Twitch held its annual Town Hall meeting for casters and users at Pax East this weekend in Boston, and the subject on everyone’s mind was Fortnite.
Specifically, how much Fortnite has done for Twitch and the casting community. Erin Wayne, a community manager at Twitch, pointed out that Twitch Prime’s social media grew by approximately 70 percent since Fortnite became a thing, and most streamers were noticing an increase in growth around their own channel. That includes people who aren’t just streaming Fortnite.
Wayne said although there are obvious cases where Fortnite and Twitch streamers’ success go hand-in-hand (Tyler “Ninja” Blevins setting a new record while streaming late-night with Drake, for example) there are other, unforeseen victories. But the biggest win is the exponential growth in users.
“Because Fortnite is so explosive, it brought a whole bunch of new users to Twitch,” Wayne said. “We hear a lot of community feedback from people saying, ‘What is Twitch doing to bring new users onto Twitch? As a broadcaster, as a partner, as an affiliate, I want people to find my channel who never have before.’ What this has allowed us to do is help people find a reason who wanted to log onto Twitch to get the new stuff that’s in the game.”
A big part of that growth is thanks to Twitch Prime. Twitch noticed a huge influx in subscribers, Wayne said, when the company partnered with Epic Games for exclusive in-game Fortnite loot. This included a glider, emotes for Twitch chat and a limited-time skin. Offering players something they could only get through a Twitch Prime subscription helped grow people’s recognition of the platform — and gave them a reason to join.
“There were a lot of people who had never used Twitch before who were like, ‘I’m going to check this out now because I want this skin,’” Wayne said. “They checked it out and now they’re, like, hanging around.”
It’s a trend that other streamers are seeing, too. Max Gonzalez, who goes by GassyMexican on Twitch, has noticed more activity on Twitch recently, even in non-Fortnite playing circles. Gonzalez also credits Twitch Prime as a primary reason. Although other streamers have aired concerns over Twitch Prime subscriptions, and whether people will resubscribe after 30 days once they have Fortnite loot, Gonzalez considers the extra spotlight on Twitch right now entirely beneficial.
“People think it’s just big for Fortnite, but it’s big for all of us,” Gonzalez said. “You have so many people who may have heard of Twitch but never found a reason to be on the website, there was no need for them to do it, they never felt compelled — but now they’re there. And they’re watching all these casters; one might be casting Fortnite, one might be playing something different, and they start figuring out what Twitch is. Now there’s this whole awesome overflow that’s happening. It’s not just benefiting Fortnite players and Fortnite streamers.
“Obviously it does benefit them substantially, but for the rest of us, we can be like, ‘Hey, we’re here too.’”
The Twitch team seems to be more than aware of the interest in Twitch Prime and Fortnite. Tyler Nosenzo, a Twitch employee who works on partnerships with developers, teased that more Fortnite in-game loot was coming, but couldn’t provide any more details just yet. The idea reads as Twitch and Epic Games trying to figure out how to keep the partnership growing — and interest in both the game and streamers who broadcast it alive and healthy.
“I absolutely love that Fortnite is a bit of a gateway to show them what Twitch is,” another streamer who goes by Friskk said. “Honestly, they’re just scratching the surface when it comes to being exposed to Fortnite.”