Why Do People Watch Others Play Video Games? An Empirical Study on the Motivations of Twitch Users

29 Pages Posted: 13 May 2016

See all articles by Max Sjöblom

Max Sjöblom

Game Research Lab, School of Information Science, Tampere University; Media Lab, Aalto University School of Science

Juho Hamari

School of Information Science, University of Tampere

Date Written: May 13, 2016

Abstract

This study investigates why people consume live peer-produced online videogame content, an emerging form of new media phenomenon. To study this video streaming phenomenon we employ a questionnaire study (N=1097). Utilising the uses and gratifications theory we examine five distinct types of motivations: cognitive, affective, personal integrative, social integrative and tension release. We find that tension release, social integrative and affective motivations are positively associated with how many hours people watch streams. We also find that social integrative motivations are the primary predictor of subscription behaviour. This study lays groundwork for understanding the motivations to consume this emerging form of new media related to online games and video streams.

Keywords: streaming, uses and gratifications theory, games, Twitch, eSports, media usage

Suggested Citation

Sjöblom, Max and Hamari, Juho, Why Do People Watch Others Play Video Games? An Empirical Study on the Motivations of Twitch Users (May 13, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2779543 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2779543

Max Sjöblom (Contact Author)

Game Research Lab, School of Information Science, Tampere University ( email )

P.O. 541, Korkeakoulunkatu 8 (Festia building)
Tampere, FI-33101
Finland

Media Lab, Aalto University School of Science ( email )

Espoo
Finland

Juho Hamari

School of Information Science, University of Tampere ( email )

Tampere, FIN-33101
Finland

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