Twitch is the biggest live streaming website on the internet right now. Initially conceptualized as a way to grow esports by providing a platform for gamers to broadcast themselves playing games and build community through live chat, Twitch has grown into more of a connection tool than a gaming platform. This shift is evidenced by its most popular category being currently “Just Chatting,” a category that didn’t exist when Twitch was created in 2011. As of January 2021, Twitch boasts 15 million unique visitors to the site every day.
What does this mean for hip hop? Well, there’s a popular “music” section on Twitch, that in my estimation is being under-utilized by hip hop artists. More than just a platform for broadcasting or performing music to a live online audience, Twitch is a powerful tool for artists to build community and express themselves in holistic and intimate ways to fans. There are opportunities to share music, invite fans and new listeners to the creative process, and even expand your creative brand to gaming content.
But here’s the big thing. Twitch offers monetization in ways that the popular distribution and streaming sites just don’t. Users can subscribe to your twitch stream, paying you a monthly rate of $5 to unlock enhanced engagement tools on your stream like emotes, ad-free viewing, and viewer badges. Users can connect their twitch accounts to paypal to give direct donations to artists, and the most supportive users can pay to gift subscriptions to viewers in your chat. With some consistency and growth, twitch partners can also enjoy very lucrative sponsorship and advertisement deals. Billboard estimates that artists can earn 3 - 15x more on twitch compared to platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. I think that estimate is low when you consider the potential for exponential growth that this platform offers.
I encourage all artists, especially growing ones, to consider hosting content on twitch to build their audiences and maximize their earning potential. Check out some of the content below to get ideas. -ZEN
Popular artists who have enjoyed recent success on twitch
ZEN’s pick: https://www.twitch.tv/knxwledge