Is Twitch The Future of Television?

Posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Up until now, television has been a passive, one-way street.

The networks made it, you watched it.

The idea of participating in Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad or The NBC Nightly News was, of course, insane. 

But technology does not come with a rule book.

When Steve Jobs introudced the first iPhone in 2007, he said it was 3 things in 1 - a phone, an iPod and an Internet connection.

He did not even discuss the ramifications of the camera - which would go on to feed YouTube, Instagram and Twitch, among about a thousand other platforms. 

When televison was invented in the 1930s, it was designed as a one way street. Making it and broadcasting it were so complicated and expensive that it was inconceivable that viewers could also participate. 

Along comes Twitch.

Originally conceieved as a gamers' platform, the site has grown by leaps and bounds and proves that largely owing to Mr. Jobs' invention, people can participate in video as well as watch. Anyone may join in. Try doing that with Game of Thrones. 

This is a major transformation, and now it seems, this is no longer going to be limited to gamers'. 

Twitch pretty much owns live streaming, and live streaming may become the next iteration of what was once television.

In the past 3 months, 2.7 billion hours of live content was viewed on Twitch, as compared to 735 million hours on YouTube. Every day there are more people on Twitch than there are on most cable TV networks.  Yet a cable TV network sells for more than $1 billion.  Access to Twitch is free. 

Smell something coming here?

I do.

Now Twitch is starting to broaden its scope, moving beyond gaming.  

Last month, Twitch launched Twitch Sings, an online live streaming Karaoke competition with a $20,000 prize and a recording contract.  It's a begining.  Twitch also started marathon showings of Bob Ross, who hosted the PBS series The Joy of Painting. Clearly they are feeling their way into a new world. 

Twitch attracts that golden audience - the young and hip.

To me, this is the future of TV.

Twitch, or one of the many competitors we are soon going to see.

There is, after all, no barrier to entry. 


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