Feature Story Paper

May 15th, 2018

Twitch.tv is a live streaming platform where creators have free reign to produce any type of content they wish.  Even though gaming is the most popular topic for the site, there are hundreds of other types of streams including but not limited to: music, game development, art, food and many more.  I wanted to see if sites like Twitch.tv had potential to rival television networks.  I wanted to interview a wide range of people who either were involved with the site themselves, knew about the site, or had no clue what it was.  Being able to have such a wide variety really allowed me to get a better understanding of my topic.  The biggest misconception of Twitch.tv is that it is solely for gaming.  From the information I received through my interviews, it seems that if people had more knowledge of the non-gaming side of the site, they would consider using Twitch more often.  Most people who are gamers have explored the non-gaming side but choose to stick to what they are familiar with.  In the audio interview with Valerie Glowinski, it brought to light the fact that some people don’t even know that Twitch is a free site.  She mentioned that she would prefer to stick with TV because it was familiar and was what she grew up with.  Humans don’t enjoy change and prefer pattern and routine.  This seems to be the big issue that Twitch will have to deal with if it ever wanted to compete with TV networks.

People who were more involved in the Twitch community explained that they enjoy the interaction that live streaming brings.  Twitch has a chat system that allows the viewers to be able to communicate with the streamer.  This is something that automatically allows people to feel a stronger connection to streamers they enjoy, like the way people love their local news anchor.  The major difference is that it would be much harder for an average joe to be able to communicate with their favorite news anchor, while a Twitch viewer can easily talk and have a conversation with the streamer they are interested in.  Having a community also brings a sense of connection that television can’t provide.  Of course, there are fans of a show, but unless you go online or are with friends, you can’t just talk to others about what is going on in the show at that exact moment.  Since Twitch is a live streaming site, it allows in time reactions and immediate communication.

Overall, Twitch has a long way to go before it can rival television, but live streaming sites do have potential to be a worthy competitor just because of the fan base and the communication.  Television networks shouldn’t just brush off sites like Twitch because they are able to cover more content at the incredible price of free.  Viewers have the choice to support which streamers they want without having to pay for all the streamers they don’t want to watch.  There is potential for live streaming sites like Twitch to compete with television as long as they keep growing as strong as they are.

Leave a Reply