We sat down with James Davidson to get the inside scoop about Twitch from their Influencer Relations Manager - what it really means to be a full-time Twitcher, how brands can get started with Twitch partnerships, and much much more.
James has 10+ years of expertise in Artist & Influencer Relations across both the Music and Gaming/Esports/Digital Talent Industry, and is currently the Relations Manager on the west coast for Twitch acting as chief negotiator on behalf of the company when casting, contracting, booking and activating talent. It was great to get his insights for this episode.
You can listen to the episode here:
James shares his thoughts on the following topics…
Why it’s useful for Twitch talents to work with a manager: [03:07]
These folks are live eight to 12 hours a day in some cases. And they don't have time to take a phone call. They don't have time to read a brief. They don't have time to do any of these things. So a manager is very important in the Twitch space and in that regard, they need backup. They need support. They need someone in their corner.
Who does Twitch view as their competition in terms of other platforms or other outlets for creators? [16:24]
I would say that we try to see ourselves as part of a, like a flywheel or an ecosystem. And , we play our small part in that. But , as everyone knows, like mixer was a competitor of ours, while they were around. And , in the future, I think there will be brands that pop up that are - YouTube live obviously is a competitor of ours and, talent have, have gone back and forth between the two platforms Facebook gaming and I think D live is even a service that's out there now. Look like there's, there's all types of people jumping in the space like Green Room over at Spotify and the Clubhouse, even to a certain extent, competing for eyes… I mean, looks like YouTube has a volume, business, viewership. and data flowing through their platform that is unrivaled in terms of any other digital….like there's an amount of eyes on YouTube that is not really comparable to any competitor in the space. Like they're the 600 pound gorilla. But the fact of the matter is it's like, there's very few organizations that do a few things well. Like, it's not like for example , Apple has multiple things that they do at an expert level that no one else is really competing with...So it's rare that that's a thing, right? Like Twitch focuses on one thing and we do one thing well, which is live video and community building. And YouTube is a VOD company and they're developing their live video offering. We're power to them, if they pull it off, but Twitch just offers something substantially different, which is community development. And I think that we do that better than anybody else on the planet. And I think that creators have come out and said that - we develop community. Culture happens on Twitch.
The impact that working with brands can have on creators: [30:42]
Brands have social equity behind their brands that they can then put into place behind individual creators. It's sponsoring those creators. So sometimes like the difference between a great creator blowing up and, and a great creator just making a few bucks on the platform is us helping them become full-time. It's people getting involved and saying, ‘Hey, your content is so next level that we just need to sponsor you.’
Twitch is one of the platforms that offers the most monetization options for creators [40:35]
In the ad sales portion of the business we can do stuff like help develop original content. We can do stuff like surfacing really great creators because we have different initiatives that are brand focused. We can find really unique, passionate, awesome creators and expose them to brands strictly by my passion for the platform. That's how some of these people get surfaced, right. Or other people's passion for the platform. They come to me and they're like, you gotta check this personality. A big part of that is like partnerships going into the community to a level that we can't go to because there's only a smaller amount of us.
How do Twitchers make money from streaming [42:01]
It breaks down into three categories - So one direct platform revenue from ad sales. So, we're selling ads on platforms as media that will air either before commercial or before stream starts or in the middle of the stream mid-roll ads and stuff like that, we have picture-to-picture ads now we have all types of stuff. Then we have monetization for affiliates that we announced about a year ago at the start of the pandemic because we wanted to build bottom, trickle up if you will. And then we obviously have monetization for partners and we do demonetize bad actors in certain cases and stuff. Then there's also community support. So, gifted subscriptions or subscribing to a channel, there's straight donations, stuff like that. Then there’s my team, Influencer Relations- I partnered with them and I say, look like, what are you looking to? Do we develop creative? Or we talk to them about their needs and their wants and demographics. They want to hit. And we find them the right person. And then we go out, off we go, we've we contract that person and we pay very well and we do something awesome. And then we disappear into the night, hopefully to return again another day with more money. Then, obviously Amazon advertises directly on our platform. There's a robust third party ecosystem. So management groups and agencies that will come to you and say, Hey, I got a brand partner that just wants to work with you. Not through Twitch, just me and you. I sold this ad in, I sold a sponsorship. We don't have anything to do with it. It just happens. Right. And we want that to happen. We want creators to have this because if that is robust and strong, more creators can be full-time creators and build, so again, the flywheel at play.
What happens to Twitch content once it’s not live anymore? Can Twitchers keep this content relevant? [53:22]
YouTube, obviously people did VOD their content onto YouTube, like crazy and a great, a great place for it to exist because it's a way for Twitch creators to expose themselves to an entirely other community, right? Like, live isn't for everybody. If you're driving around , you can listen to a YouTube video, but you can listen to a YouTube video and you could listen to a Twitch stream, but it's not really the same thing. Right? Like you can't necessarily pick where you're listening to their songs on YouTube versus like, there's not going to be like a ton of live songs you can listen to on Twitch that will come across the same way. So there's just fundamentally different offerings. And while I, I personally will watch VODs that I missed, especially like tournament play. Like I, find myself often going back and watching like different Call of Duty tournaments, because if I miss the tournament, I kinda miss part of the narrative of like what Twitch is and like what's happening in the community. So I will watch the VODs, but you're not going to get the engagement therapy cause there's not a lot of chatter in VODs. Obviously you can't interact with the streamer. It's just fundamentally different. So do we care about it? Absolutely. There's a ton of metadata around it and there's a ton of things that we learned from VOD and content. There's obviously residual income that can be made by the creator because ads still do run on VOD content. And then obviously people will watch it and they'll see the sponsored content if it was there. So it's an important part of what we do, but it's not everything we do.
[00:00:23] David Tintner: all right. We are here today with James Davidson of Twitch, James. How's it going?
[00:00:30] James Davidson: It's going great, David. Nice to, nice to chat with you. Thanks for having me.
[00:00:34] David Tintner: Yeah, thanks a lot for joining us. James is an influencer relations manager at Twitch. James. What does that mean? What is your job
[00:00:41] James Davidson: exactly? So essentially at Twitch, I wear two hats, right.
I work in what I'll call a pre-sale type of world where we're helping sellers educate clients, , brand partners on what Twitch is about and how the influencer space operates and what our talent is like. Everything from like the basic questions all the way into like, demographic information and what type of content is this and how do we understand it better?
So that's the one hat in the kind of presale world with the brand and then the post-sale world, which is, Hey, , we've, we've gone and talked to a brand about you, Mr. Or Mrs. A influencer. And they'd like to work with you. So how do we get to that point? And obviously that that world is, both, , direct to talent and talking to really awesome and cool people: agencies and managers and folks like that, that are, helping , these folks get this part of it.
[00:01:26] David Tintner: Very cool. So can you , break that down for us, there's kind of this web of, I guess, the talent managers and you mentioned agencies and agents, and there's also, there's also you Influencer relations manager at the platform directly.
How is everyone working together in order to get at the end of the day, a creator and influencer is producing some contents, maybe branded that's the output, but there's a lot of people working behind the scenes until that finally gets. Who's doing what?
[00:01:59] James Davidson: Yeah. So, so look I guess again, you can break it down into two different situations.
One is direct influencer and it's just me and me and you David, and, , you got a channel you're doing something you're making content and I'm working with you. And sometimes you bring in a lawyer to look at a contract and we work with the lawyer and make sure everything is kosher and off we go that's the simple transaction, right?
