is now. You will be able to embed your products and services directly to the consumer in a natural way through their own content. A great example of this is Plarium who makes the game Raid:Shadow Legends.

They commissioned influencers to play their game on Twitch and used 3rd party integrations to track real, live conversions from the people watching the stream. The streamer would see how his community joined him in the game and saw anything for game downloads, purchases and even level ups as his community grew right before his eyes. This can be done with any product where you want to engage with the audience directly and promote the interaction of product and community. A lot of you reading this might think that you need to use some of the biggest creators on Twitch to make a campaign successful. I believe that not to be the case. In many ways, a smaller creator 500-2,000 CCV (Average Concurrent Viewership) might have a more personal relationship with their community than a creator who averages 10,000 - 30,000 CCV.

For example, consider how many people watch streamers like Pewdiepie compared to how many actually buy his merch. Much as with other social platforms, bigger creators are great for awareness campaigns but to drive conversion it is better to have careful strategies of smaller, more connected communities. This is specific to each creator and campaign, but the point is for those of you thinking of dipping your toes in live streaming we can help you connect with the best community for you and your goals. Understanding these communities and what makes them tick as they continue to grow and evolve will be the key to unlocking the potential of online.

Right now is the time to engage with your audience live, raw and uncensored!

See more from Carl and the team by following us on LinkedIn.


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