Saturday January 17,2015 : TWITCH BETTER THAN T.V. FOR LIVE POKER STREAMING?
Early adapters say it’s a less restricted and more engaging experience for the viewer.
The video streaming site Twitch.tv received a publicity boost this week when poker pro Jason Somerville gave an interview praising the real-time broadcast capabilities of the service, saying that in terms of viewer engagement and more time availability it was a better bet for streaming poker activity than television.
Discussing the medium with the publication PokerListings, Somerville said that Twitch.tv was the way to go.
"It's hard to make poker content fit in hour-long blocks that are meant for an older audience that doesn't quite get it," Somerville opined. "It's not a good fit for television. Twitch and live-streaming on the internet is the platform that poker needs to live."
He went on to explain that Twitch gives users the ability to create their own channels and stream their game play to a wide audience. During the action, streamers can interact with followers directly through a chat box while viewers talk amongst themselves.
According to Somerville, the experience creates a sense of community, while at the same time, users become emotionally invested in the streamer.
PokerListings notes that while in the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure recently, Somerville continued to broadcast to his nearly 51,000 followers on the site, streaming every day of his six day stay.
"My fans know what I've been up to every single day this trip because they talk to me every single day," he said. "So they're invested and asking questions."
Although he has only been using Twitch for a few months, Somerville reports that he has already achieved over three million views to his channel, which receives around 300,000 views a week at an average duration of 45 minutes a view. Fans can watch for free or subscribe monthly for an ad-free experience.
The most popular streamers have built up such a large viewer base that they can make millions of dollars per year through such subscriptions, Somerville claims.
The secret to holding viewers' attention for such comparatively long periods lies in the ability to interact in real time with the broadcaster, Somerville says….that keeps the viewer – especially the casual or recreational viewer – invested in the content and engaged.
The poker pro has discovered that when streaming actual gameplay in which he is actively involved, a small time delay is necessary to stop his opponents (using Twitch) taking advantage of the transparency of his Twitch stream!