More and more so. And, and, and frankly probably continuing into the future, we're working with, with groups, right. With agencies and managers and all types of different folks that are out there. And essentially, I would say in the most complex situation, there's obviously folks that are incredibly busy and have a large business and lots of different cooks in the kitchen, if you will.
And likely we'll get a manager first on the other end of an outreach we'll work with that manager to kind of iron out the details because essentially the manager is the right or left hand of the influencer. , for all intents purposes, like, is there an analog for, for their for the influencers brain?
Because, especially in, in my space, in the, in the space that I work in that is not in my space, the website, but in the space that I work in folks are live, right? Like, it's this, isn't like a, in a YouTube space where like, oh, you can kind of like, stop what you're doing and, and answer an email.
You can't do that in the Twitch world, right? These folks are live eight to 12 hours a day in some cases. And they, don't have time to take a phone call. They don't have time to read a brief. They don't have time to do any of these things. So a manager is very important in the Twitch space and in that regard, they need backup.
They need support. They need someone in their corner because even if they are able to read an email, they're going to probably read it pretty quick because they got other stuff to do. And then they want to spend time with their family or live their social life. Outside of streaming. So manager usually first went in agent usually in more involved in more complex deals.
So an agency has multiple divisions to it and a benefit of an agencies is those expertise can be relied upon in a complex situation. So if we're asking talent to shoot a commercial or make an appearance, or we need the rights to their likeness, and it's going to be in a bunch of different places in a, in a variety of mediums, you're going to want someone that can speak , all those different languages that can use their expertise at the drop of a hat, essentially.
And that's what an agent's for. And then more and more so agencies fill the gap between all of these things there, they offer a variety of services. Whereas management teams are usually just smaller, direct relationships with talent in their corner, fighting that fight with them just in a, in a smaller arena.
So, and sometimes PR is involved, sometimes just , all types of other people, but ever since.
[00:04:21] David Tintner: Yeah, there's a giant world going on behind the scenes in order to get this awesome content produced. You mentioned that more and more you're working with groups or, or agencies. Why do you think that is?
[00:04:34] James Davidson: I think that the space is maturing. The digital space as it is called presently, in my opinion, I think the digital is a bit of a limited term for what this is at present. I think that in the future that will balloon into other arenas and, and start to absorb other mediums. But, , at present where we are in know 20, 21, The space is just maturing rapidly, I think I saw a stat.
It was a 31% influencer marketing grew 33% in, 2021. So that's a huge jump for any industry, let alone influencer marketing as, as just its own little little thing. And I think, , the numbers on Twitch probably reflect that in spades as well. Like we, we saw a huge jump in both viewership and investment and spend and all those things.
So I think that's why, , the support groups to this industry are starting to mature or, and it's not even that they're maturing, it's that they're starting to get involved and, and see the benefit of this industry and see that it's now a powerful machine in my opinion.
[00:05:33] David Tintner: It, it means, I guess yeah. Maturing and becoming more similar from a business standpoint to television or traditional media and that's, and, those agencies and groups were there. So now there's enough money in the digital realm and they're coming into that.
[00:05:50] James Davidson: Yes. And it's also valuable in another way that like television and movies can't be, and that you can experiment here.
The investment you need to make in order to make content here is relatively low compared to other forms. And if the content does well, you have very clear, defined, easily obtainable metrics on your success. You can see, look at the players in this video, look at the plays across all of these different platforms.
Let's test it somewhere so that we're not overexposing it. If we want to distribute elsewhere, there's opportunities to take digital content and sell it to other platforms like Netflix or Hulu, or even classic television. If it does well enough, The ability for people to find it for free. It's not gated and most places in most situations, obviously.
So there it's a lot more flexible than some of the other competing mediums, the televisions, the streaming services, , the movie houses. And because of that, it's a feeder in my opinion. And it will continue to be a feeder for lots of these places. , we just, we started to see influencer led movies where influencers like faze clan.
I think like a year ago, did a movie where literally a classic medium type film director came over and did just a, a very easy to shoot film with these guys. And I think it was considered a pretty big success on phase clients' end. So I think that that formula is. Easy to understand and accessible for lots of folks that are playing in this space.
And, in my role, we're very brand focused and we're starting to see that kind of buy in that belief and brands really understanding this space really well. And actually some of these movie houses were pretty early to this , Warner brothers has been a longtime partner of ours and it has been investing in this space for a long time and, and they really understood the value of it.
And I think it'll be interesting, as the 2020s go on, if you will, to see kind of what they do with it and all these other guys do with it. So lots of reasons, I think for the, the turn, the 33% growth and lots of reasons for the growth of digital, but one of the big ones is, is it's a really great proving ground in my opinion.
[00:07:44] David Tintner: So on that point, so who else, you mentioned a couple of the names, but who else is really doing SIS testing where they're going first to Twitch or, or digital? Even if it's not just on Twitch, They're creating content there. And with the mindset that this thing works, we're going to take it to, we're going to turn it into a movie or what else?
That's bigger and more expensive that they want to do with it.
[00:08:10] James Davidson: Yeah. I mean the, so first off it's the, it's the influencers it's people that are
[00:08:16] David Tintner: influencers themselves are the ones their mind is already set on. I'm going to create this new series on YouTube, or I'm going to do this type of stream.
And, and the, my goal already from the beginning is not just to have a successful channel, it's going to be, I want to make a movie out of this.
[00:08:32] James Davidson: Well, when I think about folks on our platform w , what's the old, the old bell curve, right? The adopting bell curve. So you have your early adopters, you're beginning your late term adopters.
And when Brent, , speaking from my experience, like when brands are looking, they're constantly trying to engage these three portions, right? What we have on Twitch are early adopters. Almost universally. We have folks that saw the benefit of live video 10 years ago that have grown their presence here.
We have folks that were very successful in the VOD space and then saw the benefit of it. How Twitch could, could, , kind of be a feeder for their VOD platform. So we have folks here that are early adopters and more and more. So we have these really unique, interesting individuals that come to us.
, both, both are the brand team, that's my team. And as well as the partnership side of the organization, mostly honestly. And they go to them and they're like, look, we want to do this really big idea. We want to make this really unique form of content. We have a guy named Germa German, 9, 8, 5 on our platform, and he was really big in the VOD space.
And then he saw how amazing live content could be. And he did this thing where chat was able to control different elements of a carnival and like go through a carnival space with him and play games. And people like that are. , if this was the 1920s, they'd probably be these big film directors.
They'd probably be the Nikola Tesla's of the world, if you will. And now he's live on Twitch, doing unique things, creating unique content. And what our team is trying to do is bring a brand partner into that, to, to fund it so that, , it's one of those things where it can pay for itself. It won't have to come out of Mr.
Jeremy's pocket. In my opinion, it's, it's led by creators and it's fed in turn by, , early adopting brand partners that are really excited to work with these people. Cause , that's the formula that we're trying to make work here at Twitch on, on our end, in the ad sales team.
[00:10:15] David Tintner: That's awesome. Are you pitching that to a brand and what stage is a brand coming into a project? Like I, , if I understand correctly, creator comes to you and says, I got this crazy idea for an interactive carnival. I'm going to, we're going to do stuff in chat and this is going to happen. That's going to happen.
