By Evan DeSimone
Twitch has earned its stripes in the streaming world by serving as a platform for gamers and gaming enthusiasts to share content, but now the Amazon-owned service is branching out with Twitch Creative, a hub for the artists and creatives who make up a small but growing minority of broadcasters on the platform.
Twitch broadcasters are best known for streaming commentary-laden game play footage, but a subset of the platforms users have taken advantage of the screen streaming service to share various other creative pursuits like the creation of fan art. Popular creators in the emerging vertical will now find their channels aggregated under Twitch Creative, which will mirror Twitch’s familiar front page but feature broadcasters who work mostly in creative non-gaming mediums.
To celebrate the launch of its newest vertical, Twitch will live stream the entire catalog of Bob Ross’ “The Joy of Painting,” paying homage to the iconic artist who pioneered the notion of broadcasting the creative process. All 403 episode of Ross’ popular public television program, which features the artist painting landscape and still-life portraits while delivering dulcet commentary, will begin streaming on Twitch today in an event timed to coincide with the late Ross’ birthday.
While Twitch has continued to post strong audience numbers and this year launched its own convention to accommodate its growing community, a lingering question has remained: How to bring Twitch to scale and embrace other verticals? The service recently sharpened its focus on music in an attempt to break out of the gaming box. Bill Moorier, who will head Twitch Creative, noted in a statement that, “As we’ve watched our beta Music category take shape, among the most popular broadcasts are musicians creating original compositions.” Rather than chasing lucrative verticals like beauty and lifestyle that have increasingly become focal points for other platforms, Twitch is turning its eye inward and highlighting a community that evolved organically.
Twitch has previously enjoyed substantial success from throwing the spotlight on niche communities on its platform. Originally launched as a “life-streaming” service, it later pivoted its focus to broadcasters who used the service to share their game play footage. It’s a move that paid off for Twitch with its $970 million cash acquisition by e-commerce giant Amazon in 2014.
Software giant Adobe, maker of popular art and photo programs such as Photoshop, is partnering with Twitch for the launch. Adobe will have its own Twitch channel highlighting the work of native Twitch creatives including painter and illustrator Geers_art, composer SceneOfActionMusic, costume maker Evilfx and glass artist Vieparlafoi.