Twitch is a streaming platform that allows users to watch and broadcast live video content to audiences on the platform. Twitch is best known for its videogame streams, where streamers play games and provide commentary while also engaging with audiences who communicate via a visible chat interface. These high-profile videogame streamers garner tens of thousands of views a day each.

 

 

Twitch’s performance far exceeds that of older networks, with Twitch’s concurrent viewers numbering 4 million in 2018, while MSNBC and CNN only achieving 885,000 and 783,000 respectively. Of those viewers, over 49% are millennials (aged 18 to 34 years old.) 

This makes Twitch the platform of choice for advertisers looking to expand their brand presence to the millennial community.
 

Introductions to Twitch Advertising 

 
Like other live streaming services, Twitch integrates advertising into both its programming and into the layout and functionality of its website/platform, giving brands plenty of choices on how they want to interact with viewers. 

 

 

In addition to traditional ad placements like pre-roll videos and banner images, advertisers also have the option of partnering directly with the streaming influencer for sponsored content or leveraging experiential opportunities like esports sponsorships.

We will be sticking to traditional advertisement options for this article.
 

Twitch Ad Types

 
Twitch ads come in both video and banner ad format, and can be displayed in multiple areas of the website depending on your chosen strategy. 

Credit: Twitch Advertising


 

Desktop Video

 
These video advertisements are incorporated directly into livestream broadcasts played on desktop computers, and can be presented as either pre-roll ads or a part of regular ad breaks.

  • Video file duration: 30 sec, unskippable; 60s, extra charge and mid-roll only 
  • Min. resolution: 1920×1080
  • Min bitrate: 1000 kbps
  • Peak audio: -9dB
  • File format: MP4
  • Min framerate: 24 FPS
  • Max framerate: 30 FPS
  • Supported 3rd-party tracking events: 
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • Quartiles
    • Completes

 

Note that your desktop video ad must not have any geo, browser, or any other kind of targeting from a third party, and neither should it allow third-party redirecting. 
 

Mobile video

 
Mobile video ads only play for streams broadcast on the Twitch mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android mobile device users. 

 

  • Video file duration: 30 sec, unskippable; 60s, extra charge and mid-roll only 
  • Min. resolution: 1920×1080
  • Min bitrate: 1000 kbps
  • Peak audio: -9dB
  • File format: MP4
  • Min framerate: 24 FPS
  • Max framerate: 30 FPS
  • Supported 3rd-party tracking events: 
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • Quartiles
    • Completes

 

Note that your desktop video ad must not have any geo, browser, or any other kind of targeting from a third party, and neither should it allow third-party redirecting or 4th-party tags.
 

Cross-screen video

 
The cross-screen video advert is a format that allows your asset to play across all devices, whether desktop, mobile device, or tablet. 

  • Video file duration: 30 sec, unskippable; 60s, extra charge and mid-roll only 
  • Min. resolution: 1920×1080
  • Min bitrate: 1000 kbps
  • Peak audio: -9dB
  • File format: MP4
  • Min framerate: 24 FPS
  • Max framerate: 30 FPS
  • Supported 3rd-party tracking events: 
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • Quartiles
    • Completes

 

As with the preceding video ad types, your desktop video ad must not have any geo, browser, or any other kind of targeting from a third party, and neither should it allow third-party redirecting or 4th-party tags.
 

SureStream

 
SureStream is new video technology that incorporates ads directly into the broadcast, instead of playing as a layer on the viewer’s device.

  • Video file duration: 30 sec, unskippable; 60s, extra charge and mid-roll only 
  • Min. resolution: 1920×1080
  • Min bitrate: 2000 kbps
  • Peak audio: -9dB
  • File format: MP4
  • Min framerate: 24 FPS
  • Max framerate: 30 FPS
  • Supported 3rd-party tracking vendors: 
    • DCM
    • Innovid
    • Sizmek
    • Flashtalking
  • Supported 3rd-party tracking events: 
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • Quartiles
    • Completes

 

Homepage Headliner

 
The Homepage Headliner ad package offers the most premium spots on the Twitch website for advertisers. The ad units can scale with screen resolution and display size so that brands can look their best in any configuration.