And then you're saying, let me get a brand to fund
[00:10:37] James Davidson: yeah. I'm actually glad you asked that question. That's a great question. So about a year ago, our, so my team, like I said, we work with brands and we educate them on how to work with talent on our platform. And, honestly, not even just our plot, our service just the space at large digital and large gaming at large live streaming at large , more and more so we're, we're developing an equally strong just chatting or IRL brand as we are developing ,, our gaming bread and butter.
So educating them in the whole pastiche of, at all. And then. We try to basically merge those two worlds. That's the simplest way to describe it in doing so, I guess it was probably about a year and a half ago. Some really great teammates of mine joined the company and brought along a really unique set of expertise in, in original content.
I would say beforehand, we were more reactive and, , over the last year, year and a half, we've become a very proactive group. And in doing so we're soliciting our user base, the influencers on our platform and developing content with them, or at least soliciting ideas, and then developing that content and, and trying to attach brands to it.
So we actually have an incubator program that does exactly this in tandem with our partnership colleagues on that side of the company , the ad sales businesses, working with them to do this. So To simplify it, it probably happens three ways. One is like talents. Like, here's the idea I'm going to do it with or without you. Can you find me a sponsor?
That's just ad sales, us going out and trying to find the right person. We have a really, really, really large sales team that is incredibly good at what they do. And we were probably under utilizing them in their skills. And, and now we're just giving them more ammunition to take out into the space at large and, and and shoot their shot and try to make things happen.
So that's kind of bucket one is, Hey, this show's done. Go sell it. Bucket two is they come to the partnership side of the organization and those individuals are big thinkers, right? Like they know how to make stuff happen within the organization that we might not know how to do.
And they are plussing up those activations. They're saying like, yeah. Oh, by the way, we have a skate park that wanted to do something with us and you want to do something with skating. Let's get together. Let's make this idea. , you have part, they have part. That's bucket two that usually requires a little more time.
So we're getting those ideas probably midway through that process. And then we're, we're giving ourselves more runway to get that sold. And then bucket three is what we call a built-up bot. So it's an idea it's just exists on paper. Talent was like this, , might be great for brands probably more so than like, I know how to make this on my own.
And we take that out to the marketplace and we say, Hey, who wants to help make this show? Who wants to produce this show with us? That's more of like a longer term runway type thing usually requires a brand getting involved and being passionate about that idea. And then , being, being more comfortable, waiting for it to come to fruition.
So those are the three ways. And if you are a Twitch influencer listening to this, please go out and find one of us and talk to us about what you want to do, because that's the way that we're really bringing those ideas to life. Talent led ideas out in the space, relying on us, finding the next Steven Spielberg of Twitch, , like that's what we're doing long answer, but,
[00:13:37] David Tintner: So Twitch influence are really in touch with actually Twitch staff and how much of the, let's say like the big creators on Twitch are actually working closely with Twitch staff.
Cause I don't know, in my head I kind of have this picture. It is like, this is a totally self-service platform, user generated content, , it's all robots and, and nobody is actually like pulling the strings behind the scenes and, and I get the feeling that actually, , a lot of this is, is like manual work to some point.
[00:14:13] James Davidson: Let me think about the best way to answer this. Look, there's lots of ways to get in touch with us. We have our own influencers that are Twitch staff, right? Like people that every, everyone, everyone has come to know and love, she's, she's leaving the organization at this point, but a rally, a gal named Erin Wayne has been with our company for eight years and quite a, quite a public presence.
And , I, I don't know that it's easy to reach out to her for example, but we, we have people that are out and about in this space, speaking, talking myself included trying to evangelize what we do and help people understand it better. And it, and it's like with anything, right? Like,, can you go into your favorite chat and get in touch with Tim tat man?
Yes. Sometimes, sometimes Tim will, we'll answer your, your little chat message, but like other times it's just not going to make it through. And unfortunately, like, that's just the nature of, trying to drink from a fire hose, if you will. So. Aside from that we have obviously like our help portal partners that are at a certain point or , have, different folks involved , they have folks assigned to them to help support their business because of, I would say the volume of information they're bringing into the company.
And then also, like if you have a, if you have a manager, you have an agent like our team and especially the partnerships organization as well. Great, greater, a great bunch of people in a much larger team, by the way, the partnership side of the business. We're in touch with all of these managers, all, , every agent under the sun, all the big three letters, all the way down to new management groups that pop up that are bringing value into the space and anyone that's a good actor.
We, we are , usually in touch with that's just another way. So. Just like with anything it's creative, right? Like if you have a really great idea for a really great show, we're probably going to have a harder time building it with you if there's not an audience to build it for. But if you are a, , a large creator with an audience already prebuilt, we're probably gonna want to build that with you.
But if you have something I would say in your, , a smaller creator, but you think you have a great idea. You're probably gonna want to just like, with anything just like with the job, just like with the , accompany with anything you're going to want to build it and sell it to us, , you're going to want to do the legwork first.
And we have had those types of conversations with smaller creators as well. So it's just one of those things where you are creative, and find a way to break through the noise. That's the best way I could probably describe it.
[00:16:24] David Tintner: Who does Twitch view as their competition in terms of other platforms or other outlets for creators?
[00:16:33] James Davidson: I would say that we try to see ourselves as part of a, like a flywheel or an ecosystem. And, we play our small part in that. But, as everyone knows, like mixer was a competitor of ours, while they were around. And , in the future, I think there will be brands that pop up that are YouTube live obviously is a competitor of ours and, talent have, have gone back and forth between the two platforms Facebook gaming , I think FB dot GGS, they go by I think D live is even a service that's out there now.
Look like there's, there's all types of people jumping in the space like green what's called green room over at Spotify and the clubhouse, even to a certain extent, compete for eyes, be
[00:17:06] David Tintner: like, give us, , the inside, what there's gotta be someone that, , internally you guys are like, ah, this is, , the one.
[00:17:16] James Davidson: I mean, look like YouTube is a, has a volume business and eyes and viewership and data flowing through their platform that is unrivaled in terms of any other digital. So maybe Tik TOK. I don't really know what tick talks what their, what their numbers are really like, but like there's an amount of eyes on, on YouTube that is not really comparable to any competitor in the space.
Like they are, they're the 600 pound gorilla. But the fact of the matter is it's like, I think what happens in business is you do, there's very few organizations that do a few things. Like, it's not like for example, Apple does have multiple things that they do at an expert level that no one else is really competing with.
Right. Like, originally for them, it was like iPods and the distribution of MP3 is like no one competed at a quality level with them. And , in my opinion, obviously their computers. And as I said to you and talk to you on an apple computer or a different type of quality, not that I don't also have multiple PCs that I play games on, but just a different type of beast that they do well phones obviously , and they have competitors, but great quality phones.
So it's rare that that's a thing, right? Like Twitch focuses on one thing and we do one thing well, which is live video and community building. , and YouTube is a, is a VOD company and they're developing their live video offering. And look like. We're power to them, , if they pull it off, but Twitch just offers something substantially different, which is community development.
And I think that we do that better than anybody else on the planet. And I think that creators have, have come out and said that, , we develop community. We D w stuff happens on Twitch. Culture happens on Twitch and it's because of the fact that YouTube offers a different service. That really is what people are coming to their website for.
I think it's harder to draw attention to anything else.
[00:19:06] David Tintner: Okay. So if I understand correctly, it's basically, I mean, YouTube just isn't this massive source of, that's stealing people's attention, but where they're trying to compete, let's say directly with Twitch is really online and on that Twitch feels pretty confident.
