In a recent interview with Poker Industry PRO, Jason Somerville spoke about how live streaming on Twitch is one of the best ways of engaging with audiences around the globe, how it creates a conversation around poker and how he believes it attracts new players to the game.
Somerville knows what he is talking about as he is no stranger to engaging with audiences on a mass level.
“People aren’t just watching, they’re engaging with me,” Somerville said. “It’s not just a one-sided presentation, it’s a conversation.”
He is one of the most successful online poker live streamers of all time, routinely getting tens of thousands of viewers for a single broadcast on his Twitch channel. Back in March he reached 10 million total views for his channel, and by May he had already surpassed 12 million.
For context, last year, more than 27,000 viewers watched a single broadcast in which Somerville played Seven Card Stud Hi-Low. “That’s an amazing number,” Somerville remarked. “We haven’t seen people watch Stud that much since the ESPN days when they used to cover the game back in 2005.”
“We served half a billion minutes of content of me playing on PokerStars between March and December, a thousand years of human time spent watching me play on PokerStars.”
Somerville partnered with Twitch back in 2014 and since then he has produced approximately 1800 hours of live streaming content. He has had 27 million channel visits since that time and created more than 747 million minutes of poker content.
Somerville also revealed to PRO that not only are people watching, but his shows are generating new accounts and new deposits.
A PokerStars campaign run last year by Somerville generated tens of thousands of new accounts and thousands of first time depositors—a real representation of how his viewers are turning into players themselves.
In addition to PokerStars, it seems like the other major poker operators like 888poker and partypoker also believe social engagement is a top priority for building the popularity of poker. It is worth nothing that recent “ambassador” appointments have had a focus on social media—with emphasis on building followers and engagement.