Video game streaming network Twitch had a very successful 2014 and looks on course to have an even more successful 2015. Twitch’s audience keeps growing, and that may be because of the communities forming on the network. Twitch’s data science team collects 2.5 terabytes of behavioral data every day, and has unearthed the interesting crossover these communities.
The data was used to generate a map that plots how viewers interact with Twitch channels. Each circle represents a channel, and the lines between them represent viewers that belong to each community. The communities are color coded, and represent that games draw in the biggest audience. All data was collected during December 2014.
This data shows how communities cluster on Twitch. The pink section shows the community around the game League of Legends, a game which has generated as many peak viewers as the Stanley Cup Finals.
The League of Legends cluster has two distinct offshoots which represent Twitch streamers in Asia, and Central and South America. Twitch is clearly a worldwide phenomenon. Some of the biggest streamers in the LoL cluster act as connection points to the other communities, which demonstrates how widely Twitch streamers are watching.
The most diverse cluster, in red, represents channels mostly undefined by a single game. Role play channels, Let’s play streamers, and variety channels cover a large area of the map. Presently these channels seem to have a lower impact than the larger core channels, but it’s possible this audience will be very important moving forward.
As noted by Imad Khan of The Daily Dot:
This could suggest that a large portion of Twitch viewers are more casual, and prefer to be entertained than to view competitive gameplay.
That’s the market that Twitch may have to tap to maintain its growth and see future success. Indeed, Eric Johnson, a gaming writer for Recode, points out that if esports are to rival traditional sports, fans will have to start exposing non-fans to esports.