[00:19:25] James Davidson: Yes. . Cause , what differentiates us is, is the community here is actually not so much. The people are streaming more. So it's the people watching, right? Like it's the folks that come here every day will come to the service every day and are tuning in and, and engaging with the creators and, and spending time with them and watching the original content that we offer.
The rivals, , Twitch rivals, I think is an offering that is rarely bested out in the marketplace in terms of , the, the quality of, of competition that it offers at a, on a community level. Obviously like we're not, , LEC and LCS are our world-class offerings that will.
Compete with, but like rivals is a community tournament that is rarely bested in the marketplace and in my humble opinion. So it's one of those things where it's, it's the engagement of the community around what we're doing. It's things like TwitchCon, which, obviously we haven't had in a couple of years, but we'll definitely come back one day that it's just hard to compete with that community development.
In my opinion, it's it, to me, it's all of the service aside is, is all secondary versus the community offering.
[00:20:25] David Tintner: How do you measure that community or the success of your efforts towards building the community via the phone?
[00:20:31] James Davidson: I mean, I think it's reflected obviously in, in viewership, on the site, I suppose. We have entire teams that would probably be able to answer that question better.
We have community marketing teams and community development teams that spend all day thinking about that kind of stuff. My, my brain is pulled in a million different directions in my role. And part of it is the community development and, and, and helping brands understand the rival's offering and TwitchCon and all the different meetups that we do for partners and things like that.
So part of it speaks to that and understands that, but to speak at it at an expert level, I would not be able to do but look, I think that if you are a viewer on Twitch and you're enjoying yourself, then we're doing our job.
[00:21:10] David Tintner: What, what do you think is really different about Twitch?
Because it stems from live streaming as opposed to another platform that isn't. What kind of differences do you find in, in the community or in the types of creators or things that happened because of it being live?
[00:21:28] James Davidson: Yeah, I can kind of almost, it's a little ambiguous of a question because like, it's a, it's an idea, right?
Like trying to describe an idea, but it's, it's that something's happening. You can go on a website and something's happening there. Like you're not alone anymore. You go onto Twitch and like all of a sudden, like if you're, cause you might, you may know this and it definitely listeners may know this previous, probably to Twitch's existence, like playing video games as a relatively lonely thing to do, unless your brother was home or your friend came over, you're playing video games on your own, ?
And what Twitch did was like, bring that experience out of, out of the basement. I guess you could say, like, it brought it into like a large digital room where you're hanging out with everybody. If you don't want to be alone and play StarCraft for eight hours, cause you love StarCraft. Like you can do it with somebody and not even somebody, lots of people.
And you could develop relationships that can exist in the real world, both, Hey, I'm going to, , call these people, all call each other and hang out on discord and talk. And then we meet up, , at least once a year, and we'd love to do it more at conventions. So to me, it's the fact that it was previously loaned something that now is anything, but right.
Like, and, and then obviously with that came online services with video games and all that stuff, but Twitch kind of started with those things. So It's just something where you're, you're part of something bigger. And I think that's what we're all looking for. And when, like, I start my day and I, I think I hear this even from a lot of when I'm actually interviewing people that joined the company, they're just like, look like Twitch.
It's like part of my day, like I just jump on Twitch and I put on something and then I go to work doing whatever else I'm doing. , I wish there were a number of like employees in America that also live on Twitch while they do their job. Because I think that's really like a, a big part of our culture is like, it's a way to stay connected with the world when you're just living.
You're living your life. , there's a community for everybody on Twitch, whether it's leather work or gaming, or
[00:23:16] David Tintner: What does that mean? Exactly that somebody's jumping on live on Twitch. I mean, they're not necessarily, they're not the ones streaming, they're watching streams and they're participating in chat.
That's what you mean by, , you got I got a browser tab open and I've got the app open and I'm talking, I'm watching other people's streaming and I'm chatting or I'm reading the chat. Other people. Messaging.
[00:23:36] James Davidson: Yep. So, , even when I'm writing emails, I'll have my favorite streamer open and I'll be listening.
And like, if I hear some action coming up or, , if they're doing whatever their thing is, like, I'll swipe over and see what was going on and I'll engage. And if I jumped back at the end of the day, I usually have something on and I'll watch more, , actively or intently, but it's both like the, , the passive viewer and, and as well as the, the active viewer in, in my opinion.
And then on top of that, like, depending on what you want out of the platform that exists, right? So whether that's. If you're super interested in a very niche thing that doesn't necessarily have an easily engageable community, you can build that or find it on Twitch. Like a good example of that is like investing, stock traders used to just sit at home and just trade stocks and maybe be on the phone with a buddy of theirs.
Who's also trading stocks, but now we have people that sit in with streamers, like the stock guy or stock jock, and they ask questions while they're trading, , and they'll be like, oh, what's everybody looking at today? Or how can I better understand in Ichimoku cloud or whatever the heck it is.
And we have people that can speak to that. And those communities, we didn't build those, , the creators built those, they found this place and they did it themselves. And it's the organism at work, , it's this thing, it's consciousness existing on it. It's just, we built it and they all showed up.
It's the old field of dreams thing or whatever heck movie that's from. I think that's the real power of a platform like this. And, and that's really fed by people coming to the platform by the viewer coming here and engaging in doing those things. Without that we don't exist,
[00:25:05] David Tintner: It feels like Twitch really provided this infrastructure for people to do live streaming and connect.
But it's much, much more let's say social than what I would compare to YouTube to be at least from the creator audience
[00:25:18] James Davidson: relationship. Sure. Just the nature of it. Right? Like you leave a YouTube comment. You either have to wait for someone to answer. You don't know if they're going to answer, you don't know if anybody else is watching with you yet, you have no clue.
Right. And it, and it's no knock on it. It's just that, that's the nature of the, of the, of the experience there. That's the nature of what it is versus what is offered on a, on a service like Twitch is fundamentally different, right? Like it's, we're, we're just like, Hey, we're going to be here. If you all want to join and we're here and kind of in doing so it allows us to grow, right. It allowed us to make rivals without the viewer. We would not have been able to do any of it. We would not have been able to have a Twitch con. We would not have been able to have employees like we have, we would not be able to make original content for viewers to then watch. We would not have been able to , build an integration between Amazon prime video and Twitch, to be able to have a watch party, and then all of the dreams that come with it down the line of like, Hey, is there a way that sports can live on our platform one day and all those different pie in the sky type things don't exist without viewers coming to the platform and liking what the offering was to begin with.
So it's, it's the power of the fact that we're entirely viewer driven entirely viewer driven. It's great to have lots of creators, but without viewers, the creators are only there alone. There is no interaction. So when we are fundamentally looking at what we're offering and when we're fundamentally looking at what we do, it's driven by that.
It's built that way. It's built. Can we make this better for the viewer? , and obviously we offer creator services and stuff, but that's a whole other team. My team is viewer focused. Okay.
[00:26:56] David Tintner: Hm. Twitch is, primarily, I guess, still known for gaming, but you brought up, okay. You mentioned sports, you mentioned investing just chatting.
How much is Twitch really focusing on getting into new areas that are not gaming and what's being done internally to push that direction, if at all? Or is it really just if creators come, they come and if not, oh, well,
[00:27:19] James Davidson: no. I mean it, it definitely is creators showing up, right? Like that's definitely first and it's not, again, like I said, not even creators viewers.
