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Damian Burns: "Streaming in Spain is based more on telling stories than playing video games, that's unique in the world"


Twitch VP discusses the health of live video, expanding in the wake of the pandemic, and the challenges it faces in not succumbing to success

Damian Burns, Vice President of Twitch

Twitch has become one of the proper names for the pandemic. An undisputed winner of this time of restrictions, closures and home confinements. Its growth during 2020 has no possible comparison since in June 2011 it left its name behind. According to the data provided by the platform owned by Amazon, in the last year up to 13 million people broadcast live for the first time; they have 30 million daily active users; and its average daily audience reaches 2.5 million viewers. As its vice president, Damian Burns, suggests by videoconference, the interest in


is growing: "People want to connect, build communities and share their passions in real time."

Spain, precisely, has become a fundamental pillar of the company.

“Its content creators are genuine, unique worldwide.

They offer broadcasts with their own personality.

They have managed to become a benchmark on Twitch, ”says Burns.

To contextualize the impact of the Spanish community, just look at characters like Ibai Llanos, who has made soccer stars like Gerard Piqué and Sergio Ramos approach his channel, and TheGrefg, who reached the absolute record of viewers on Twitch, with 2.4 million.

Not to mention Biyin, the first woman with 400,000 followers before broadcasting for the first time, ElRubius or AuronPlay, which, day after day, gather an average of 100,000 users in front of the screen.

Ibai Llanos, in a screenshot.


in Spain is based more on telling stories than playing video games, which is the essence of Twitch. This is not seen anywhere else in the world with the success it has had there. I see it interesting and fascinating. His followers want to know what happens on these channels. I find it very innovative. I think it's going to go further, ”says Burns. These new formats to which you allude, most of them collected in the category that the platform calls


, have gained specific weight during the coronavirus crisis, which has brought the creation of live content closer to professional spheres

a priori

far from



As Burns comments, in such a peculiar year, society has found on Twitch an opportunity to connect with its target audience.

If we look at the musicians, according to the figures provided by the vice president, their broadcast hours have tripled in 2020 and the number of hours viewed has multiplied by six.

“The barriers to entry to


have fallen with technological evolution.

You can do whatever you want from anywhere on the planet.

Users have noticed this and it has created a snowball effect, ”admits Burns.

The audiovisual revolution it is aiming at, started at the time by giants like Netflix, HBO and YouTube, faces new chapters in the short term with the rise of Twitch.

Burns understands that, from a simplistic and reductionist point of view, these companies are his direct competition;

but, if we open the analysis, it would be convenient to focus on knowing where society spends its free time.

And here the Amazon platform has connected perfectly with users thanks to new formats that are impossible to find in other spaces.

“Twitch is part of people's passions and hobbies.

This is a more macro move.

A product where to find, produce and consume these new audiovisual patterns ”, ditch.

A capture of 24 channels live on Twitch with hardly any viewers.

The picture was taken on April 5.

Fight against machismo and racism

The anonymity under which the internet lives has favored - and favors - machismo, discrimination and racism.

On a platform like Twitch, where the community communicates mainly through chat, it is difficult to tackle this social scourge.

It has recently tightened its policy to combat harassment of women who broadcast live, as well as the control mechanisms of what it calls toxic behavior.

Burns is aware that more investment and effort still need to be done.

Tools like automatic moderation through artificial intelligence serve as a filter to block both


and followers immediately and forever, although it is only a small appendage of something that, in his words, he takes very seriously.

In his company they like to raise the flag of diversity - "which does not mean that everything can be said without us punishing it," he says. A different story is that it has the material capacity to control heterogeneous content and millionaire audiences. You can always go around the established limits, no matter how much the intention is to completely eradicate these behaviors. “Sexist, misogynistic or xenophobic attitudes are not welcome in our service. We will continue to strengthen the technology that detects these attitudes, ”says Burns.

Although he does not dare to give any advice to those who want to dare to create live content, he is clear that talent makes the difference.

Some of the

more well-known


lack good communication skills or charisma.

They are simply brilliant in a video game or in what they broadcast, such as musicians or chess players.

In a way it resembles professional sports, where fans applaud stars for their performance;

and not so much for his character and personality.

“If you are talented, people will find you.

We are facing an economy of creation.

It is a new era.

We will see how it evolves, but we are part of this possibility ”, concludes Burns.

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Source: elparis

All tech articles on 2021-05-14

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