Categories
Esports Games

Dethroning Twitch: How an Eminent Streamer Defied the Status Quo

Dr Disrespect has wooed many fans with his sleek moustache and over-the-top taunts.

“I’m the two-time, back-to-back — 1993, 1994 — Blockbuster Video Game champion.” were the words of a man who was once the Face of Twitch. However, ever since his June 26 ban, Herschel “Guy” Beahm, or more famously known through his online persona, Dr Disrespect, has been looking elsewhere to conduct his livestreams.

His fan base has stayed on firmly by his side notwithstanding. In fact, his Youtube stream, which had gone live at around 4.30 am SGT on August 7, amassed an audience of over 340,000 active viewers within an hour of “going live”. To put this into perspective, within just 1 hour, the number of views his livestream garnered was approximately 16.6% of his Youtube channel’s total subscriber count.

His fans are surely excited about his long-awaited comeback after he finally broke his silence earlier last month. Times are definitely changing and even Twitch cannot deny this.

Rumour has it that Dr Disrespect will be making Youtube his mainstay for streaming. And there is some weight to this hefty claim. After all, he isn’t the first to depart from Twitch. According to Quartz, two of Twitch’s “top streamers”, “Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins” and “Michael ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek”, “left Twitch for Mixer” in 2019.

As of now, Dr Disrespect’s options are wide open and there is no telling where he might end up for good. For all we know, Youtube might very well be merely an interim solution to the sudden void caused by his loss of partnership with Twitch, especially since he has a huge following on the video-sharing platform.

Meanwhile, streamers such as Tyler “Tyler1” Steinkamp and Timothy “TimTheTatman” John Betar — the former being Dr Disrespect’s main rival while the latter being his former Twitch-streaming buddy — were among the top 10 streamers that captivated the masses in July.

The status quo for Twitch has always been ‘for the streamers, by the streamers’ — at least since late last year when it underwent a major reformation.

Rebranding

In September 2019, Twitch redrew and optimized its extruded logo at the pixel level and developed it into a “new, two-tone” one “designed for co-branding with their streamers”. The development of its new logo culminated in “a three-tone animated rainbow gradient” which symbolises “Twitch and everyone who is part of it”. As an added gesture, “each streamer” would be allowed to “choose their own color scheme” on the “landing page”.

If you were to visit its official brand website, you would notice something fascinating at once: you are guided along a scroll path that explains to you why it decided to undergo its rebranding process, eventually ending at a video which explains to you its mission.

Marketing and Outreach Campaigns

Apart from being the home of esports, Twitch has “recently hired former Spotify exec Sunita Kaur as its managing director for APAC” and improved “its sales teams” for both “South East Asia” as well as “the Oceanic region”.

Moreover, the company strives to become synonymous with a “live, interactive, personality and content-based, community-driven video platform where anyone can play a role in creating the moment”, by “working with brands” in “the APAC region” to ensure “the experience lands in an authentic and meaningful way to Twitch’s communities”.

Lastly, with the occurrence of the COVID-19 “pandemic”, Twitch has found relief in that “new artists are turning to” it “to find community now that touring has paused”.

What will Twitch’s Q3 2020 look like — will Facebook Gaming and Youtube Gaming Live steal the show?

Will Twitch’s aforementioned efforts prove sufficient to cement its edge over Facebook Gaming and Youtube Gaming Live in Q3 2020?

Highly likely — provided its shortcomings do not get the better of it.

Despite its total streaming hours rising sharply by “58.7%” from Q1 to Q2 (2020), it has also been set back by a slew of copyright infringement “takedown notices”, “allegations of gender-based discrimination, harassment and sexual assault”, and its poor “ad revenue” generation.

Simultaneously, Facebook Gaming has been given a fortuitous leg up by Microsoft Mixer’s planned transition of existing “partners and streamers” to the former streaming platform.

But this also implies a potential positive externality, albeit to a smaller extent, of both streamers and viewers migrating to Youtube and Twitch as well.

The fact remains that Twitch still dominates the leaderboard with a 67.6% market share and is therefore unlikely to be dethroned anytime soon. But then again, partnerships can crumble as easily as streamers migrating from one streaming platform to another. And history has taught us that crowds follow wherever their leaders go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *