More and more you can watch television live on the web, including wrestling, ESPN, Major League Baseball and CNN. But by far the most popular live streaming channel on the Internet is this: Twitch.tv.
A live streaming service where you can tune in 24-7 to watch young men play video games.
Game boxes like Sony’s PlayStation 4 and X Box One now come with streaming functions, and there are now about one million gamers streaming live video of themselves playing games like League of Legends, or World of Warcraft.
It’s so popular that Twitch.tv now has about 45 million individual monthly viewers. And the latest survey says it’s responsible for more Internet bandwidth than WWE (the wrestling channel), Major League Baseball, ESPN, Facebook, or Amazon.
And it’s easy to see why …
There’s the thrill of victory.
The agony of defeat.
Plus, as in any play-by-play broadcast, there’s color commentary, self reflection, shout-outs to the fans.
And these are fans who pay to subscribe!
Twitch broadcasters make $2.50 per subscriber per month, plus $3 for every 1,000 non-subscribers who watch a three-minute ad, so that the players at the top of their game can make $20,000 a month. Without going to medical school.
Although as in any sport, it’s not always easy to stay at the top of your game.
So parents, the next time you find yourself worrying because junior is locked in the bedroom talking to himself, remember: What might appear at first to be a debilitating addiction reflecting the depravity of an entire generation, may in fact be a lucrative career.
For a while anyway.