In the gaming community we know the value of Twitch.tv to be immense. As the primary live streaming service, it is a far more than just a means of entertainment. Many gamers watch professional streams and take cues from their gameplay to learn and improve their own game. There are a lot of very informative streams on twitch that relate gaming news and current events as well. Quite a lot of people have started to use Twitch.tv as their primary source of income and become “professional streamers”.
Outside of the gaming community, however, pundits have questioned the $1B price tag recently paid by Amazon in their acquisition of Twitch.tv. How could a service that streams video game footage be worth that much money?
The New York Times on Wednesday released an article laden with data on exactly how big Twitch really is. More importantly, it shows how fast Twitch is growing. According to the article, during prime time, Twitch has about 715,000 concurrent viewers. This figure is established by averaging the peak traffic on a 6 day rotation. So, for the past 6 days, the average peak concurrent viewership on all Twitch streams was about 715,000.
To put this into comparison, CNN’s nightly viewership averages around 495,000. MSNBC gets around 625,000 viewers a night. MTV currently gets more nightly viewers than Twitch on average with 773,000, but Twitch is on the rise while MTV, well, isn’t.
Like the cable industry, there are spikes in Twitch viewership as well. The Riot Games stream can bring in well over 300,000 viewers alone during LCS broadcasts, thanks to the immense popularity of League of Legends. International 4, the recent DotA 2 event that made 5 humble Chinese gamers millionaires, brought in a high level of viewers by itself as well. This is similar to something like an award show or major current event causing more people to tune in to certain TV stations for coverage.
When taken in this context, it’s certainly apparent why Twitch was worth the price. Amazon is well positioned to take over the living room with their current hardware and service offerings, and Twitch just serves to strengthen that hold. We’ve got a larger article analyzing Amazon’s purchase of Twitch incoming, so stay tuned for that as well.