It’s been a busy, and successful year for Amazon’s live-streaming platform Twitch, which has seen a marked boom during quarantine, recording record numbers while people consumed more online content.
From their expansions into the music industry, esports, and even live-content that goes beyond the realm of gaming, which they have been known for primarily, Twitch has been focusing on a global expansion as well.
According to the Financial Review, the streaming mega-power is now looking at an expansion into Australia as they look into focusing more on non-gaming content so there is more content variety on the millions of twitch streams that are presently available.
“Our focus in Australia is really to be able to expand into non-gaming content. That is the biggest thing that we are focusing on right now,” Twitch’s first senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific region Sunita Kaur said.
It’s fair to label 2020 as the year of the live-stream, as the global population has had to stay-at-home due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many areas of the world are still in lockdown.
But while other markets and niches within the national and global economies have seen significant drops in revenue and production, the same cannot be said for streaming platforms such as Twitch, and their competitors YouTube and Facebook Gaming, who have grown significantly over the course of the past several months.
Kaur is tasked with expanding Twitch’s content into realms outside of gaming such as music streams, sports, comedy, fitness streams, and even more as the future unfolds.
“Since 2005, my jobs have predominantly been around companies that want to push and build into Asia-Pacific. I did it for Facebook in 2010, and then in 2013, I joined Spotify when there were just two of us … it was really my time at Spotify [that showed] just how the world was starting to change and consume entertainment,” Kaur said.
“In my head, I was always really fascinated by where the world of entertainment was going, so when I left Spotify, the timing was perfect for when Twitch was really looking at how they could expand into Asia-Pacific. So I put my hand up.”
Kaur has seen the trends and, like many, believes that streaming can become the new primary resource for online entertainment and content.
But growth has not come without it’s complications and challenges. From the SpeakOut movement that highlighted misconduct, racism and sexual misconduct directed to a number of female streamers, to widespread copyright claims that brought down a lot of content from streamers.
“We tend to band together on it. There are a lot of behind the scenes conversations going on, and we also tend to follow each others’ lead. Fundamentally, it’s ensuring that communities on the viewership side are in a safe environment,” Kaur said.
Twitch is a great resource and platform for streamers, but reaching milestones can present challenges and hurdles, requiring a lot of hard work and time dedication, and as with anything else, it comes with positives and negatives.
“Twitch encourages hours of streaming a week” Kaur said. “I have a Twitch membership, but they kind of suggest you stream for, like 10 hours a week. They want you to just be sharing everything that you’re doing,” she said.
“I don’t have the time to stream everything, and I’m also not that much of a sharer. In my 20s, maybe, but now I’m in my 30s, I don’t know if I really need to sit online that much, and I’d probably get too addicted to it.”