What Is Twitch? Twitch is a live streaming application and website that lets users share video content with viewers. Most of Twitch’s channels focus on video games. Some video game streamers have audiences that are so large they have made their Twitch channels sources of income. One gamer (Richard Tyler Blevins, who goes by the name Ninja on Twitch and social media platforms) has nearly 17 million followers.
Since Twitch’s founding in 2011, it has attracted more than gamers. Today, the site has channels for musicians, comedians, and practically any other type of content. The platform does, however, have restrictions against pornographic content.
Twitch has also banned some video games that contain high levels of adult content. It has also canceled accounts that focus on scantily clad performers doing yoga and sitting in hot tubs, claiming that they were too sexually suggestive.
Amazon purchased Twitch Interactive in 2014 for $970 million. Alphabet (GOOG) had approached Twitch about making a deal, but the two companies could not reach an agreement. Amazon moved in to become Twitch’s parent company.
How Twitch Works
You can browse some content on Twitch without creating an account. It is very limited, though. To experience more features, you just need to create a free account. Setting up an account automatically gives you a channel, user ID, and Twitch URL (the page where you can stream content). These options are available to you regardless of whether you plan to publish or stream video content. Each user can add an image to their account, but it isn’t required.
Twitch makes navigation very easy. You only need to enter the name of the channel or genre that interests you. You can also browse videos by category.
Some streamers will only show their live streams. In this case, you will see their videos when you visit their pages. If the streamer is not logged in, a message will tell you that they are “offline.”
When watching videos, viewers can post comments to the content creator and each other. These comments typically appear on the right side of the screen. You can also use this area to pay streamers for their services. Streamers can respond to comments verbally or in the comment section.
Many streamers choose to show live and archived videos. If the archived videos feature has been enabled, you will see the channel’s library regardless of whether its owner is online.
If you do not have a specific streamer or genre in mind, you can browse channels to find something that interests you. When you find a channel or video you like, you can bookmark it, which makes returning to the content easier.
Since Twitch was made primarily as a streaming service for gamers, you can access it through a broad variety of devices and platforms, including popular gaming stations like Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Other – but not all – gaming systems can connect to Twitch. Check your preferred system to determine whether it provides Twitch access.
You can also access the site and its content through any internet-enabled device, including laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
How To Stream on Twitch
Twitch makes streaming very simple for the average person, so you don’t need any special skills to broadcast content.
If you want to grow a larger audience, though, you will probably need to invest in some equipment and learn how to improve the quality of your video and audio.
The Basics of Streaming on Twitch
Crating a Twitch account is the first step to streaming on the platform. It’s a good idea to double-check all of the information you give Twitch. If you ever lose access to your account, you will need to answer a few questions to reset your password. You should also enable two-factor authentication to protect your account – and any money you earn – from cybercriminals.
Now, take some time to review the community guidelines and read the list of prohibited games. Violating these rules can lead to suspensions. If you violate the rules too many times, Twitch can delete your account and prevent you from creating a new one.
You will need to moderate your comments section to remain within the community guidelines. Many Twitch streamers rely on AutoMod to handle moderation for them.
Your Twitch streaming channel gives you plenty of opportunities for customization. Anyone who wants to grow an audience and earn money on Twitch should spend time customizing their channels with unique graphics, a memorable name, and other features. The Creator Dashboard has a large library of pre-built features that you can add to your channel.
Now, you need to optimize your setup. This can involve as little as following some instructions that will optimize the channel for your specific device.
Make sure you have given your stream a title, category, and tag. At this point, you can start streaming your video games and other video content.
Improving Your Twitch Channel
Most people take a fairly straightforward approach when they start streaming their content on Twitch. Over time, though, you might want to improve your channel so you can attract a larger audience and monetize your content. There are several ways that you can do to improve your channel’s quality.
Upgrade Your Equipment
Add a webcam and microphone so you can better communicate with your audience. Ideally, you should get reliable equipment within your price range. Plenty of professional streamers have shared tips for choosing equipment. Find their advice and choose one you find affordable.
Add Lighting to Your Studio
Even something as basic as an inexpensive ring light can make your channel look much more professional. Always turn on your ring light when you stream live and broadcast yourself playing. Otherwise, the video may look dull and grainy.
Choose a Faster Internet Package
Technically, Twitch doesn’t force you to use a high-speed internet connection. Anything too slow, however, will cause disruptions, such as lagging video. Make sure your internet package gives you an upload speed of at least 3mbps. If you can get a faster connection, it will only improve your channel’s appearance and performance.
How Much Is Twitch Prime?
You can get a Twitch Prime account for $12.99 per month. Twitch offers free Prime access for one month so you can try before you buy.
If you use any Amazon services, though, it probably makes more sense for you to pay for an Amazon Prime account, which includes Twitch Prime access. Amazon Prime costs $12.00 per month. You can save some money by paying $119 for a full year of access.
Amazon Prime also gives you access to:
- Prime Video
- Amazon Music Prime
- Prime Reading
- Amazon Photos
- Free delivery for most Amazon purchases, including same-day delivery for some items
- Free delivery from Whole Foods
Amazon Prime prices and perks can change, so check Amazon’s website before committing to a membership.
Does Twitch Have a Stock?
Twitch does not have stock because it is not a publicly-traded company.
Instead, it is a subsidiary of its parent company, Amazon. Anyone who wants to invest in Twitch can only do so indirectly by purchasing Amazon shares.
Can I Buy Twitch Stock?
Twitch is not a publicly-traded company, so you cannot buy stock in it. You can, however, purchase shares of Twitch’s parent company, Amazon (AMZN).
Buying shares in Amazon also gives you indirect investments in several other companies. Some of the subsidiaries owned by Amazon include:
- Brilliance Audio
- Whole Foods Market
How Does Twitch Make Money?
Twitch uses a freemium business model that lets users access some content without spending any money. This has encouraged some people to wonder how Twitch manages to generate revenue.
The company has several revenue sources that vary depending on the user. When viewers use free accounts, Twitch makes money by showing them advertisements – much in the same way that YouTube makes money by displaying ads.
Twitch Prime users experience fewer advertisements, but they have to pay a monthly or annual fee, which gives the company a fairly predictable amount of revenue that increases as more people choose Prime accounts.
Users also have the option to purchase Bits, a digital currency that only has value within the Twitch platform. Bits have a few uses, including paying content creators to perform specific actions and tipping performers. While streamers earn money in the form of Bits, Twitch also makes money by collecting currency from users, transferring money into Bits, and distributing the Bits to creators.
Finally, Twitch makes money by selling merchandise. Popular merchandise options include sweatshirts, sweatpants, t-shirts, outerwear, and accessories. Twitch even has a merchandise line of products for dogs. Most of the merchandise features the Twitch logo.
Is Twitch Publicly Traded?
Twitch is not a publicly-traded company. However, Amazon, its parent company, is traded on NASDAQ.
How to Invest in Twitch Stock?
You cannot invest directly in Twitch stock. Buying Amazon stock is the closest thing you can get to investing in Twitch.
How Much Is a Share of Twitch Stock
Currently, Twitch is a subsidiary company that does not have its own stock.
If you want to invest, you can buy shares in its parent company, Amazon. You can usually expect to spend $3,000 to $3,500 on each share of Amazon.
Twitch Stock Alternatives
Since you cannot invest directly in Twitch, you might want to explore alternative companies in the video game and streaming industries. Some of your best options include:
All of these companies have shares that cost much less than Amazon stock, so you might want to start here before making a more expensive investment.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.