Andy Schuette has been gaming ever since he could hold a SNES controller in his hands and has been loving every minute of it. He's the funniest guy he knows, and the least funny guy everyone else knows.
Ever since Twitch’s founding in 2011, the company has continued to find ways to expand its territory and reach more gamers. In February 2014, Twitch was reported to be the 4th largest website in terms of peak traffic, led only by Netflix, Google, and Apple.
In light of their online success, Twitch looked to conquer another area they had not yet set foot in: live conventions, an important aspect to creating and solidify the culture around their product. Live conventions–unlike live streams on the Internet on their own–allow for like-minded individuals to get together and enjoy their hobbies openly while making new friends and even business-related connections in their field of interest. In order for Twitch to hold a great convention they will truly have their work cut out for them when compared to some of the existing major gaming conventions such as Penny Arcade Expo and Gamescom, as well as developer specific conventions such as BlizzCon and QuakeCon which celebrate Blizzard Entertainment and id Software respectively.
September 25 and 26 marked Twitch’s first attempt at a convention; TwitchCon took place in San Francisco over the weekend and brought in over 20 thousand people in live attendance.
The convention had panels with some of the biggest broadcasters on-site along with meet-and-greets where you could hang out with your favorite streamers. Some other panels included educational lectures about various aspects of live streaming video games, how to be successful doing it, and other helpful topics.
Along with the 20 thousand live attendees at the convention, Twitch reports that over 1.9 million unique viewers tuned in to the live broadcast of the event to watch from their homes.
This convention was not only a celebration of the top broadcasters however as Twitch themselves announced some big changes to the site and their services over the weekend that will take place in early 2016. One big announcement was the option to upload videos directly to the site without having to stream them first. This will allow players to make quality videos without the pressure of live streaming their process.
Another change to the site is the transition to HTML 5 which will bring a much better streamlined experience to the site visually as well as putting less strain on the PCs as they run the mix of HTML 5 and flash that is currently being used at Twitch.
The success that Twitch had over the weekend is certainly a reflection on their massive growth in popularity over the past few years. In 2014, Amazon acquired the gaming-based social platform for $970 million. The site’s growth is incredible when comparing their self-published statistics for both 2013 and 2014. In 2013, Twitch recorded that 12 billion minutes were watched each month while 2014’s statistics boast an even more impressive 16 billion minutes watched per month. Not only did time watched increase but the amount of unique viewers more than doubled in a year’s time jumping from 45 million monthly viewers in 2013, to a monstrous 100 million viewers per month in 2014.
This popularity comes as a great relief to the company as they look to fend off other video game streaming sites such as the new Google-owned YouTube Gaming. If Twitch continues to facilitate a strong bond between entertainers and viewers such as they have done this past weekend, they should have no problem remaining the world’s leading video game streaming website.
Source: Twitch (Blog)