Integration with Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PC, laptops, and mobile iOS and Android platforms has Twitch.tv as the site of choice for gamers. The site is a hub for live-streaming and video for primarily video games and eSports, but Twitch is expanding into areas that include music and community or special events.
The largest part of this site is probably eSports, which can attribute its explosive growth in a great way to live streaming, of which Twitch has played an important part. eSports and Twitch have a mutually beneficial relationship; one that will continue now the site is part of Amazon. This backing has given Twitch the confidence and resources to expand from game presenting, live streaming from big gaming conventions, gaming talk shows, and video games in general into other areas like music, poker, and special events.
Twitch Expands to Music
Twitch is making expansions in music oriented content now as well. This began with the streamed performance of Video Games Live in July 2013 at the San Diego Comic-Con and the live performance broadcast of Steve Aoki, the electronic dance music DJ, from a nightclub in Ibiza in July of 2014. As of the beginning of 2015 an official category for music streams has been introduced on Twitch, also becoming the official live streaming partner of the Ultra Music Festival in Miami.
Another music initiative is the Twitch Music Library that includes a library of songs that are pre-cleared for broadcasters to use live and with VODs (past broadcasts or highlights) on Twitch. The collection in the library includes at least 500 songs that broadcasters can actually use in their streams for free. This is a clear initiative to connect artists looking for exposure to their music with Twitch.tv broadcasters seeking music to use in their video streams.
The music is provided by burgeoning and established labels and artists. Many of the early adopters of the Twitch music scene are fans of Electronic Dance Music (EDM), but Twitch is looking to adopt other genres like hip-hop, metal, and alternative. Slospeak, a label that represents the San Francisco based band known as Talkie falls into the latter genre. Though the music produced by the band defies some traditional labels, it seems to fall into the alternative rock category with influences of power pop and 90s alternative. Power pop has been characterized as a mixture of hard rock and melodic pop music, having distinctive harmony singing, strong melodic lines, unforgettable guitar riffs, and lyrics about girls and boys in love. Many people believe The Beatles were the source point musically for the characteristics present in the genre. Talkie has all the makings of a power pop band with a knack for writing heartfelt anthems about life, love, and loss, defying classifications for what a rock band should sound like, so perhaps it won’t be long before Twitch becomes a portal for this specific genre.
Twitch Expands to Poker
Poker on Twitch is a gaming genre that is gaining momentum, in part due to players like Jason “JCarver” Somerville pushing live streaming of online poker games. As a result of the popularity he gained from using the platform, other players are now creating their own channels on Twitch as well. Mark Kennedy, an Australian poker professional, is just one of the many players who are now on Twitch. Kennedy recently became a Player Ambassador for the online poker giant Full Tilt Poker, with his own channel streaming on Twitch in addition to having his channel hosted on Twitch site Full Tilt Live on Saturday afternoons UK time. Kennedy in the role of intermediary between player/fan and Full Tilt Poker is an example of how a company can create a direct link to its consumer to create a better product.
Twitch Expands to other Entertainment Possibilities
In addition to these music offerings, Twitch has a promotional program for unique content events as well. They are reaching out to more and more people in the entertainment world, specifically the music and television industries, to find and provide new and exciting content experiences on the site. As mentioned earlier, Twitch has partnered with Ultra to stream live concerts from one of the biggest Electronic Music festivals in the world directly on Twitch.
They are also working with HBO and USA to broadcast shows called Silicon Valley and Mr. Robot from the respective television networks. The new promotion is called Twitch Specials and is expected to draw unique content events like show premiers and music festivals for Twitch viewers. In fact, the company hopes to encourage artists to not only produce tracks live for a dedicated Music category, but they also hope viewers and musicians will review the work of other artists on these streams.
Though Twitch is a currently a gamer oriented site, the non-gaming music activities and events are expected to fit seamlessly into the culture.
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