• Sky News live streams broadcast of news using video platform Twitch
  • Aim to tap into a new market with younger audiences using social engagement features 
  • Twitch boasts 1.3 million active users 

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Twitch hosts Sky News: First live stream broadcast 

Live streaming video platform Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, hosted Sky News in the broadcaster’s first live stream of the UK Conservative party conference in a bid to tap into younger audiences. 

The Sky News Twitch channel currently has only 127 followers and nearly 19,000 views, according to a report by Digiday. The broadcaster was unwilling to share how many concurrent viewers it had for the stream.

Sky News output editor Alan Strange said: “For Sky News, we always look to tap into a market we’re not yet serving, to a group that’s otherwise not watching Sky News on TV.

“The mistake people make is that they say Twitch is a gaming community; it’s not.

“We were streaming to a community of people who are hyper-interested in news and current affairs and had plenty to say about.”

The broadcaster is seeking new and younger viewers in an attempt to introduce them to the traditional linear TV channel.

According to the report, a team of three people moderated comments while the live stream showed UK prime minister Boris Johnson setting out his policy plans for the coming year.

The comment filter was set to its highest to eliminate chatter that broke Sky News’ community guidelines, which the broadcaster also published on its Twitch channel.

However, aside from conversation around democracy and the contents of the Prime Minister’s speech, viewers said they wouldn’t have watched Sky News if it hadn’t been on Twitch, according to Strange.

The team responded to some of the comments and featured a poll.

Strange added: “We want to own spaces in live news.

“We turn the taps on in the big, live moments.”

On Twitch, Sky News also links out to YouTube, where it hosts shows Sky News Explains, Brexisplainer and Divided.

Sky News has been monitoring Twitch for a while because of its untapped, younger-skewing video audience, Digitday reported, the Amazon-owned platform claims 1.3 million people tune in to Twitch at any given moment on average. The audience is young: 55% are between 18 and 34 years old. And according to a pitch deck obtained by Digiday, the audience is still skewing over 80% male, but its female audience is growing.

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