Getting Twitchy

You might have read recently about the deal between Comcast and Netflix.

English: The Xbox console with the S controlle...

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Today’s screed is not about that, but since part of the reason the deal came about is Netflix’s use of streaming bandwidth, it raised a question in my mind.  If Netflix is number 1 in terms of using internet bandwidth and is not making deals with ISP’s directly to serve as their CDN‘s (content delivery network), what other companies are in a similar situation?  Who are the top five contributors to internet traffic?  The answer surprised me and reminded me once again of an important business point.

You probably got the next couple on the list correct:  Google (which is YouTube), and Apple are numbers 2 and 3.  Who’s next?  Hulu?  Amazon?  Facebook?  Good guesses since they are all major video sites and do come after number 4.  Give up?

The answer is Twitch.  No, that wasn’t a command.  Twitch is a site that broadcasts people playing video games.  I’m sure you’ve had the experience of sitting around a living room while someone plays a video game.   This is just a bigger room.  A MUCH bigger room.  So big that Twitch recently hit one million users broadcasting each month during prime time hours with 45 million monthly unique viewers who watched, on average, 106 minutes of video a day.  That means each month, viewers watch 13 billion minutes of video.  With the Twitch app coming to the Xbox (it’s only been on the Playstation 4) one can expect that the number of “broadcasters” will grow and the number of people watching will as well.

There are more people watching programming on Twitch than are watching most cable networks.  I’m willing to bet that the audience for this is bigger than many broadcast programs as well.  How many programmers are sitting around thinking about how to take away the viewing not just from people playing video games but also from people WATCHING people play video games?  That’s the business point.  We can’t continue to think about our businesses in “traditional” terms.  Our SWOT analysis need to be much broader and contain a lot of “out of the box” thinking.  The threats are everywhere.

They call it “blindsided” for a reason!

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