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For people who don’t play or watch video games, it can be difficult to conceptualize just how powerful Twitch is. But the streaming site has an average 1.7 million broadcasters streaming each month, and in 2015, Twitch viewers watched more than 459,000 years worth of video collectively.

Jason Preston and Mary Kate Ives.
Jason Preston and Mary Kate Ives.

That’s a lot.

To the layperson, it may be difficult to understand why so many people would spend so much time watching video games, but professional streamer Mary Kate Ives (a.k.a. MK the Worst) says it’s actually quite simple.

“It’s no different than watching somebody else play football,” she says. “If you like watching sports, you might like watching people play eSports.”

Ives and fellow streamer Jason Preston share insights about Twitch on this week’s episode of Generation App. As avid gamers, they have a lot to say about Twitch’s evolution and the introduction of non-gaming verticles like Twitch Creative and Twitch Food.

Tune in to find out how one guy’s “lifestreaming” experiment led to an Amazon acquisition of nearly $1 billion. We also chat about the Twitch community, trolling and personal safety issues for streamers, and tips for Twitch newcomers. Listen below!

Key takeaways

  • eSports are experiencing unprecedented exposure and legitimacy, thanks in large part to live streaming.
  • San Francisco-based Twitch has close ties to Seattle. It began as Justin.tv, a site a Seattle man created to “lifestream” himself 24/7. Twitch is now owned by Seattle e-commerce giant Amazon.
  • Twitch creates a global community around specific games and interests — a big draw for many streamers and viewers.
  • It’s difficult, but not impossible, to earn a living streaming on Twitch. It’s much easier if you’re a professional gamer.
  • Twitch is now expanding beyond gaming with new content verticals.
  • These new channels mean you don’t have to be a gamer to get into Twitch.

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