March 10, 2020

How Brands Are Using Twitch

Colin Reilly

Twitch, Amazon’s live streaming giant, currently has 32M monthly active viewers (15M daily), and has been putting up steady growth numbers for years. It is currently forecasted to hit 40M MAUs by 2021. Now, that number might seem low when compared to, let’s say, Instagram with its nearly 1B MAUs. But let’s take a look at one more metric before you call Twitch a niche platform and move on.

Daily hours watched. Twitch boasts 26M daily hours watched on the platform, and users average ~3 hours of content per day. (For context, Netflix averages 164M daily hours watched with many more subscribers and a comparable daily watch time.) Wherever this many captive eyeballs are gathered, brands are likely not to be too far behind, vying for the opportunity to get between users and their content.

Now, since this is streaming video, all the standard ad buys are available (native, display, in-stream), but that’s the easy stuff. Let’s take a look at some of the brands that have taken the leap and actually activated on this platform.

Nike & Adidas

Some things just make sense. Twitch reaches around 50 percent of the millennial male audience in the U.S., so these brands would be delinquent in their duties as fashion industry leaders in leaving Twitch out of their marketing mix.

Each brand has used the platform to launch a limited run product, conducting live unboxing streams to reveal the product and hosting influencer-led giveaways of the limited run items.

Each of these brands also has a Twitch channel of its own, though they don’t currently make much use of them.

Wendy’s

Known to social media teams everywhere as “The Brand Your Client Loves on Twitter,” Wendy’s has developed a reputation in the digital space for testing fearlessly, being platform native almost to a fault, and committing to the bit. Why should Twitch be any exception?

Wendy’s launched its own channel, and rather than make it a one-off PR opportunity or new product push, it instead did its best to seamlessly integrate its brand into the native content of the platform. Wendy’s hosted streams of some of the most popular games on the platform, using established Twitch streamers to help drive views, and integrated its branding into the broadcast. It was able to incorporate easter eggs and giveaways during these streams using elements of gameplay, rather than pausing or inserting an ad break to do so.

Wendy’s channel currently has 30k+ followers.

Red Bull

Okay. I’ll be the first to admit that this one is a little unfair. The close, personal relationship between gaming and energy drinks requires little examination. Twitch fits almost too well into Red Bull’s wheelhouse, and the brand recognized the synergies very early on when it made its streaming debut 7(!) years ago.

Red Bull’s channel has over 200k followers, and it hosts sponsored streams of a wide variety of games several times per month. As if that weren’t enough, it also fields its own eSports team which by itself boasts over 56k followers on the platform. The brand is playing all the angles.

 

Twitch is poised for growth in the coming years, and its competitors will no doubt fight to keep up. YouTube, Facebook, and Microsoft all have their own streaming platforms, and infighting over signing the most popular streamers is driving much of the conversation around which platform will ultimately prevail. While that battle rages on, the appetite for live streamed content generally continues to rise, up over 12 percent in 2019.

And if your brand isn’t quite as cozy a fit with the gaming community as the brands mentioned above, you should know that Twitch reported an 11 percent rise in demand for non-gaming content last year. All of this to say: Keep an eye out for Twitch and other platforms to seep into the mainstream, and when you see a potential brand fit, jump early.

Tags: Creative, Niche Networks, Strategy, Trends

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