TwitchCon 2018: Top Priorities For Twitch CEO Emmett Shear Are Growth and Monetization

October 28, 2018

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear knows that while the streaming giant is thriving, the company still has work to do in making its platform more user friendly from the broadcast side. In an interview from TwitchCon 2018, Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg points out some of his difficulties with streaming tool OBS, asking why Twitch didn’t do more to make streaming easier. Shear admitted to some of those difficulties, but made the argument that streamers were sending a different message about their top priorities.

“Their top priorities are around reach, monetization, and trying to create healthy, thriving communities,” said Shear. “I’m sure at some point we’ll invest in trying to make streaming easier, it just hasn’t reached the top of the priority list.”

Despite the barrier of entry for streaming, Twitch is still enjoying a renaissance that can contribute to the rise of gaming and esports. Shear explained that the business of Twitch, which he describes as multiplayer entertainment is “having a moment” and stated that “when your speciality has a moment, it’s time to lean into that.”

Fortnite is having the kind of moment that Shear is speaking of, but he doesn’t see its success to be a detriment to the games on the platform. “We still see games from Activision-Blizzard ($ATVI) doing well. We still see games from EA ($EA) doing really well. We see a ton of indie games doing well,” said Shear.

The formula of success for Twitch is in that ability to keep gaming companies going strong. “Every time there’s a new hit game that’s a new thing that works on Twitch… it doesn’t destroy the old stuff, it adds to it.”

TwitchCon 2018, the annual event hosted by Twitch, is now in its fourth year and has still been able to uphold its quirky gamer-centered culture that led to its dominance as a live-streaming service. Hosting a number of events from roasts of popular streamers to live renditions of the 1984 hit-single “Take On Me,” one wouldn’t be faulted in forgetting that Twitch has a serious stronghold on a market that keeps growing.

Shear led off the keynote pointing out that more than a million people are watching streams on the platform with half a million streamers providing the content. As part of its revenue program, over 235,000 streamers are Affiliates on the streaming service, and more than 6,000 have reached Partner status. The achievement speaks to how well Twitch can create revenue streams for its broadcasters.

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