In many ways, it’s a perfect marriage of platform and content: Gaming and geek-culture digital network Machinima will add gaming culture hub Twitch to its list of distributors. The partnership will help Machinima expand from its YouTube presence, where it’s built one of the largest audiences on that platform, and it will add content with high production values to Twitch’s stable of programs, the most popular of which tend to be live tournaments emceed by gamers.
Twitch boasts a huge stable of content and content producers—ones that’s about to get a whole lot bigger, given that the company has signed a deal with Xbox and Playstation to allow anyone playing a game on either company's next-gen console to livecast their session with the click of a button.
It also has a very high length of tune (that's the amount of time people will spend watching a single stream)—vp of marketing Matthew DiPietro says an average of 100 minutes (bouts on games like Starcraft and DOTA 2 can go on for hours). But Twitch’s content providers have tended toward the scrappier end of the production value spectrum, and Jay Sampson, evp of global ad sales for Machinima, is pleased that his company will fill that gap. “This is, from Machinima’s side, part of the ongoing evolution of our business to find large-scale, global-reach platforms on which we can program,” Sampson said. Machinima is currently distributed on YouTube and Xbox Live, but the Twitch partnership will allow it to expand its programming as well as its distribution.
“We are going to immediately out of the gate target producing 120 hours a month of new, live programming that we've never done before,” Sampson said. “We're going to take some of the franchises that we already have, like Inside Gaming Live, which will be an hourlong show produced every day.” That’s a very long show for the Web, but it’s a totally reasonable amount of time for Twitch, and the live part of the equation, Sampson says, is very attractive to them.
“That's been a missing piece,” said Sampson. “As good as YouTube is at integration and video on demand, Twitch is far, far better [for live]. I can go back out into the marketplace and tell Omnicom and Starcom that we now have that piece.”
Neither company will have any territorial problems with ad sales; Machinima doesn’t “drill down into specific content,” according to DiPietro, preferring to offer a run of the site, and Machinima offers advertising across all its platforms, like the Pizza Hut sponsorship for its Call of Duty event, which kicks off Twitch/Machinima pact today.