If you haven’t heard of Twitch.tv then that’s understandable, it is a streaming service aimed squarely at gamers, and if you are not a gamer then you wouldn’t have a need for it. Twitch is a free website where you can live stream yourself playing games to the internet for anyone to watch. In addition to the basic video feed and commentary, each stream has its own chat room, where users can comment on streams as they happen. There are now one million users broadcasting on the service, as well as over over 45 million viewers every month and some users make money from broadcasting on Twitch, just like YouTube.
Now that’s all great for gamers, but how does it affect the video production and live events industry? Well YouTube just put in a bid for over $1billion to purchase the service, so that changes everything.
In the past if you wanted to see what was happening at a live event or conference you either had to attend or had to set up a rather costly live stream on your own internal website. But with YouTube purchasing Twitch, the streaming technology required to undertake such a task will now be available to anyone. Instead of a custom setup with expensive infrastructure, all you’ll need to stream your live event to the world will be an internet connection, some streaming software and a computer with a capture device. The capture device could be as simple as a webcam, or you could have a full on video mixing desk sending output to the streaming computer. Some of the best software to do this is actually free open source software, so the cost of streaming your live event is reduced dramatically. Assuming that YouTube uses the same set-up that Twitch currently uses, the process would be very simple.
Before the event you edit your channel and send an email reminding everybody that the event is live and they can watch, chat, and interact with the presenters on-stage. Once the event starts you begin broadcasting and the chat room could open up. Allowing dynamic live discussion rather than having to collect all the notes together at the end of the event and sending a big email that many people won’t read, let alone comment on.
Simple; you’ll be able to stream your events to everyone in the business and engage with your employees and stakeholders on a much wider scale without having to spend a fortune flying everybody to the same place. You can hold conferences more often instead of a large costly one, whilst still delivering the engagement and interaction that these large events can offer. So keep a keen ear out for the changes that YouTube will hopefully implement to their live streaming platform, and in the meantime go grab a copy of your favourite game, sign up to Twitch and show the world how awesome you are!