According to recent research performed by Twitch’s own research department, livestreaming a game on Twitch often leads to better sales of said game. It seems a bit biased as well as self-serving, especially since this report suggests that game publishers and developers should invest in the Twitch community.
Danny Hernandez, the Twitch data scientist who compiled the report, studied how much exposure Twitch can do for a game regarding sales. He found that 25% of game sales for Punch Club and The Culling were directly due to Twitch streaming. He also noted that Twitch is responsible for increases in player interest weeks after a game releases as much as 15%.
I found that when a Steam connected viewer watched a game on Twitch, their odds of purchasing the game within 24 hours went up substantially. So I attribute purchases that fit this ‘watch then buy’ pattern to Twitch.
His biggest example of how Twitch can boost sales is from TinyBuild’s launch of Punch Club, where the developer set up a Twitch channel for viewers to play Punch Club. Once they completed the game, they would release it. Once the game launched, TinyBuild handed out several Steam keys to Twitch streamers to keep building the momentum from the Twitch Plays session. In six weeks, 1.2 million users tuned in to watch Punch Club on Twitch, and 2.8% of the Steam-connected viewers bought the game after viewing the broadcasts. Hernandez further estimates that 25% of all Punch Club sales are due to these Twitch streams.
Hernandez also had a few startling discoveries regarding correlation between the popularity of a streamer and the likelihood of a game sale. He found that mid-tier streamers convert views into game purchases 13 times more effectively than the top dogs in Twitch. Even smaller streamers convert views to purchases 1000 times more effectively than the top-tier.
For example, when one of Twitch’s most popular broadcasters, Lirik, played Hurtworld, several smaller streamers did the same. Hernandez found that 10% of the Hurtwold sales on Steam can be linked to Twitch streaming, while 52% of those sales were from the far smaller channels ranging between 33 and 3,333 concurrent viewers.
Obviously Twitch has plenty to gain from such research with positive results, which makes it appear rather pointed and perhaps embellished. However, Hernandez’s findings may warrant an unbiased third-party research firm to come in to validate the results. It’s hard to deny the effects of Twitch livestreaming, as I even bought Party Hard after watching a Twitch stream. I’m obviously not alone.