Twitch TV: motives and interaction, a consumer perspective

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Tom Clement Maria Raes
The internet is a giant pool of shared content that can be accessed by anyone. With the shift to collaborative consumption and new power values, websites that have sharing content as a central idea have flourished. A remarkable example of such a successful website is the video broadcasting platform Twitch TV which gives people the opportunity to broadcast themselves live while playing video games, it also covers content on competitive matches of several big gaming events worldwide. Twitch TV was only established three years ago and is an internet giant on the rise with a growing number of members going up to several millions. Twitch TV claims that "Twitch is changing the way in which people consume, interact with and create live video."
There is limited academic work done about Twitch TV, therefore this thesis has the goal to investigate and explore the motives of Twitch TV users for engaging and creating content on this platform in order to reach a better understanding of the interaction and content shared on this platform. Hence it can be seen as a first step in understanding why millions of people around the globe spend their time on watching each other via live video. Due to the lack of existing academic literature on this topic, this research is build upon the idea of new power values in our society and previous academic works about user-generated content, motivation, game experience and the concept of presence to understand the motives and structure the interaction on Twitch TV. The researcher approaches the study from a consumer perspective and takes a phenomenological stance. In order to reach the target group of digital natives (those who are grown up with digital technology) the researcher chose to approach the target group via qualitative interviews and an online social survey which was spread amongst Twitch TV users.
The results of the study give insights in how Twitch TV can change the consumption and experience of gaming and the gaming industry. The results show that social and knowledge capital are the most important intangible advantages of Twitch TV that motivates one to engage. Moreover, it is found that Twitch TV users create their own gaming communities with values and ethics suitable to their preferences which are build around the entertainment in the games and the interaction on the Twitch TV streams. Twitch TV users are less immersed in games due to their constant emphasis on interaction with others but nevertheless they tend to spend more time on games due to the social interaction. Additionally they improve their knowledge on how to play games and as a community they work together to develop and improve their games. Therefore gaming companies are more dependent on the crowd and instead of introducing new and static titles, developing, maintaining and monetising a game as a good concept appears to be more appropriated choice. Finally, the results on interaction show that there is monetary aspect in Twitch TV that should not be neglected since it shows that people are willing to pay for do-it-yourself entertainment. Hence, further research on this aspect is suggested.
Publication date28 May 2015
Number of pages79
ID: 213144980