In 2010, a former YouTube CFO got in touch with the team. He encouraged the team to work on a spin-off of, but only about games.


Twitch: a major streaming platform Directory Blue
This tutorial is based on my experience on {link} and is full of practical tips, and here's the first one: your internet speed should be at least twice the bitrate you want to set up.

The beta version of Twitch launched in June 2011. All of the game audience from the old site moved there - six months after the launch the service was visited by 15 million unique users per month. At that time, the most popular games on the site were Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and Minecraft.

The number of Twitch viewers grew every year: in September 2012 - about 77 thousand, in 2013 - more than 200 thousand, in 2014 - almost 400 thousand. In January 2022, the service's audience is 3 million people: almost 39 times more than at launch.

Twitch affiliate program

Shortly after the launch Twitch introduced an affiliate program, which allowed streamers to earn money from advertising during broadcasts. The platform sold advertising spots on a player's stream and shared the profits from the views with him.

However, to join the program and have a chance to earn money, you had to try hard: the site put forward at the time serious requirements to the channels. For example, they had to:

  • Have at least 500 viewers watching the stream at the same time.
  • Have at least 300,000 views on the channel.
  • Have at least 1,000 subscribers.

There was another option:

  • Host a stream that would have 1,000 viewers at a time.
  • Get at least 800,000 views of the channel.
  • Or at least 4,000 subscribers.

A streamer who managed to meet at least one point could earn. For example, a professional Starcraft II player in 2011 streamed 8-12 hours a day and, according to him, could attract one of the largest audiences in this game - about 5000-8000 viewers. This allowed him to quit his job and fully engage in streaming: "I used to work in the service industry, earning about $10 an hour. With streaming, I could easily make four or five times that." By August 2015, more than 11,000 people had joined the affiliate program.

IRL streaming

In 2017, Twitch allowed IRL streaming (from in real life) - a broadcast of everyday life. Streamers could simply talk to the audience, answer questions, or watch a movie with the audience.

The success of Twitch sparked the interest of other companies. For example, Google launched YouTube Gaming in 2015 and poached some of Twitch's popular streamers. In 2016, Facebook Live appeared. Microsoft launched Mixer, a service integrated into the Xbox One and Windows 10 that allows multiple users to play and chat simultaneously, as well as have interactivity with viewers.

But Twitch still dominates: in October 2020, YouTube Gaming had a 5.5 percent market share in the video game streaming industry, while Twitch had a 91.1 percent share. Streaming views on Twitch totaled 17 billion hours in 2020.

The popularity and prospects of streaming platforms were assessed even by political technologists. In the U.S., during the election campaign of current President Joe Biden, Twitch was first used for campaigning. On October 20, 2020, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a prominent Democratic U.S. congresswoman, participated in the computer game Among Us.

The stream became one of the most popular in the history of the platform, with over 400,000 people watching the game. Despite some amount of criticism, the audience response was mostly positive: "It's a very clever way to raise awareness about voting before an election, especially among the hard-to-reach Generation Z," said Louise Shorthouse, gaming industry analyst at Omdia.

Mordor Intelligence analysts predict an average annual worldwide growth rate for game streaming through 2025 of around 9 percent. It is projected that by 2027, the volume of global streaming market will reach $184.3 billion. The main players in this market - the U.S., China, South Korea.

Source: Russian radio