Right. So if we have like dozens and dozens of, well, first of all, if we have dozens of people streaming something. Yeah. There's no one watching. We're going to look to see why no one's watching, we're going to try to figure it out. We might just have to surface it better. And that's an entire team, right?
Like servicing content, understanding what's happening on our platform. That there's a whole other animal led by incredible geniuses. Not like me, like people that were there.
[00:27:48] David Tintner: What does that mean? Those services are better. Like, I'm picturing, , if someone's not watching a stream it's because it's not interesting.
You're saying that no, that's not the case. Maybe there's something that Twitch internally needs to do to get people watching it. Yeah.
[00:27:59] James Davidson: A hundred percent. Like it's, it's diversification of ideas at its core, right? Like, just because for example, I don't know this to be exactly true, but I'm sure people were streaming chess on our platform long before chess had its Renaissance and, , like 20, 19 ish.
I'm sure it was happening. And it's just that at the time we weren't as mature of an organization to be able to look at all the data on our platform and surface stuff. But what you will see kind of bubble to the surface is we do have initiatives every month. Again, this isn't my team. This is a partnerships organization that understands these things far better, but we had like an August was art, I believe.
So we put art creators onto the front page to help expose their communities. We had marketing initiatives around art. We invested in the art community. We talked to those creators. We tried to sell our initiatives , and because selfishly from an ad sales perspective, this is marketable, right?
Like it's something we can take to the market. So that the whole internal flywheel goes into effect. We had a fitness month. We had a weightlifting month. We had a black history month. We had a Asian American Pacific Islander initiative month.
[00:29:01] David Tintner: So I'm just trying to understand exactly what you can do to service the channel. That's not getting views. I mean, you're, you're pushing them more into Twitch homepage or you're putting notifications out. You're basically shoving this channel or this stream to viewers because you've, you've identified it as something that is interesting, but not getting the viewership that the content itself.
[00:29:22] James Davidson: It's all of those things. And it's also a partnership organization going out into the community. If you knock on those doors, talking to those creators, helping understand their content more on what they want to do and how, how we can help. Sometimes it's as simple as saying, like, how can we help and ideas have come of that?
Like , like, Hey, we need a, we need a platform to be able to play this game on, or we need a way to be able to do this in Twitch studio that allows us to do whatever the heck it is again, this isn't my team, so I'm a little bit creative here with what they could have brought up.
But it's also that it's talking to those communities. It's setting time aside to go into those communities and talk to them and see what they need. And we obviously are going to have, again, not my team, but they're going to have I'm sure budgets set aside for different initiatives and different levers that they can pull that I don't even understand.
So, and then also it's those teams then having those conversations. In some cases, years, months worth of work to understand everything that's happening and then coming up and making it simple for the big silly ad sales organization to say, look, there's a really great opportunity here that it's under utilized, where we're under servicing this part of our community.
There's consumers there that brands can get in contact with. I know that, , they'll come to us and be like, I saw you worked with XYZ. Like, would they want to work with this partner? And then it's as simple as me going to that brand and being like, we have a really great partner that could use your push, because brands also bring eyes, brands also have social equity behind their brands that they can put into place behind individual creators.
It's sponsoring those creators. So because sometimes like the difference between a great creator blowing up and, and a great creator, just like making a few bucks on the platform is like us helping them become full-time. It's people getting involved and saying like, Hey, , your content is so next level that we just need to sponsor you.
We need to give you this time, essentially give you the time to be able to do this better and more often. And we've literally seen that work. So, I think it's, it's of a, of a company, especially with the resources that we have to understand really well what's happening on your service to be able to make it better.
Like it's an ecosystem, right? Our creators get better. We get more viewers, we get more viewers, we get more brands, we get more brands. We make better content. We get better content. We meant we get more viewers, ? So the organization from top down has understood that very early on credit to immature shout out Emmett, but Emmett like understood this intrinsically from day one.
He knew he had a plan from day one, him and his team, , Kevin and all those guys, and they saw this day coming and I'm sure that they also saw things down the line. Yeah. I I'm too silly and stupid to understand that they're also pointing us towards, , so it's just good people involved. Like, , Twitch will always get flamed in different communities and stuff like that, but it doesn't bother anybody here because we know we're acting, , and in everybody's best interest.
And we know we're trying, and what people don't necessarily understand is like how much information and how much data we're trying to manage. And sometimes that gets lost in the space a little bit.
[00:32:23] David Tintner: Is there a certain I dunno, a criticism of, of Twitch that you hear out of them externally that really grinds your gears or something like a specific thing that I feel like maybe people think, but isn't true.
[00:32:37] James Davidson: I mean, nothing, nothing really, nothing really bothers me. Cause I'm only if someone said like, Hey, they're doing a terrible job of integrating branded content or they're choosing all the wrong people to work with. Like, yeah, I would, I would bump me up because that's what I do. That's the piece of the pie.
Inherently responsible for it. Right. And then I play a part in all of the other pieces, so there's many people that play around here, but like down the middle, if people were criticizing that I'd be bummed, I'd want to hear it. But , I think what gets lost is that people don't understand.
It's like a massive company, right? Like in companies , it's a concerted effort of many individuals. So when, when someone's like, oh, they're doing this and they, they don't care about that. It's like, heck no, there's thousands of people that's coming to care about it, but it just requires it's a battleship, , like if you want us to take a sharp left-hand turn, like we're not gonna be able to do that.
We're going to have to take a big circle and then come around and point towards it because there's just thousands and thousands and thousands of players involved to get to that point. So. I guess what I would love for people to know is that, like, there could be something very small that gets brought up and a lot of eyes come on to it.
I don't know specifically what I'm thinking about, but like, if you're like, Hey, XYZ person did something and they don't care about that. We are actually absolutely talking about it. The second it happens. Cause no one knows or cares more about what happens on Twitch than the employees that work here. And it just takes time for an, , whatever that is to be dealt with because it's not, , I can go right to the CRO and be like, this is what, and he'll be like, wow, okay.
But even so, he can't turn the ship that fast. It requires lots of buy-in underneath and above. So that's the one thing I wish people knew is that like we care, we're trying, it's just, there's so many moving parts that we will eventually, there's nothing that falls through the cracks. Literally nothing like it's just that, how quickly we can deal with whatever it is that comes up, is really the nature of an organization as I'm sure.
[00:34:35] David Tintner: I'm sure there's really interesting or challenging problems in monitoring content and, and, , both from brand safety and just from the larger content perspective, especially because things are alive. How do, how was that handled internally or what are you guys thinking about from that perspective?
[00:34:55] James Davidson: Well, what's public knowledge. So I, I will, I will give you like more of a political answer there, but like, we're very good at it. Like we're there, there, there was some stuff, , that has happened in the digital system that was, was unfortunate and stuff like that. And again, V being vague, like we dealt with it faster than anybody else on the planet.
Like. I think that's something that might be, I don't really know, like what's public again and what's not, but like, we're very good at it. We, we hire the best we bring in the best of the best that we can get. W we're out there constantly in the, in the human resources, talent marketplace, trying to find the best people like our, our HR teams are world-class.
Our engineers are world-class partners. People are world-class like there isn't in my opinion, again, bias. So take a little grain of salt. There isn't anybody doing it as good as we're doing it. We have moderation to a degree that no one else in digital offers, whether that be community moderators all the way down to, , the, the secret cloak and dagger people behind the scenes that are dealing with cloak and dagger, their engineers, right.
