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Game Streaming Platform Twitch is Seeing a Significant Rise in Non-Gaming Live-Streams

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You may not watch Twitch content yourself, you may not be interested in gaming live-streams, or gaming culture more generally. But the influence of gaming is massive, and as younger users who’ve grown up with functions like live-streaming move into adulthood, and more viable spending demographics, you can expect the focus on such platforms to evolve in-step.

This is an important trend to note, because as this shift happens, platforms like Twitch are gradually becoming more popular, and thus, more relevant for marketing and outreach purposes. And this week, we’ve seen signs of another important shift in this area, with a new report showing that Twitch’s non-gaming live-streams are now becoming just as popular, if not more so, than it’s traditional gaming-focused content.

As per Wired:

“In December, Twitch viewers watched 81 million hours of “Just Chatting,” Twitch’s category for streamers who do exactly that, plus any number of other grab-bag activities. That was a solid 7 million hours more than the first game listed, League of Legends, and 23 million more than the second, Fortnite.”

Twitch 'Just Chatting'

In essence, Twitch is becoming a more general live-streaming hub, where its legion of fans are growing more accustomed to live-streaming as a means of communication and interaction, not just as an avenue to explore games. That has significant implications for the broader web – already, gaming culture is a foundational element for other video platforms like YouTube and increasingly Facebook too.

As gamers spread out to other interest areas, such trends will likely boost the popularity of live-streaming more broadly, and in particular, the use of streaming as a social element, and a means to remain connected and engaged on a broader range of subjects.

This could mean that more businesses should be looking to live-streaming as an outreach option – with a broader set of people becoming more accustomed to the format (and worth noting, Twitch users watched 660 billion minutes of content overall in 2019, up from 560 billion in 2018), it’s likely becoming an increasingly viable, and attractive, content option for viewers over time, which could lead to increased engagement.

Twitch viewer growth

But it also points to the expansion of gaming culture, and the relevant outreach opportunities connected to such. If more Twitch streamers are discussing a broader set of topics, that could make Twitch itself a more viable channel for influencer marketing outreach for content not necessarily connected to gaming.

Given its focus, Twitch may seem like a limited channel for brands, but maybe, through this expansion, things are changing, and it may be worth tagging onto the growth of gaming, where possible, to boost your digital presence.

And definitely, gaming is a key element of digital platform growth. Just this week, YouTube signed up three new gaming stars to help boost its connection with the gaming community, while Microsoft has invested in popular Fortnite streamer Ninja in order to maintain its own connection to this audience. 

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The platforms aren’t doing this for no reason – gaming is huge, and it could actually be key to winning the online video battle. As such, it’s worth marketers taking note of such shifts, and considering what they mean for the next generation of consumers, and subsequent outreach strategies. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Announces New Ad Options for Facebook Reels Which Could Facilitate Creator Revenue Share

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Meta Announces New Ad Options for Facebook Reels Which Could Facilitate Creator Revenue Share

Meta sees Reels as ‘the future of video’ on its platforms, with engagement with short-form content being one of the only positive growth trends across its apps at present.

Whether that’s due to more people looking to watch Reels, or Meta pumping more of them into feeds, is another question – but clearly, Meta’s keen to double-down on Reels content, which also means that it needs to offer Reels creators greater revenue share, in order to keep them posting.

On this, Meta has today outlined some new Reels ad options, which will provide more capacity for brands to tap into the format, while also, ideally, providing a pathway to revenue share for top creators.

The first new option in testing is ‘post-loop ads’ which are 4-10- second, skippable video ads that will play after a Reel has ended.

As you can see in this example, some Facebook Reels will now show an ‘Ad starting soon’ indicator as you reach the end of a Reel, which will then move into a post-loop ad. When the ad finishes playing, the original Reel will resume and loop again.

As noted, it could be a way to more directly monetize Reels content, though the interruption likely won’t be welcome for viewers, and it’ll be interesting to see what the actual view rates are on such ads. It’ll also be interesting to see if Meta looks to attribute those ad views to the original Reel, and how that could relate to revenue share for Reels creators.

The option is only in early testing, so there’s not a lot to go on at this stage.

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Meta’s also testing new image carousel ads in Facebook Reels – horizontally-scrollable ads which can include up to 10 images that are displayed at the bottom of Facebook Reels content.

Meta ads update

These promotions will be directly linked back to individual Reel performance, and could provide another monetization option for creators, while also enabling brands to tap into popular clips. TikTok offers a similar ad option in its tools.

On another front, Meta’s also giving brands access to more music options for their Reels, with new, ‘high-quality’ songs added to its Sound Collection that can be added to Carousel Ads on Reels.

Meta ads update

Note that these aren’t commercial tracks – you won’t be able to add the latest Lady Gaga song to your ad. But there are some good instrumental tracks to add atmosphere and presence to your promotions.

“Businesses can select a song from our library or allow the app to automatically choose the best music for an ad based on its content.”

I’d probably advise against letting the app automatically choose the best music, but maybe, based on its suggestions, you might be able to find the right soundtrack for your promotions.

Short-form video monetization is the next big battleground, with YouTube recently outlining its new Shorts monetization process, and TikTok still developing its live-stream commerce tools, as a means to facilitate better revenue share. Inserting ads into such brief clips is challenging, especially in a user-friendly way. But the platform that can get it right stands to win out, by providing direct creator monetization, based on content performance, which will likely, eventually see the top creators gravitate towards those platforms as they seek to maximize their opportunities.

Meta’s new options don’t seem to be a match for YouTube’s new Shorts program, which will allocate a share of total ad revenue to Shorts creators based on relative view counts. But it’s still early days, and no one has the answers yet.

As such, you can expect each platform to keep trying new things, as they work to beat out the competition.  

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