The Youth Lab


Data show that for many younger viewers streaming is now the ‘new prime time’. Twitch alone draws a – predominantly Gen Z – audience of 1.9m per day, with viewing concentrated after 7pm. Two-thirds of 18–25 year-old gamers would rather play video games or watch gaming content than watch TV.” WARC

This 52INSIGHTS explores some of the need-to-knows & latest news in the world of Twitch.


For gamers, Twitch is big. If you’re not familiar with it, traditionally it’s kind of like a gaming-specific YouTube, with live and pre-recorded content. Its success is embedded in the popularity of gaming voyeurism - young people who enjoy watching other people play video games.

But the Amazon-owned streaming platform is no longer just focused on live video gaming. Twitch is about building communities around shared interests. ‘Community’ is a word often associated with the platform because while viewing a stream (from a minute to 10 hours or more - longform content is normal here) you can make use of a comment box - live conversation with other viewers. You might also be able to ask the streamers questions in real-time.

Twitch is expanding and diversifying for other types of ‘lifestyle casters.’ From live music and DJ sets to pub quizzes, its diversity has enabled it to thrive in Covid-19 lockdown. While non-gaming brands have played in the space before (eg. Duolingo), it’s now also being talked about as one of the ‘most underrated marketing platforms.’


“In April alone, consumption of gaming content on Twitch rose 63.8% from the previous month to top 1.6bn cumulative hours, more than double that of Facebook Gaming, YouTube Gaming, and the now defunct Mixer combined.” WARC

Here are some key Twitch stats:

  • 3.8 million unique broadcasters over February 2020
  • The audience is mainly teen gamers but 55% of Twitch users are aged between 18-34.
  • It has more than 15 million daily active users (top countries include US, Russia, Germany, Brazil and UK)
  • 95 Minutes per Day on Average
  • 16.00 EST is Twitch’s Peak Viewing Time
  • 81.5% of Twitch users are male
  • Twitch 2019 revenue estimated at $1.54 billion, $300 million of which was generated through advertising.

Other things to know:

  • Ninja is possibly the most famous professional gamer in the world. Tfue is the second most followed active Twitch account, with 8.8 million followers. View some of the biggest Twitch accounts here.
  • Twitch “emotes” are exclusive emojis that allow Twitch users show support for a streamer eg. PogChamp or BabyRage. Kappa is cited as one of the most popular (and perhaps most important) emote on Twitch - it's a symbol for sarcasm or trolling - and posted around 400 times a minute. There’s even a KappaPride. You can track the top used emotes here.
  • “Chat badges” help identify different kinds of Twitch users— from a broadcaster to a VIP.
  • Apps to stream Twitch directly from consoles and on to smart TVs are being embraced by console manufacturers - because it’s driving the shareability of games.
  • Music streaming has become increasingly popular on Twitch, but there was a recent announcement that clips containing copyrighted music will be taken down.
  • It can be a bit ‘wild west’ - there’s plenty of NSFW (not suitable for work) content on Twitch - think OnlyFans x gaming. Actually, there’s even a completely separate porn site called NudeGamer that taps into this fetish.
  • Twitch has its own annual conference - TwitchCon.


According to WARC, brand investment (advertising and sponsorship) in eSports is set to rise 9.9% worldwide to $844m in 2020. While Twitch is mainly associated with gaming, it has a growing presence in eSports territory. In fact, 21.3% of Twitch viewing is eSports. Twitch recently made a deal to feature exclusive content - behind the scenes and (potentially) non-league appearances - from elite European football clubs Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, and Arsenal. But it's not just all football - TwitchSports features a variety of what’s up and coming in the ‘world of sports and wrestling.’


With 8.6million followers, the ‘Just Chatting’ stream channel on Twitch is another important one to acknowledge. Essentially what it features is more casual type streams or where users can just chat during intermissions/game play. It’s growing quickly and consistently:

“While viewership of every top game has fluctuated, ‘Just Chatting’ is the only category to consistently maintain its upward momentum. It grew 36% since its launch a year ago which is four times as much as Twitch’s overall growth rate in that period. This is significant because it shows where Twitch is heading, [And it] opens the door to more non-endemic brands given that influencers who use the Just Chatting category are more conversational and provide more opportunities not tethered to game play.” StreamElements chief executive Donor Nir

What’s key to this channel is personality. Some of the most popular ‘Just Chatting’ Twitch streamers include: AustinShow, bigbosslayf & evelone192.


  • Twitch is expansive and rich territory. There is an audience and a place for longform content to thrive. The Twitch audience can engage with one streamer or stream for hours at a time. It could be a great place to host your brand’s longform content - or a live event.
  • Twitch is an obvious platform to explore if you are looking to engage with a young male audience.
  • If you’re looking to explore marketing on Twitch, there are multiple ways to leverage the platform. Spend some time on the platform/on a streamers page and make sure you’re going after the right people/sponsor the right show - and hitting the right tone for the platform. Some streamers can be a little unpredictable - especially in longer streams where conversation goes on and on.
  • Treat Twitch streamers as influencers (eg. Ninja) and talent - they have honed specific skills and engage communities in unique and intimate ways.

See also

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