▼ Scroll to Site ▼

Streaming Media Keynote: Twitch Streams Gaming Videos to Millions

Article Featured Image

“Gaming is a social experience,” said Matthew Szatmary, senior video encoding engineer with Twitch, delivering the opening day keynote address at Streaming Media East in New York City. Exactly how social was an eye-opener to those in the audience not familiar with online video game culture. As conference chair Dan Rayburn noted in his opening remarks, Twitch recently delivered over 8 million concurrent streams during a League of Legends championship. The Sochi Olympics, by comparison, peaked at over 800,000 concurrent streams

Twitch live streams videos of game play, and the network grew out of live streamer Justin.tv, which debuted in 2007. When gaming became popular on Justin.tv, the people behind it asked gamers what features they’d like to see and spun gaming out to its own brand.

Less than half the people in the Streaming Media East audience were familiar with Twitch, so Szatmary gave an overview of what gaming content people like to watch. Esports, in which teams play in virtual battle arenas, is the site’s most popular genre. Competitors can get athletic visas when they come to the U.S., Szatmary noted. His own favorite category is speed runs, where players compete for points and time records.

Most people watch Twitch through a browser, but the site also offers mobile and console apps. A Kindle Fire TV app is in the works. Many of Twitch’s broadcasters stream from custom-built gaming computers, although new one-click broadcasting options in the latest consoles are opening up broadcasting to a wider group of gamers.

Sometimes, even the people behind Twitch are surprised by its success. An experiment earlier this year called Twitch Plays Pokémon connected a Gameboy emulator to the platform and lets viewers play as a group. The event received 36 million views and significant media attention. Look for group gaming to become a growing area on Twitch.

At the moment, Twitch gets 45 million unique viewers each month, with over 1 million gamers broadcasting each month. Viewers average 106 minutes of viewing per day. During prime time, the site averages 540,000 viewers, and 68 percent of Twitch viewers have decreased their TV consumption. Twitch is the fourth largest primetime bandwidth user in the U.S., following Netflix, Google, and Apple.

Szatmary detailed the site’s 2013 transition from RTMP delivery to HLS, a much needed bandwidth enhancement. Twitch delivers most of its own content.

Gaming has become a stealth powerhouse in the online video industry, taking many by surprise. While under half of attendees had heard of Twitch before the keynote, all in the capacity crowd left with an understanding of the power and popularity of gaming video.

Watch Szatmary's keynote below and download the presentation

 

Streaming Covers
Free
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

What the Kids Are Watching: The World of Tween Live Streaming

Personality-driven live streaming apps have become a huge trend for tweens and teens, but people over 30 don't know anything about them.

Red Bull Media Readies Its Esports Studio for Prime Time

It's not a niche market anymore: Esports is massively popular. Go behind the scenes at Red Bull's gaming headquarters to learn how it streams to millions of fans.

Esports: Is This the Next Big Thing in Streaming Video?

Esports are the streaming industry's best-kept secret, but recent developments suggest they're quickly taking center stage.

Streaming Media East: Plex Keynote Will Highlight Media Access

Plex solves the problem of home movies and music libraries locked away on computer hard drives. Watch the keynote to learn what's coming next.

Twitch Explains How Professional Video Gamers Make a Living

For anyone over a certain age it's still hard to comprehend: People make a living playing video games? Yes, and the best make a lot.

Twitch Is a Billion Dollar Surprise, Even for Video Insiders

When reports emerged that Google would acquire Twitch for $1 billion, even many in the online video industry hadn't heard of it. How is that possible?

Justin.tv to Discontinue Video Archiving and Premium Accounts

Archived video isn't much of a draw for a live streaming site, Justin.tv finds. Over half of archived videos have 0 or 1 view.