The power of Twitch for brand advertising
While most marketers are caught up in the likes of TikTok, BeReal and Instagram reels, Twitch is quietly taking the advertising market by storm.
With user count and viewership numbers growing yearly, the platform is becoming an absolute powerhouse for brand awareness. In fact, we believe that Twitch is the next big thing in upper-funnel advertising. Here’s why.
The rise of Twitch as a live stream platform
Twitch (or Justin.tv initially) burst onto the scene in 2005 as a real-time platform where users could broadcast their daily lives. Over time, it became evident that gaming was the content category that resonated most with viewers, which led to the rebranding of Justin.tv to Twitch (referencing the term ‘twitch gameplay’).
Although there are several other content categories on the platform, gaming remains the core of Twitch, even to this day. Users and eSports entities alike can live stream gaming content while the community interacts with the streamer in real-time through a live chat functionality.
So this begs the question – how did a video game live-streaming platform become such a key channel in upper funnel media? Why are the most significant brands turning to Twitch for brand advertising?
The short answer is viewership count. The long answer – is the dissolution of the outdated gaming stereotype. The even longer answer – the unique features that distinguish Twitch from other social media platforms.
Let’s take a deep dive into all of these.
All eyes on Twitch
Twitch is the market leader in the live streaming industry, with a 73% market share.
The platform is miles ahead of YouTube and Meta regarding gaming live streams. ‘Business of Apps’ also reports that in 2022 alone, Twitch achieved over two billion hours of watch time. The most viewed video game is League of Legends with over 51.3 billion views.
Twitch has over 240 million monthly active users, averaging out to eight hours of viewing per month, per user and 2.5 million concurrent viewers at any given time. About 35% of these users are female.
With numbers of this magnitude, it’s no wonder advertisers want a chunk of this attention for their campaigns.
Gaming is no longer boys-only
The idea of gamers being teenage boys playing video games in basements no longer holds true. As a matter of fact, gaming demographics are changing very rapidly. TechJury reports that:
- Currently, there are over 3 billion gamers worldwide (about 40% of the global population)
- 82% of internet users play video games via any device
- 70% of gamers are aged above 18
- The average gamer is 34 years old
- In 2022 45% of all gamers in the US were female
Gaming has evolved not only in terms of demographics – it also transcends several popular cultural territories such as TV, cinema, music, the metaverse, and so on. The latest example is the explosive popularity of ‘The Last of Us.’ The spin-off of the award-winning game is a massive success among the public and a clear example of how gaming is gaining more and more appeal.
With Twitch acting as an amplifier for gaming and esports content, the platform can attract viewership from consumers of different backgrounds and all walks of life. Currently, 35% of Twitch users are female. This is crucial to understanding why advertisers leverage Twitch in their upper-funnel campaigns.
Twitch has a unique user base
Did you know that over 33% of Twitch users cannot be found on Meta, 38% cannot be found on TikTok and 24% cannot be found on YouTube? Not only are Twitch audiences extremely hard to find, but the platform is a goldmine for Gen Z.
In fact, Twitch’s internal data suggests that Twitch has the highest proportion of Gen Z users to total audience size (55%). And what’s even more interesting is the positive sentiment in the Twitch community when it comes to the monetization of channels and running ads. In fact, users believe that advertising is essential for supporting content creators. The reason is pretty straightforward: users understand that advertising pays the bills and keeps the light on for their favorite live streamers. This makes Twitch audiences more ad-receptive compared to other social platforms, and might be the key to reaching the ad-averse Gen Z.
This naturally attracts advertisers who are looking to leverage positive user sentiment to increase awareness and favorability among target groups.
Not your ordinary platform
In a mobile-first world, Twitch actually stands out with its desktop-dominant viewership, as 65% of all content consumption occurs on desktop devices, according to internal Twitch data. In addition, Twitch consistently outperforms Meta and YouTube when it comes to video (ad) engagement levels.
This one-of-a-kind combination results in a significantly larger brand impact for advertisers.
Being a property of Amazon, Twitch allows for integrating Amazon’s first-party targeting data based on lifestyle and in-market audiences. This is a unique feature of the platform, as Amazon has access to first-party targeting data that not even the likes of Meta or Google possess.
Not only that, but Twitch offers a unique gateway for brands to access influencers, which unlocks possibilities for advertisers beyond paid media. It works like this – the higher an advertiser’s media commitment on the platform, the more added value the advertiser receives. These added values take the form of brand-dedicated live stream activations, whereby Twitch plays a key role in recruiting influencers and producing live streams.
For smart, we aimed to raise brand awareness for their new electric car, ‘smart #1’. DEPT® partnered with Twitch to tease the pre-order availability of the new EV through their Premium Video inventory. This resulted in a significant performance:
- +32% Increase in message association
- +31% increase in Unaided Brand Awareness
- +23% increase in Aided Ad Awareness
- +27% Increase in message association
- +18% increase in Unaided Brand Awareness
- +18% increase in sentiment related to ‘Fits well on Twitch’
Anyone who has ever run brand lift studies knows these numbers are extraordinary. Considering all the unique features Twitch has to offer, it stands to reason that an increasingly higher number of brands are shifting media budgets toward the platform.
Twitch is here to stay
If marketing is a game of attention, then Twitch is certainly giving YouTube, Meta and the likes a run for their money.
The key takeaway from this post is that Twitch is here to stay. With unparalleled engagement levels and one-of-a-kind platform features, Twitch will continue to dominate the brand advertising space. The best part – there is still plenty of room for a first-mover advantage.
We see more and more advertisers, including Twitch, in their upper funnel media mix, as well as collaborating directly with the platform in terms of organic brand-building.
Interested in how this all works? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Questions about Twitch for brand advertising?
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