Bloomberg Businessweek

(Steven Felgate) #1



and cooking ive days a week for a show called
CookingForNoobs. Her rules: Be positive, avoid
cursing, and don’t feed the trolls.
“Few brands are excited about reaching an audi-
ence of hardcore gamers,” says Justin Warden, CEO
of Ader Inc., a marketing agency that specializes in
e-sports. “More brands are excited about working
with an inluencer or personality.” Ader helped Walt
Disney Co. market the DVD release of Black Panther
on Twitch and is signing clients who specialize in
anime and card playing, plus gamers as adept at
humor as a joystick.
Two of the fastest-growing genres on Twitch are
livestreams of TV shows and “IRL,” or in real life,
videos—where posters welcome fans into their world
for a few hours at a time. IRL videos are an unedited
version of the video blog, or vlog, one of the domi-
nant genres on YouTube.
Few people can marshal their fans to buy books,
tickets, or makeup like online inluencers, the youth-
ful vloggers and comedians who rule YouTube. So
Amazon has an added incentive for wooing them to
Twitch. Still, rivals have attempted to compete with
YouTube for years, with little to show for it. Verizon
Communications Inc. struggled to attract users to its
video app Go90 before folding it this year. Facebook
has pursued online creators for its Watch video sec-
tion, but it isn’t yet a major source of revenue for
most online talent.
Yet YouTube’s grip on the creators has never
been more tenuous. Its investments in new areas
such as TV and music have left some creators
feeling unloved. And its crackdown on which

videos are eligible for ads has reduced revenue
for some of its top stars. “YouTube has been
confusing the creator community,” says David
Tochterman, who represents creators who work
with both YouTube and Twitch. YouTube’s con-
stant tweaks to the algorithms that power its site
have a big efect on views for YouTubers, who can
no longer rely on the site to be their sole source of
revenue, he says.
Nichole Boyd started posting YouTube videos
in 2010 and has about 500,000 subscribers to her
channel, which features home cleaning and orga-
nization tips. YouTube advertising remains her
largest revenue source, but like many inluenc-
ers, she wants to cultivate other platforms so sud-
den changes to algorithms or rules don’t kill her
business. People directed to Amazon from her
YouTube posts spend as much as $60,000 a month
at the online retailer, and she gets a commission
on everything they buy within 24 hours of visit-
ing Amazon through a link from her channel. “I
do pretty good there because a lot of the products
I have in my videos and use in my home are sold
on Amazon,” she says.
Amazon reached out to her earlier this year
about creating two videos a week for a kind of
home shopping network-style program with sev-
eral other online inluencers, Boyd says. She’s
interested in the idea—and likely so are YouTube
executives.—Lucas Shaw, with Spencer Soper

THE BOTTOM LINE Amazon’s Twitch live-video service attracts
15 million daily visitors, mostly to watch gamers. Amazon is trying to
woo YouTubers—and the ad money they draw—to the site.

host Christine invites
Twitch viewers into
her sometimes unruly
kitchen in real time

○ Twitch unique video
viewers on desktops

○ Unique video viewers
on desktops in June

6/2017 6/






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