The Biggest Gamer In The World Breaks Down Twitch For Us

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I'm a 40 year old guy, who hasn't played a video game since Super Nintendo.

So, I had no idea what Twitch was until recently.

Twitch is getting a lot of press lately, and rightfully so. It's a live streaming video platform primarily focused on video game live streaming, and can be watched live or on demand.

According to Twitch, "5 million daily active viewers spend 106 minutes daily watching live gaming, creating a tightly knit and highly interactive network of personalities, players, and spectators. Influencers are our top 5% broadcasters whose passion for gaming and electric personalities inspire a large, loyal fan base of viewers."

The core audience is watching two hours of content every day! That is insane.

Since I'm not a gamer, I figured I'd ask the biggest Twitch creator on the planet, Ninja, to break it all down for us.

This is literally like asking Lebron James to explain the game of basketball.

Tyler Blevins, Ninja, started his career playing Halo 3professionally in 2009, playing for various teams. He became a streamer in 2011, first with Justin.tv, and then Twitch.

He joined Luminosity Gaming in 2017 and began streaming the game, Fortnite, and his viewership exploded. He is the most followed person on Twitch with 5.5 million subscribers, a number that's up 2.2 million in the last 30 days.

It is estimated that he earns over $500,000 a month from streaming Fortnite.

According to HookIt.com, Ninja was third in social interactions among all athletes last month, trailing only Ronoldo and Lebron James.

I'm telling you, this kid is huge.

I sat down with Tyler and asked him questions so basic that he probably thought I was an idiot.

You can thank me later when you actually know what Twitch is.

Tom Ward: Why would someone sit and watch someone play video games for two hours a day? I can't even understand it.

Tyler Blevins: Why would someone sit and watch someone throw a football around, or a basketball when they can just do it themselves? If a streamer or gamer has a great show/channel and also is a top player, it is entertaining!

Ward: What is Twitch Prime?

Blevins: Twitch Prime is a new feature on Twitch that allows people to subscribe to a streamer once a month for free. It also provides the Twitch Prime users with exclusive content and they can also get cool loot from the advertisers.

Ward: What games are the most popular to watch?

Blevins: The most popular games on Twitch would be Fortnite and then League of Legends, and really the third fluctuates between several other games.

Ward: Why would someone pay $4.99 a month to watch someone play?

Blevins: Much like people subscribe to Netflix, cable, Hulu, or any video service people also can chose to subscribe to streamers and support them if they enjoy the content. However, they do not have to. Watching a streamer is completely free.

Ward: The subscribers are overwhelmingly male. According to Twitch it's over 80%. Is there a lot of trash talk? Macho stuff?

Blevins: Not really macho trash talk. It is more just the Internet trolling that happens everywhere.

Ward: What's the community like overall? I asked some questions about Twitch on Twitter and all the comments were so helpful. Plus, you donate some of your money to charity on there. I didn't expect that. I assumed it'd just be teenage guys making fun of each other.

Blevins: The Twitch community is a beautiful one. Lots of broadcasters support one another and also support new people coming to the site, if they also have good content. There are tons of charity streams and millions of dollars are raised each year, by all streamers, toward charities.

Ward: It's not all gaming, right? There's music and other stuff that people live stream.

Blevins: In my opinion there still is a huge window for upcoming singers or musicians to take advantage of Twitch. IRL streaming is also a huge thing right now; where it is basically a live vlog.

Ward: Who's doing cool stuff on there that's not a gamer? I saw the NBA broadcast a game on there in December.

Blevins: I really do not know too much stuff outside of my stream when it comes to the expanding of other things, like the NBA broadcast. Kind of just grinding right now.

Ward: What's up with YouTube Gaming? Are they going to be as big as Twitch?

Blevins: YouTube Gaming is a cool platform. In my opinion it is not something that is drastically different from Twitch, in regards to the way it functions; but the more streaming platforms the better for everyone.

Ward: You've got 5 million followers on YouTube. Why do both?

Blevins: I have 9 million subscribers on YouTube! Laughs. I would not be able to interact with both chats and it would be extremely overwhelming. I’m definitely going to stick with streaming on Twitch, and uploading to YouTube.

Ward: What are brands doing on Twitch? Is it sponsored posts similar to Instagram? Or is it more integrated in your content, like you talking about a product on your stream?

Blevins: When it comes to Twitch, there really are not that many sponsored posts. Twitch does a good job of reaching out to influencers who like the products that are being advertised. It is way more organic and successful.

Ward: What do brands need to know about Twitch?

Blevins: They should know that there really is no better way to reach out to an audience than a live interaction in front of thousands of viewers, who are passionate and ready to support what that broadcaster supports.

Ward: How do brand deals even go down? Are there Twitch influencer agencies? Do you have a manager they need to go through?

Blevins: There are more agencies now assisting streamers and Twitch themselves help and reach out sometimes. Lots of room to improve though.

Ward: What brand deals seem to be working?

Blevins: Personally, I have not done that many brand deals through Twitch, so I really cannot speak on that.

Ward: What do advertisements on Twitch even look like? Are there commercials in the middle of the playing? Banners on the screen?

Blevins: Usually a streamer will have banners below their video, screen rolling ads, or it could be a small video that plays. The more creative the broadcaster, the better opportunities.

Ward: I heard people are selling accounts. Why would someone buy or sell an account?

Blevins: I have not heard of anyone selling accounts, but if there are people doing it I would assume it is just to make money off a follower account. People trying to grind and hustle any way they can but I am 99% sure its illegal.

Ward: Do people donate money to players too? Like to play a different game, play longer, etc.

Blevins: That is totally up to the broadcaster as to how much control they want to give donators.

Ward: The reason I dug into Twitch is because I write a lot about YouTubers and Instagrammers and noticed a lot hopped on the platform lately: King Bach, Amanda Cerny, Logan Paul. Are they playing games? What are they up to?

Blevins: Only person I know of who is switching to gaming on Twitch is Logan, but you really need to be decent at the game to attract new viewers on the platform.

Ward: Do you think more social media stars are going to use Twitch? Why or why not?

Blevins: I think there will be more that try to take advantage of Twitch growing right now, but most will be surprised that it is not easy.

Ward: What does the Twitch community think about them?

Blevins: The majority of people assume that they are trying to just capitalize on Twitch blowing up and make more money. But can you really blame people for trying to be more successful?

InterviewsTom Ward