Happy New Year! I trust you have had a good holiday and are ready to take on 2023! As the new year tends to take some time to warm up on more interesting news, I wanted to take this time to share some of my predictions. This will be an odd year - a world uncertain about where it's going with so many unique and unprecedented macroeconomic and geopolitical questions unanswered. Alas, as individual creators, industry employees, or other field-related roles, the best thing we can all do is remain agile and open to change! With that, let's get into the news and my predictions!
- Twitchcon, from my sources, could be getting a location change. Here are my predictions on where it might be.
- Twitch suffered multiple outages this week, experiencing downtime on January 4th and 5th.
- Amazon Twitch is being sued by a company claiming Twitch's video technology infringes on their patent. This company previously also sued Apple and Microsoft.
- Twitch Advertising made a minor change to say 70% of its audience is between 18 and 34.
- Twitch's Head of Sales for Australia and New Zealand, Ricky Chanana, is leaving the company.
- CommanderRoot shared Q4 Twitch Stats, which shows a consolidation of Community streamers versus a year ago and a significant increase in usage of Ko-Fi.
Streaming Predictions for 2023
What could happen in the streaming space this year (and beyond)? As previously mentioned, with a global macro environment looking precarious, we might be in for a bit of an odd one. With that said, here are some predictions for 2023:
- Twitch Wallet System. Twitch has repeated that their end goal (long term) is to make funds available the same day it's earned. I expect them to meet this goal by expanding their digital wallet to enable earned money to be used ON Twitch nearly immediately. This internal structure should come with zero fees (as it's just passing money around Twitch), but Twitch still gets its cut from each sub/bits purchase. This would increase the velocity of money on Twitch - benefitting their bank account with all that additional spending while superseding the cuts taken by payment processors.
- StreamElementisification of Twitch Bounties. SE's sponsor system that offers pay-for-performance is attractive for potential advertisers and dangles a nice dollar amount in front of creators. Twitch's Bounty Board should likely copy this system, offering deeper first-party integration. This is especially likely if my next prediction proves to be accurate.
- Twitch Ad Struggles. As YouTube tightens the screws on what makes content monetizable, Twitch has no such capabilities. Gaming has always been on the edgier side of what advertisers are open to. Without a robust targeting system like YouTube - it will be a slog as the global economy slows and marketers seek more reliable outcomes. The Ads Incentive Program likely gets scrapped in favor of something less reliable (and less lucrative) but more customizable by the creator (and without the quirks that allow you to inflate your AIP offers artificially.)
- YouTube Live Lost in the Mix. YouTube is often cited as a direct competitor to Twitch in live content, but the evidence doesn't support that. They've paid a few prominent creators to hop platforms - where they experience mixed results, but live content on YouTube continues to lose hours watched. Even in terms of support, their most significant Live update in the Q4 of 2022 was adding new emotes. Compare that to Shorts, which experienced monthly updates and additional experiments to support the future of the Shorts ecosystem. While I welcome being proven wrong, I don't expect YouTube to prioritize Live in 2023.
- LinkedIn has live streaming capabilities that I expect to see more priority on in 2023. As a Professional network, it offers an excellent opportunity for creators who want to provide educational/informational live content to thrive in an untapped market. And because it's business-people-dominated, LinkedIn would be wise to add paid subscriptions, while having advertiser-safe content to put video ads on.
- AI Tools Reduce Monotonous Tasks for Creators. While AI headlines have so far been dominated by artwork, profile pictures, and prompt-based ChatGPT written content... I expect the next iteration of AI tools to do simple short edits; upload videos; fill out titles; pick tags; and 'learn' when to post at ideal times. They'll require supervision/training from creators at first. There will still be demand for artists, writers, and editors - but that will be for high-quality content rather than the minutia of 10-minute tasks.
Those are my predictions for 2023! If you have some thoughts, let me know on Twitter - I would love to hear from you and some of your predictions!
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