The Promotional Effects of Live Streams by Twitch Influencers

59 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2022 Last revised: 3 May 2024

See all articles by Yufeng Huang

Yufeng Huang

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Ilya Morozov

Kellogg School of Management

Date Written: April 22, 2024

Abstract

We study the effect of video game live streaming on the popularity of broadcasted games. To this end, we collect novel high-frequency data from Twitch.tv, a major video game streaming platform, by monitoring live streams of 60,000 popular streamers every 10 minutes for eight months. To estimate the effect of live streaming, we leverage these high-frequency data and isolate plausibly exogenous within-day variation in the broadcast hours of top influencers. We find that doubling the number of people who watch a game in live streams increases the concurrent number of people playing this game by 2.7%, a moderate effect that dissipates within a few hours. We find streaming effects to be the largest for games by lesser-known publishers, games with high critic ratings, and niche games that strongly appeal to small groups of consumers. Our back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that, despite the general excitement about influencer marketing in this industry, only about one sixth of all games profit from sponsored live streams.

Keywords: Live streaming, Influencer Marketing, Advertising, Video Games

JEL Classification: B41, C14, C51, C52, D8, L82, M13, M31, M37

Suggested Citation

Huang, Yufeng and Morozov, Ilya, The Promotional Effects of Live Streams by Twitch Influencers (April 22, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4065064 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4065064

Yufeng Huang

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/yufenghuangphd/

Ilya Morozov (Contact Author)

Kellogg School of Management ( email )

Evanston, IL 60201
United States

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