Research Outline

Twitch Growth Strategies


To identify growth strategies (including the objective of the strategy and relevant past examples) to drive audience growth for Twitch, aside from partner marketing, including past examples of the strategy leveraged by Twitch in the past. This information will be used to inform a discussion surrounding partner marketing with Twitch.

Early Findings

Strategy #1: Expand Non-Gaming Platforms

  • Expanding into platforms that are not as directly focused on gaming is a strategy that has been implemented by Twitch and offers the potential for audience growth.
  • While the core Twitch product is focused on gaming, alternative platforms, such as 'Just Chatting', offer an opportunity to attract an audience beyond gamers.
  • The 'Just Chatting' platform provides an opportunity for streamers to offer discussion-based streams, which are not specifically 'talk shows'.
  • The category grew 36% following its first year of launch.
  • In December 2019, Twitch users watched 81 million hours of 'Just Chatting' streams.
  • While this segment of the platform is quite diverse, including casual conversation among gamers, comedy-focused gamers, streamers who follow viral social media streams and more (some of which may not be considered family-friendly), expanding topic-specific segments of non-gaming (e.g., comedy, social, cooking) could be one area to explore for future audience-growth and engagement.

Strategy #2: Off-Platform Gaming Tournaments

  • Sponsorship of off-platform competitive gaming tournaments is a strategy that has been leveraged successfully by Twitch.
  • Twitch (along with Pepsico) created an off-season tournament for Rocket League, in which the event commentators discussed a Pepsi Brand (Lipton Brisk) and participants created Brisk-themed cars.
  • The brand (Lipton Brisk) became a centerpiece of the tournament and a point of interaction and discussion as part of the brand experience.
  • While there is clear upside for the brand sponsor in the tournament, there is also upside for Twitch with the brand (Pepsi) helping to amplify the audience reach. Identifying and capitalizing on competitive gaming tournaments through brand sponsors that expand the reach of both audiences could be considered a future potential strategy for Twitch.

Strategy #3: Reward/Loyalty Programs

  • Twitch launched a loyalty program for Twitch streamers in December 2019, Channel Rewards, which offers streamers the opportunity to provide their audiences with the ability to reward their members based on viewing, subscribing and following their channels.
  • While this strategy may be focused on increasing engagement among current users (streamers and their followers), as the program gains awareness, it may also offer the opportunity for Twitch to bring in and retain new users, especially if the program is able to offer unique and meaningful rewards for users.

Strategy #4: Expanded Focus on Social Good

  • Twitch has supported charity streams in the past, in which gamers live stream to raise money for a cause.
  • Former Twitch streamer, Ninja, raised $2.8 million for St.Jude's hospital in 2018.
  • Twitch "Stream Aid 2020", featuring games, tournaments, celebrity, music, and 'feel good moments' was conducted at the end of March, to raise money for the WHO Solidarity Response Fund.
  • "Social Good" campaigns may help drive awareness, reach new audiences, and improve brand engagements.

Summary of Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • We identified four strategies that Twitch may expand upon to reach new audiences. All of these strategies have been leveraged in the past by Twitch, with examples provided above.
  • Expanding into new content areas beyond gaming is a key focus for Twitch through their 'Just Chatting' channel. Identifying and expanding on the popular or growing channels may be a strategy for continued audience expansion.
  • Continued emphasis on off-channel gaming tournaments with sponsors that represent newer audiences for Twitch may be another strategy to reach new audiences.
  • Building awareness of its rewards program among its streamers, as well as potential users, and expanding the value of the program, may be another way to reach and engage new audiences.
  • Continued focus on 'social good', especially during COVID-19, may help drive new audience awareness, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, when consumers are spending more time at home and looking to help and contribute to their community.
  • Recommends reflect the information we uncovered in this additional one-hour of research.