In the changing world of multiplatform video, the definition of video itself seems to be changing as eyeballs migrate to its myriad forms. Case in point: The Twitch “video platform for gamers” that allows gamers to instantly broadcast their gameplay to their Twitch online gaming channels—allowing global audiences to observe streamed video feeds in real time. Twitch on Wed announced a deal with Sony’s Playstation 4 to integrate functionality into the PS4 controller (hitting the “share” button instantly activates a Twitch video stream).
In some ways, it’s just another form of user-generated video. But considering the massive size of the global gaming community, it could also blossom into an attractive way to aggregate the mostly 18-34 crowd into an advertising-friendly community. “Through this partnership, we are paving the way for every PS4 gamer to become both a broadcaster and an avid spectator of amazing content,” said Twitch CEO Emmett Shear.
And similar to the trend toward social TV, Sony’s PS4 includes a number of social gaming elements, all of which are aimed at amping up engagement when it comes to Twitch and other partners. According to Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, “social capabilities are an integral part of PS4.”
It’s no secret that gaming consoles are fast becoming set-top competitors as they offer plenty of OTT content, as well as traditional VOD. But the Twitch deal suggests that they’re also looking to keep gamers engaged long after they have stopped playing by enticing them to watch the gameplay of their peers. Will it steal eyeballs away from traditional linear TV? Time will tell…