We have law enforcement response teams. I believe it was made public into the zeitgeists a couple of months back, like we have so many layers of security that I don't think it could really, at present, be done any better. And if it can be done better, we will figure out how to do it better.
We have contractors involved. We have resources that we get from Amazon in that world that are, that are given to us to use and rely on. I'm constantly finding about someone would come to me and be like, Hey, this is what I do here. And evaluating brand safety or whatever the heck it is.
And I'm like, wow, that's pretty cool. Like, I didn't even know we did that because there's so many different smart folks working on things here that it, it, you need to be the smarter, this person of all time to understand that all it's, it's an impossible task. And some of the smartest people on the planet are the people that are absorbing all that information and then telling it to me and helping me understand it.
So what I can say to the listener at large is like have faith because we are doing a lot more than I think most people will ever be able to know that we're doing. We obviously can't share everything that we're doing because knowledge is power and all that kind of stuff, but. The things that I learned on a daily basis about what we're doing, what we do and how we do it.
One I don't fully understand and two would be very impressive. So just have faith. That's all I can really say there.
[00:37:08] David Tintner: Yeah, just I mean, it sounds fascinating and it also just seems like such a monumental task to be on top of all of this content being streamed live and be able to respond to it quickly.
If something goes up that, , that should not be up. , and I think for the most part it's, which has definitely at least stayed out of the, the bigger spotlight of problems. I know we've seen a lot of Facebook YouTube getting involved in I, , I haven't heard as much about or really any crazy mainstream events about Twitch at all.
[00:37:43] James Davidson: there yeah, yeah. Look like the thing about our company is that people only see or get to talk to people like me and some of the marketing people, like these are the people they see, but we're just doing what we do.
There's an entire, our, our organization is largely a technology organization. It's largely an engineering organization. That's mostly what we are. So for me to sit here and speak about it , would be a massive disservice to the incredible amount of work that we're doing on both from like a, a, a creator services perspective.
So like developing new tools, like a Twitch studio, or a tool for rivals or extensions like that. That's one world. Then there's obviously like all of the protection of the platform, which is a constant battle, right? Like there are smart people out there in the world doing good and smart people out there in the world doing do naughty things.
Right. So they're fighting that fight and God knows what that's like, what I mean? That is a whole other frontier. . And then again, , data intelligence and, and view logic, and cut the, the things that you guys do at thought leaders. , we probably are maybe doing, I don't even know, , it's so much information that is being processed through an organization like this, that for someone like me to be able to speak well to, it would, would be it's just not going to happen.
There's better, better, smarter people that know more about those things.
[00:38:58] David Tintner: But the important thing is it seems like it's working really well.
[00:39:00] James Davidson: Okay. Yeah. The important thing is that everybody here cares, like people work here because they love, we have an expression it's bleed purple.
And, it's because like people come here because they want to be here because they love what this is about because they see it for what it is and what it's going to be and stuff like that. So,
[00:39:14] David Tintner: yeah. So if you want to get a job at Twitch, how much do you have to be? Like I'm really into gaming. Let's say, is everyone there like a hardcore gamer?
[00:39:24] James Davidson: No. No, definitely not. Like you have to be passionate about what Twitch is as a service as a community, not even a service like it, , obviously please know the basics, like, know how creators make money on our platform? No, how much a sub costs, but like the average viewer knows that, , like the average viewer knows enough in my opinion to be a good employee here, but what sets people apart is just, , being passionate about the community and it doesn't have to be like every community, your understanding, you don't have to understand league of legends at a scientific level and first person shooters and the just chatting section and indie developing in small games or that, but like the culture of what it is is, is almost irreplaceable.
Right. And I would say that how deep into those waters you have to be, obviously really depends, but , you should at least be in the water somewhere, otherwise , go work somewhere. You are deep in those waters, , like. Really freaking passionate about baseball, go work for major league baseball.
They need, , they need people too. So obviously, like, I think that's like a great prerequisite, but it's not the whole thing.
[00:40:26] David Tintner: Something. I always thought that showed how Twitch cares. , this is more on the creator side, but I think that that trickles down to the audience from the beginning.
Twitch has had, I believe its the most monetization options for creators. And giving them a big cut from it. I mean, YouTube also had monetization early, but in only one way. Right. And Twitch went early for subscriptions for tips. Can you talk about that a bit and the decision to monetize early in.
[00:40:57] James Davidson: Yeah, look, we have an entire team, ‘commerce’, that strictly deals with better ways to feed our economy. Right. I'm, I'm a small part of that. My team, ad sales, is also bringing money into these spaces and trying to do good with it. Right. And do good work with, with brand partners.
So I think if I could speak about something that is a really good thing that I know a lot about it's what we do over in the, in the ad sales portion of the business. Because it's really important, right? Like we can do stuff like help develop original content. We can do stuff like surfacing really great creators because we have different initiatives that are brand focused, that we can kind of creating our own.
We can find really unique, passionate, awesome creators and expose them to brands like strictly by my, my passion for the platform. That's how some of these people get surfaced, right. Or other people's passion for the platform. They come to me and they're like, you gotta check this personality. , a big part of that is like partnerships going into the community to a level that we can't go to because there's only a smaller amount of us.
And then saying like, oh my God, we found this person. And they are amazing. Like they freestyle rap for six hours a day and answer all their questions in freestyle rap form and like. Just, there's no way for me to know about all these people without that, that mechanism at play. So all of these things like being unique and being creative, feed our ecosystem and feed it's a circle, right?
Like the more creative people we have, the more brands want to get involved because they want to be involved with creative people and they want to do cool stuff. , the more they spend, the more creative people come to our platform, ? So even just this one part of the wheel operates so efficiently and so well that it allows folks to just be full-time Twitch creators.
I know people that stream to a thousand people, , so it's obviously a lot of people, but in the grand scheme of things, we have people that strained a hundred thousand people. So, but distribute a thousand people and that's, that's their career. That's all they do is they go live every day and talk to that community and they, and they do well enough that that's all they do.
They own houses, they have cars and, and look there. , living in the Hollywood Hills or anything like that, but they own houses. They're doing great. I don't own a house, ? So it's like, let's
[00:42:59] David Tintner: Break that down. How does someone do streaming to a thousand people actually make enough money to live full time off of this? And like you said, own houses, where's that money actually coming from?
[00:43:09] James Davidson: So I think you break it down again, commerce would know a lot more, but you break it down into three categories, right? So one direct platform revenue from ad sales. So we're selling ads on platforms as media that will air, , either before commercial or in the before stream starts or in the middle of the stream mid-roll ads and stuff like that.
That's a whole other conversation. We have picture to picture ads. Now we have all types of stuff. I'm not sure what is even live nowadays because there's so many different offerings. We have programmatic cut.
[00:43:33] David Tintner: And what’s the cut the creator gets from the ad sales?
[00:43:36] James Davidson: So I don't know how to answer that politically.
Just because I think it's possibly different for everybody. So I. I would, I would plead the fifth on that just cause I really don't know universally across the platform, what the S what the splits are. I really don't know, nor do I have access to what everybody makes. It might be different for certain people.
I know affiliates are at a certain low, so we obviously have a, , you're, you're streaming on the platform. You get no ads. Then we had monetization for affiliates that we announced, I think about a year ago, started the pandemic because we did want to build bottom, trickle up if you will.
