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As Twitch Users Move Beyond Just Gamers, Digital Marketers May Find Opportunities

August 11, 2020 Sarah Cavill

As America heads into the sixth month of quarantines and social distancing, the impact of changing social behaviors continues to be felt across industries, including streaming habits. Twitch, a streaming app primarily for gamers, has logged 5 billion hours watched in Q2 and seen a 2,662% increase year-over-year (YOY). Notably, the most popular channel on Twitch has nothing to do with gaming, and could offer digital marketing opportunities for brands.

Just Chatting Twitch Channel Sees Huge Increase In Usership During Recent Months

The category dominating live streaming on Twitch right now is Just Chatting, a catch-all channel where live streamers can strike up conversations about pretty much anything, even if there is a more specific channel available. According to a July report by StreamElements, a provider of tools and services for stream productions, Just Chatting increased 94% in hours streamed from January to June, and grew 175% YOY. 

Although most of us are still spending much of our time at home, it is clear many online users want to connect with other people. The desire to discuss recent events and interact with like-minded users is no doubt a motivating factor contributing to the rise of the Just Chatting channel on Twitch. StreamElements notes in its report, “Because so many important topics surfaced this year, such as pandemic-related hardships, the Black Lives Matter movement, and heightened awareness of #MeToo in the gaming industry, Just Chatting enabled streamers to have deeper conversations surrounding these subjects.”

Brands That Can Align Effectively With Chats May Find Digital Marketing Opportunities

As habits change, brands need to stay aware so they can more easily leverage those new behaviors for effective ad placements and audience targeting. The new popularity of Just Chatting could be an opportunity for brands to expand their advertising reach and multichannel digital marketing strategies. In 2019, approximately 41% of Twitch users worldwide were 16-24 years old, making Twitch a particularly efficient way to reach Gen Z audiences who are more online than ever.

For most streams, Just Chatting runs unskippable pre-roll ads, which can be useful for brands trying to reach audiences who are engaged with certain subject matters. Brands can monitor the channels to learn more about which topics drive the most interest from their target consumer segments. And, by monitoring the conversation, brands can also quickly determine if the comments or tone skew negative or inappropriate and aren’t right for their brand.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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