Twitch is still the go-to platform for online poker operators looking to market to new audiences. From high-spectacle challenges, to daily streaming schedules, to huge cards-up coverage of online events, most operators continue to pour resources into the platform.
But is that investment paying off?
Established in 2011 as a breakout from Justin.TV, Twitch is the premier destination for esports and video game enthusiasts looking to create engaging live-streaming content and build communities online. Since the coronavirus pandemic started, views have skyrocketed.
According to third-party tracking site TwitchTracker, viewers have watched over 100 billion minutes so far this year, with the platform supporting 6.5 million monthly streams. Concurrent views have almost doubled in a year. And growth is not slowing down: December looks to be the best month on record.
While it has been growing steadily for years, the coronavirus pandemic—leading to global lockdowns and stay-at-home orders—has transformed the platform, catapulting it beyond its niche of streams for gamers into something with mainstream appeal.
This peaked with the recent Among Us stream from Democratic US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It became the third most-watched Twitch stream by an individual in Twitch history with almost half a million concurrent viewers.
Poker represents a tiny fraction of total streams. Most viewers have no interest in real money gaming.
Twitch works more as a retention or branding tool; it isn’t great for acquisitionThe most popular games are traditional favorites like Fortnite and World of Warcraft.
Still, according to data published by Twitch, more than half of all Twitch users are between the ages 18 to 34. This represents a key demographic for online poker operators. Given the huge potential pool of players, online poker rooms continue to pour money into the platform, from sponsored ambassadors and charity streams to huge MTT series with Twitch streaming at their core.
But can operators convert fans of other games across to poker channels? And when they do, can they turn them into paying customers?
For this exclusive in-depth feature, PRO has spoken to half a dozen experts in the field, from consultants and ambassadors to those inside the poker rooms themselves, to get their take on a platform that continues to evolve.