And then we obviously have monetization for partners and we do, demonetize bad actors in certain cases and stuff like that, that was obviously very, very public things that have happened before. But we're doing that job in the best interest of everybody on the platform, right. It's not just like a punitive thing.
So we obviously offer actually. Then there's also community support. So , gifted subscriptions or subscribing to a channel there's bits, there's straight donations, stuff like that. And all of that, again, I'm not entirely sure off the top of my head, the, the cuts and stuff like that, but I think it's all of it.
Like if you're a streamer watching, right. They all, they all know it's all very public. What is the agreement that they're under? And so there's all those different options. Then there's my team, which is, the way that my team works to not detract too far from the question, but the way my team works is like a brand comes in and they buy a certain amount of media on the platform and they say, great.
We also want to work with talent. And that's where I come in. And then I partnered with them and I said, look like, what are you looking for? Do we develop creative? Or we talk to them about their needs and their wants and demographics. They want to hit. And we find them the right person. And then we went out. Off we go, we've we contract that person and we pay very well and we do something awesome. And then we disappear into the night, hopefully to return again another day with more money. So that also exists. That's a whole other leg that is in , our, our numbers become public every so often, but like ad sales revenue. And, then obviously Amazon advertises directly on our platform. There's a robust third party ecosystem. So management groups and agencies that will come to you and say, Hey, , I got a brand partner that just wants to work with you. Not through Twitch, just me and you. I sold this ad in, I sold a sponsorship, I sold a profile banner. I sold the tweet, all of that third party ecosystem. We don't have anything to do with it. It just happens. Right. And we want that to happen. We want creators to have this because if that is robust and strong, more creators can be full-time creators and build, so again, the flywheel at play,
[00:46:00] David Tintner: The agencies that are trying to work directly with Twitch creators, or agents or managers that are not necessarily going through you or people on your team, what you're saying is Twitch is supporting this. And Twitch does want in general more money to creators however, they get it.
[00:46:17] James Davidson: Yes, please. Everyone come to play on our platform. Yes. It's a service. We're supposed to, it's supposed to be called service. Yeah. A hundred percent. Look, we work closely with all of those agencies. The way that, in particular, my team works allows that we don't compete with those groups.
We offer a fundamentally different offering, which is media , on our platform. No one else can sell media because it's our platform. So we'd love those groups. The manager groups, the agencies, I know them all on a first name basis. Great. People could not do what we do without them.
[00:46:45] David Tintner: Very cool. Yeah. Do you have any idea of what the breakdown of a, let's say a full-time creator, like this is their job. They only earn money from Twitch. The breakdown of revenue would be between, let's say fan supported or audience supported revenue versus brand and ads. Or is that wildly different across different operators?
Really. And what does that mean? If a certain creator who let's say is more fan supported, would we see that their content is, is done in a different way than someone who's more ads.
[00:47:17] James Davidson: I, I would suspect, yes. I don't know that to be true, but , I think, for example, if you are a high level competitive like league streamer or valor and streamer, or, like your typical e-sports professional, right.
That's, you're probably going to do better on, on the, on the media side of things, the ad sale side of things, because you're, it's you in the game, , like you're competing at such a high level that you're only getting to engage maybe after the rounds over, like, versus if you're I don't know, even call of duty streamers, do th the dialogue because of the nature of the game and like, they have downtime in between where they're waiting to respond, they're talking to their community.
W I would suspect that you do much better on the community side of things as well, because you're spending a lot of time talking. You're taking gaming challenges. You're doing different things that grow that community and build that interaction versus some folks are like, I'm an accountant, I'm doing math here on the screen. I'm playing league and it's like, it requires 105% of my attention versus some other games. It's like 50, 50, , I can, I can sit here and hang out with the community and , that, I think that probably garners a different,
[00:48:18] David Tintner: So that's really interesting. That means that basically when, when the audience is either giving bits or subscribing to a creator, what they're essentially paying for is access. Right. And what you're saying is it's about, I want to be engaging, interacting with you as opposed to let's say rewarding for extreme talents, right? It sounds a bit less like I'm watching LeBron and he's so good. So I'm going to give him a tip. It's more like, no, this guy is sitting here and talking with me and he's spending his time with me. That's what I want, I want access to them, right?
[00:48:55] James Davidson: If you want people to be able to do that, if you really are what this person's about, like they have to make a living doing it, right.
Like they have, otherwise they have to go to work. , they can't talk to you all day. But it's also that these creators are in ways that, that I, , can't speak to all of them, like they're creative in the way in their offering and what they're doing with their communities.
And a really great example is like Nick Mark, one of the biggest creators on our platform, he does this thing called the FM picnic where he, his first, however many subscribers, it was the people that supported him when he was nobody.
Like he throws a big event for them and it brings them all there and they all come and they hang out and he knows them all. Like, that's a recent subscription to him. That's a reason to stay in that community. That's a reason to engage there, even though there's a lot of people talking.
It's different for everybody, right? Like there there's offerings that different people have that I couldn't give you like, oh, this is the rule of the road type thing. Because do you think this is something
[00:49:53] David Tintner: you think this is something that brands want to if Bren wants to sponsor a specific creator, I'm talking from like a brand going direct to creator right now, this mindset, is that something that they should be looking for?
Should a brand say, I want to understand, is this a creator who is more let's say audience focused or creator is more brand focused in order to know what's going to work
[00:50:12] James Davidson: out for them. Yeah. I don't know. I, I want, I think that's up to what the brand is trying to get out of it. Right? So like, we don't really ever do stuff where they see what we do, but it's, it's more rare.
We try to use brands to up the content to plus up the content. Like one of the things we'll say to a brand is like, is this something someone can do without you? If the answer is, yeah, I can do this without. Let's do something that they can't do without you. That is, that is what the community loves because what communities, the fundamental difference about working with a brand on Twitch versus anywhere else is it's not an inconvenience on Twitch.
It's like if Chipola comes in and sponsors something, it's great because now there's a cash prize that will make streamers compete harder. That will bring other people to the table that normally wouldn't compete. , whatever the case may be. If they come in and they do fun, community-based challenges, like we can give subscriptions to the community so that in the future, people can watch the content without ads and get the emotes and all the other things that come with a subscription to the channel, they can come in and they can do giveaways.
They can come away again. They can give away products and codes and we will facilitate mailing stuff out to folks. If they win different contests, we have third party vendors that do these cool giveaways. We have drops for watching the channel, like get a free burrito if you watch the channel, stuff like that.
So there's a way to work as a brand on our platform in a way where it's like, oh, I don't want to just skip the ad. It's like, I'll see someone doing sponsored content and I'll be like, oh, what are they doing it. Great example is a cash app here giving away free money. It's totally in here given away free burritos.
Can I get a free download of Adobe today? Because like, I'm just doing what I normally do and watching a streamer. Can I learn something here? Like all of those things are enabled by brands in a way that on other mediums I don't know that you can do that. , like it's just, it's a whole different level to influencer marketing because it's live.
Cause like you're interacting with the brand live, you're interacting in the streamer. And a lot of the stuff that we'll do, there's like games that are community-based games that are built by brands that we help them enable that you couldn't play that have prizes that you couldn't do without a brand.
We wouldn't necessarily build that without a brand, , without their idea, without their, without their them coming into the picture. So all of that, doesn't, it's just in my opinion, like it's a whole other level to what we can do that no one else can do. And it's so much fun. Like my job is so much fun, it's unique.
