Twitch, an online platform for watching and streaming videos, has recently gained popularity among rappers, charities and streamers as live streaming becomes increasingly popular.
Founded in 2011, the streaming service has exponentially expanded, combining video and streaming content to become one of the most visited internet platforms in North America.
Currently owned by Amazon, the platform is a place where people can stream video games, artwork, television shows and music, similar to YouTube.
Streamers can make money through the Twitch Partner program through paid subscriptions and ads. Recently, the platform has created new ways for the viewer to donate directly to the streamer without the use of a third-party site.
Twitch uses a digital currency called “bits” that can be bought and exchanged as a donation. Bits can then be exchanged for money with $1.40 per 100 bits.
Once the streamer receives the bits he or she can choose how to use them. The streamer may choose to give a shout-out to the viewer who donated. The streamer can also make money through monthly subscribers similar to Youtube.
Tyler Blevins, a professional gamer who goes by the name of “Ninja,” said he has made over $500,000 a month by utilizing the site. In an interview with CNBC, Blevins said Twitch’s recent deal with the game “Fortnight” has been a major reason for the influx of subscriber.
Blevins also said his success came though balancing school, sports, work and video games.
“You can’t just drop everything and focus on playing video games for a living. It’s also becoming a very competitive career choice right now. You want to make sure you’re securing your future and putting in the extra time to make this happen as well,” Blevins said.
Blevins recently streamed himself playing “Fortnite” competing against rappers Travis Scott and Drake.
Nathan Kawaguchi, junior mechanical engineering major, said this brought more attention to Twitch.
“By playing with Drake and Travis Scott, more people who usually don’t use Twitch have a better understanding of the platform,” Kawaguchi said. “When gamers play these games with celebrities, the celebrities’ fans will watch these live streams.”
As video game streaming continues to grow, the 1000 Dreams Fund, an organization developed to support the dreams of young women, has partnered with Twitch to help promote female streamers through financial grants.
Ryan Rector, junior finance major, is an avid Twitch user and says there is a large gender gap when it comes to streaming.
“The grants were amazing for both the recipients and the Twitch platform itself. Streamers put countless hours into their stream and for an organization to recognize this shines a positive light on streaming as a whole,” Rector said.