Advertisers Still Favor Televised Sports Over Online Gaming

Video game-centric website Twitch, recently acquired by Amazon for close to $1 billion, now has a global audience of 60 million users. The audience is passionate, consuming 16 billion minutes of video per month. The site seems to be an ideal way for advertisers to reach the young male demographic, between ages 18 and 30. However, televised sports content remains a viable method for reaching this audience, and advertisers have not yet shifted in preference from TV to online gaming.

“Naturally, advertisers are intrigued by Twitch’s huge, passionate fan base; the company says its users consume 16 billion minutes of video each month,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “But these advertisers also have lots of questions about Twitch’s true audience size in comparison to TV, as well as what sort of ads are appropriate on Twitch — which tends to be noisy and unfiltered.”


One reason advertisers are deterred is because only one-third of these 60 million users are in North America. In addition, Twitch users — who each spend more than 100 minutes per day on the site on average — may see the same messages repeatedly.

“However, according to Twitch CEO Emmett Shear, individual Twitch broadcasters control how frequently ads run and are mindful of not interrupting the game-viewing experience or overdoing it with ads,” explains WSJ.

One aspect attracting advertisers is the way that Twitch provides ads during natural breaks, much like in television, rather than interrupting content.

In the end, advertisers see sports television as a useful way of reaching this demographic, and do not yet need to resort to online gaming.

“I don’t know that Twitch directly impacts what we’re doing,” explains Eric Johnson, an executive at ESPN. “We are not seeing young men leave sports.”