The Headliner unit is composed of three different components: two unique end images and a selected hex color code. The end images have a designated area for branding and a mandatory gradient color fade. The color fade is built into the end images and the fade color will ensure a seamless appearance across different browser widths and screen resolutions.

Left & Right Unit

  • Dimensions:450×350
  • Max File Size: 150KB
  • Format: JPG/PNG 
  • Third-party Tracking: Only 1 impression 1×1 and click tracker site-served to track both units. No DMP or 3rd-party Javascript tracking.

 

It must be noted that no animations are allowed for this unit, and all JPG/PNG submissions must also include the layered template PSD.

Hex Color Code

Central background color. Can be included in the name, sampled from either of the units, or taken from the design template.
 

Super leaderboard

 
The super leaderboard is a banner image that exists at the top of the screen so that viewers stay engaged while they scroll for more content. 

  • Dimensions: 970×66
  • Max File Size: 100KB
  • File format: GIF, JPG, PNG
  • Third-party HTML: Standard Javascript tag
  • Animation: 15 seconds or 3 loops, whichever is shorter. 

 

Medium rectangle

 
Like the Super Leaderboard above, the Medium Rectangle is an ad format that keeps viewers engaged as they scroll through the catalog of content.

  • Dimensions: 300×250
  • Max File Size: 100KB
  • File format: GIF, JPG, PNG
  • Third-party HTML: Standard Javascript tag
  • Animation: 15 seconds or 3 loops, whichever is shorter. 

 

How much do Twitch ads cost?

 
The CPM costs for Twitch ads vary based on a number of factors, mostly dependent on the channel you choose:

  • Amount of concurrent viewers
  • Viewer geo-location
  • Viewer age and gender
  • Type of content being streamed
  • Seasonality

 

Non-traditional advertising on Twitch usually means special arrangements with the streamer/influencer. In these cases, an offer is initially made by the brand, followed by negotiations on the nature of the sponsorship and how much it will cost.
 

Best practices for Twitch Advertising

 
When advertising on Twitch using influencers, you need to be familiar with the culture of the platform and the potential pros and cons of pairing up with a prominent personality.

Preview content before partnering. Always make sure to watch a significant amount of an influencer’s broadcast to determine whether or not their personality, content, and audience are synced with your own target market and brand image. 

Pay close attention. Twitch is not a set-and-forget channel. Things happen fast on Twitch, and you may need to respond quickly in case something happens that may compromise your brand’s image. 

Think outside the box. Twitch is an innovative channel, and you’re encouraged to think outside the box as well. You can also reach out to content creators and brainstorm ideas. 
 

Examples of Twitch Influencers

 

Richard “Ninja” Blevins

 
Followers: 15.5 million

Ninja is one of the highest-profile videogame streamers in recent memory. He had already been a Halo 3 esports professional, but rose to prominence when he began streaming Fortnite Battle Royale in late 2017. He is the most-followed active Twitch channel to date. 
 

Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek

 
Followers: 8.2 million

Shroud is a Canadian Twitch streamer that is known for competitively playing first-person shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Valorant, and is recognized for his skill at these games even among highly-competitive videogame streamers. 
 

Tablestory

 
Followers: 17,300

Twitch also includes non-video game streamers like Tablestory, a channel devoted to tabletop RPGs. The content on this channel is devoted to streaming live sessions of Dungeons & Dragons and other similar games.
 

Dominike “Domo” Stanton

 
Followers: 13,000

Dominike Stanton is a professional comic book artist who streams himself drawing prominent comic book and cartoon characters such as Spider-man, Batman, and Sailor Moon, and also has original comic book properties of his own. 

 

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