Twitch launches “Creative” category, eight-day Bob Ross Painting marathon

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bob Ross Painting Marathon Is Coming to Streaming Service Twitch.

Ross, who died 20 years ago, would have been 73 years old today. As part of the celebration, Twitch will broadcast all 403 episodes of his PBS show “The Joy of Painting” from October 29 to November 6 on twitch.tv/bobross.

The Amazon-owned video game streaming site Twitch is doubling down on what the company says has been a rapidly growing source of non-gaming videos on its site: creative content. To commemorate the soft-spoken painting instructor’s birthday and his legacy, streaming site Twitch.tv will kick off a 403-hour, eight-and-a-half-day marathon of Ross’s PBS show, “The Joy of Painting.” Twitch is best-known for its live-streaming content, particularly stuff related to videogames. What you might not know is that Twitch also nurtures a thriving community of creative types who perform music, show off their visual artistic prowess, or invite an audience to watch them write. My parents knew that if they wanted thirty minutes of child-free silence, they’d switch on that quiet guy with the afro and I’d be freaking spellbound, up until every last titanium white cloud.

Today, Twitch is launching a dedicated landing page for this type of content, aimed at increasing video views and improving discovery for streams focused on activities like painting, illustrations, songs, costumes, and even glass blowing. Well today, Twitch announced it’s channeling that same appeal in its new service, which lets users zone out as they watch videos of artists making art. It’s called Twitch Creative: Partnering with Adobe, Twitch announced today it has launched a new vertical that lets users watch artists instead of gamers.

Creative content has been supported on Twitch for well over a year, but it was something that gamers would post to their own channels, which could make it hard to find. Some of those users include Geers_art, Evilfx and Vieparlafoi. “The Creative community was born from the gaming community on Twitch, as top broadcasters began broadcasting creation of fan art during gameplay down time,” Bill Morrier, head of Twitch Creative, told Motherboard. “This attracted more broadcasters to the platform whose primary focus was on artistic endeavors. Today, there are close to 100,000 broadcasters who are now publishing creative-type videos on Twitch, and those streams are seeing 2 million people watching on a monthly basis.

His casual, almost hypnotic presentation style was a very early example of how a seemingly mundane activity like painting a lake, writing a poem, or building a house in Minecraft can attract a wide audience. That’s still a smaller portion of Twitch’s overall community – the site has 100 million monthly visitors, and 1.7 million broadcasters, 12,000 of whom are partners monetizing their channel through ads, subscriptions, and/or merchandise. Back in 2007, Twitch spun off from the YouTube-like, live-streaming site called Justin.TV, when the company noticed that there was a huge community of people sharing videos of video game conquests. The new Twitch Creative section, which will be visible on the web and mobile, will have its own directory and a carousel to highlight the most interesting content in that category. And so, Twitch was born. (As Bob Ross would say, it was a happy accident.) In the Twitch Creative press release, the company calls such videos “live social video.” Video game-watching videos have also been popular on YouTube for years, often called “Let’s Play .” It’s a solid, and lucrative, formula: Twitch was scooped up by Amazon for $1 billion last year.

The full embrace of the site’s creative streamers comes just a few months after YouTube moved in on its primary demographic of gamers with YouTube Gaming. And as Jimmy Kimmel learned the hard way, people really like watching others do things like play games, and Google knows this: YouTube even announced its own Gaming app for video game video viewers, set to launch later this year. Seeing the potential for this new vertical, Twitch has hired a community manager for Creative, Kyle “MonkeyOnStrike” Reddington, who was already an established artist using Twitch. The Google-owned video network has more recently been expanding into the gaming space as well, with the launch of its YouTube Gaming application, and just yesterday, a new tool to allow Android users to record and comment on their videos then publish to YouTube. While Twitch says that it only launched this new section on the site in response to growth it was seeing, the addition could have another advantage as well.

While today, Twitch’s user base is predominantly male – reflective of gaming culture overall – the demographic mix on creative channels is more evenly balanced, we’re told. Some of the artists featured at launch include Geers_art (a digital painter/illustrator), Evilfx (a professional prop/costume artist), SceneOfActionMusic (a music composer) and Vieparlafoi (glass artist).

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