Gamers out there have certainly heard of Twitch, the platform that allows them to stream their video game playing online. CCTV’s Mark Niu reports from Silicon Valley with an inside look at the company and the phenomena.
If you haven’t heard of Twitch, you may be surprised to know that the site is right near the top of the list in the United States for internet traffic.
Twitch has been the talk of the tech industry when it was recently reported that Google’s YouTube outbid several suitors, including Microsoft, to acquire Twitch for a billion dollars.
Twitch’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Lin did not confirm the Google acquisition in his interview with CCTV.
Twitch’s success can be looked at by how it can change just one person’s life.
Streaming video game platform 'Twitch' rules the internetGamers out there have certainly heard of Twitch, the platform that allows them to stream their video game playing online. CCTV’s Mark Niu reports from Silicon Valley with an inside look at the company and the phenomena.
Twenty-six-year-old Jeffrey Shih is a Management finance grad from New York University, an accomplished chess player and pianist.
But his expertise in those areas pales in comparison to his mastery of video games.
He’s known as “Trump.” And he plays the video game Hearthstone, which he streams on the Twitch platform.
Being instructive and interactive are two of Trump’s keys to success. Viewers chat with him directly while he’s playing. And when Trump speaks, people listen.
When he conducts a poll asking which character he should play, thousands immediately respond.
Trump regularly has more than 20,000 people watching throughout the day.
“I’m more of an inwards introvert type personality, so you’d think I’d be terrified streaming to 20,000 people on a daily basis. Having 20,000 people watch you, pick over each move. It’s definitely something which you need to develop a thick skin for,” says Shih.
Overcoming that shyness online has allowed Trump to become a partner of Twitch, that is, to strike a deal to run advertising during his broadcast and share in the revenue. Though Trump would not disclose how much he makes, it is comparable to a full time salary. Twitch acknowledges many partners are making high-five digit and even six-digit figures.
“There are certainly a lot of people who aren’t even out of high school who are making full time salaries, just creating videos, broadcasting videos, with relatively low production. It’s become very popular. I always wonder how does this affect some kids’ career aspirations, if you are making a full time salary at a 15, 16, what does that mean? Do you start thinking about forgoing college?” says Dan Hsu, Editor-in-Chief of GamesBeat.
“My parents initially hated what I did and fought it all the way. They’ve been trying to get me to go to graduate school for quite some time and still are. But I just stuck to my guns and it’s paid off. I wanna do this until I am really old and keep doing it when I’m old, and then they can come watch an old guy stream games, and I think that will be really fun too. I wanna keep doing this for 50-60 years,” says Shih.
That passion for video games is readily on display at Twitch headquarters in San Francisco.
Twitch got its start from within the online streaming platform Justin TV after it noticed that gaming broadcasts were starting to get popular.
But little did anyone know that this platform would go on to surpass the peak web traffic of social media giants like Facebook and Amazon.
CCTV’s Mark Niu found out more about Twitch and its sudden rise in this interview with Chief Operating Officer Kevin Lin.
Follow Mark Niu on Twitter @MarkNiuWrite