[00:52:33] David Tintner: So once the content is not live anymore, what is, how much does Twitch still care about it? Or try to do things to get the creators, to use that content in a VOD way or in other clips.
[00:52:50] James Davidson: So, obviously we love clips like clips. There's a whole ecosystem around clips alone. Right?
Gee, , something that we were first to market with that was just I think we were first to market with it. We were at least first to the popular market with it. That I think like isjust an awesome thing, right? Like there's entire subreddits that exist around just clipped content in the, in the conversation that happens there.
And that's great red, it's red. It's another way for the community to engage offline. It's fantastic. YouTube, obviously people did VOD their content onto YouTube, like crazy and a great, a great place for it to exist because it's a way for Twitch creators to expose themselves to an entirely other community, right?
Like, live isn't for everybody. , if you're driving around, , you can listen to a YouTube video, please don't watch, but you can listen to a YouTube video and you could listen to a Twitch stream, but it's not really the same thing. Right? Like you can't necessarily pick where you're listening to their songs on YouTube versus like, there's not going to be like a ton of live songs you can listen to on Twitch that will come across the same way.
So there's just fundamentally different offerings. And while I, I personally will watch VODs that I missed, especially like tournament play. Like I, I find myself often going back and watching like different call of duty tournaments, or I love call of duty, for example, like I'll watch different call of duty tournaments because if I miss the tournament, I kinda miss part of the narrative of like what Twitch is and like what's happening in the community.
So I will watch the VODs, but it's just, you're not going to get the engagement therapy, cause there's not a lot of chatter in VOD. Obviously you can't interact with the streamer. It's just fundamentally different. So do we care about it? Absolutely. There's a ton of metadata around it and there's a ton of things that we learned from VOD and content.
There's obviously residual income that can be made by the creator because ads still do run on VOD content. And then obviously people will watch it and they'll see the sponsored content if it was there. So it's an important part of what we do, but it's not everything we do,
[00:54:30] David Tintner: but I believe Twitch has actually is giving a tool for creators to export their livestreams when they're finished pretty easily to YouTube.
Right. So you're, you're. You don't mind at all, if the same content exist on YouTube, that exists on Twitch.
[00:54:46] James Davidson: Yeah. I mean, as far as I understand the position of the company, it's like, where did that great do it like distribution of this, the content that is made live on Twitch is a, is a big part of, in my opinion, the, what we do, the, the old, like I keep saying the flywheel, right?
Like people will, they'll stream on Twitch and then they'll cut it down and we'll upload it to TechTalk and Snapchat and all these other places, Instagram, like we even see e-sports organizations putting Twitter feeds up on their Instagram and like highlights and stuff like that.
But I think the fundamental thing is like, it happens live on Twitch. There is no substitute for that. There is no other place to go if you want to see it live. And that's, that's what we do best is the community live happening right there.
[00:55:26] David Tintner: I'm curious because when you're, so if you're selling to a brand, a livestream, right.
And you're pitching the brand on the engagement they're going to get from. I assume that the focus is on big engagement, they're going to get from the live stream. But actually the brand is getting the spillover, residual engagement, both from VOD on Twitch Itself. And then from all those platforms that are the same exact video is being, is being, I guess, exported to, is that something that you're using in, let's say sales to brand like, look, this is what's gonna happen. You're going to get this, this, this, and this.
[00:56:02] James Davidson: So all, when we're talking to a brand, all we're talking about is what's happening on Twitch. And, and we obviously will sell different other deliverables, videos and tweets and stuff like that. Like it's just influencer marketing, we’re influencer marketers at our core.
Right. But like, do brands know that their content lives other places eventually, or that like, there's a chance that they go viral. Like, if they make really great content that people aren't going to talk about it on Reddit or Twitter or wherever else, I think they know that.
And if our sellers are having that conversation in the room before I get in there. Yeah. Maybe, probably, but like if, if a brand comes to us and they're like, Hey, like what are the numbers look like if this goes onto Reddit or something, we don't, we just don't have that information. Or if we do, I don't know if we're talking about it, it's just an added bonus if you will.
And at the end of the day, like, yeah, I mean, it
[00:56:50] David Tintner: Sounds pretty big, it could potentially be a pretty big bonus to a brand.
[00:56:54] James Davidson: Yeah. I mean, we've, we've, we've made brands have meme'd themselves before, if you will. Like it's, it's happened, ? And then esports organizations, we'll partner with brands because of an in my opinion of them coming to us and working with us and them seeing the brand in the organization, seeing an opportunity to partner together.
Kind of further the relationship on, on the service and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, like we're selling what we're selling to brands is media and the experience with the community here. And then because yes, we do use influencers, but like there's other things we do like a brand that can come in and buy some media and then sponsor rivals or sponsor original content like hive-mind or shows that we make.
It's not always going to be, oh yeah. Influencer, what do I mean? Like it's not always going to be that if there's so many other things that they can, they can do with their dollar that we're offering. And sometimes it's the brand coming up with the idea to be like, we want to do this. And we're like, ah, pretty good.
Pretty cool. , and off we go.
[00:57:48] David Tintner: Very cool. Well, James, thank you very, very much for your time. That has been really fascinating for me to dive into this with you and to learn about a world that I do not know as much about. And, and the sophistication behind what you're doing, how it switches doing both from the creator level on the audience level and on the brand level is, is really impressive to, to learn about.
[00:58:11] James Davidson: Yeah. And look, thanks for having me. Like I said, like the one thing everybody should know is that the company cares. Like they really do. We're just trying to do cool stuff for the people on our site. And at the end of the day, , look, if, if there's something that you want to see on Twitch and like, it's not there for you, like try to find us, try to do it yourself please first, because that will make you make a career for yourself.
Like, , come here and start your podcast, come here. And And, and, and do like, I keep bringing up leatherwork because we have a gal that we found and she was just making purses and stuff on Twitch. And like, we're like, wow, she's got a thousand, 2000 people watching her or whatever it is. And so it's just one of those things where you see it and you're like encouraged by it.
[00:58:47] David Tintner: Something that you really want to see that isn't being extremes prominently today.
And you're like, come on, come on, figuring out.
[00:58:55] James Davidson: I would say if you asked me that two years ago, the answer was like investing. Like, I, I, I, I do today trade and invest in stuff, and I like it. I love it. But now it's found its footing. It's found its home. I love sports too, so I would love it if we could find a way to make sports work, but.
We all understand the rights of sports and how they get broadcast. Like it's not simple. It's not something I'm going to figure out for sure. So it requires many, many, many, many, many powerful people getting together and figuring out how it all works. And it's possible that it never gets figured out, but like, I would love for that to be a thing it's just a matter of, I think probably time, ?
So look, those are the things that I love, but at the end of the day, there's like all types of other stuff like cooking. It does well on our platform. People cook , chefs come to cook on our service. If you're a really talented chef, just come do what you do, but do it live like, that's my, that's how I sell it.
Like if you're a creative person and you're doing it alone, why just come do what you do here. If you're an accountant, come be an accountant, 11 Twitch, help people understand math better. , if you're a teacher come teach on Twitch, whatever it is there's you can do it here. And it's a way to just make a little bit of money at the end of the day, if, if it works out well for you.
So yeah. And just meet cool people.
[01:00:10] David Tintner: Well, thanks again, James. This has been awesome.
[01:00:13] James Davidson: Yeah, it was a real pleasure talking to you, David. I had a great time.