PCR's Matthew Jarvis on why the tech trade should get involved with streaming sites like Twitch

OPINION: Retailers and vendors should not ignore livestream boom

PCR’s Matthew Jarvis argues why the tech trade should get involved with sites like Twitch.

As more original programming appears exclusively on video streaming sites like Netflix, it seems TV might be about to kneel before the block as the axe of the internet is lofted overhead.

But it’s not just traditional TV shows produced by big corporations that are riding high online. User-created is enjoying strong popularity on sites like YouTube. It’s only going to grow further, and much of it is being propelled by the increasing ease of home recording.

For gamers, the boom in ‘weblebrities’ is apparent through narrated gameplay content such as Rooster Teeth’s ‘Let’s Play’ series, Giant Bomb’s ‘Quick Looks’ and Tobuscus’ ‘TobyGames’ offerings, which have online audiences millions strong.

The appeal of watching games being played live has even expanded into professional arenas via eSports, with the League of Legends final last October attracting 32 million viewers on Twitch.tv – almost tripling The X Factor’s 10.7 million viewer peak. 

Twitch is quickly establishing itself as the stream site to beat – especially as a wave of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players discover the site through its integration into the next-gen consoles, making broadcasting narrated gameplay to a worldwide audience as easy as the press of a button.

Retailers would do well to take on board the surge of content – both pre-recorded and live – in order to attract the gaming audience’s interest, particularly in the wake of the new consoles and exciting developments such as DDR4 RAM and new powerhouse cards from AMD and Nvidia in the PC market.

With everything from simply reposting the latest Grand Theft Auto V trailer to blowing up an Xbox 360 with C4 capturing consumers’ clicks, it doesn’t take much to wade into the waters of online video. 

Before you know it, you could be streaming the bustling queues of a midnight launch via an embedded Twitch video on your website, demonstrating the power of your latest graphics card by posting captured gameplay footage or giving a two-minute rundown of the week’s new hardware and software releases on your own dedicated YouTube channel.

Even those who don’t wish to create their own content can make the most of the trend by stocking hardware and software used for recording and producing. Attract budding creators and who knows – maybe they will even be so impressed that they’ll provide free content for you, through a review or mention in a video.

So why not jump in and give it a go? The stream is flowing fast.

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