Twitch is dipping a toe into the political fray, joining Twitter in streaming both the Democratic and the Republican National Conventions. The decision is one part natural evolution of new media, and one part capitalizing on this year’s most unusual and unconventional campaign moments. Now that Let’s Plays have become a legitimate category in the entertainment zeitgeist, Twitch realizes their audience contains millions of potential voters who might otherwise not be watching TV news channels that air politics ad nauseam. In fact, in their post announcing their partnerships with the two conventions, the Twitch team made it clear that they intend to air the conventions worldwide, and region-unlocked, since much of the legislation that is passed in Washington, D.C. affects lives across the globe.
Politics can be a particularly touchy subject since it evokes such visceral reactions from folks, but Twitch claims that they are going to foster a carefully moderated broadcast that will encourage genuine discussion in a positive experience. How, exactly, they plan to do that, I have no idea, so I’m tuning in just to find out if they manage it.
The Democratic National Convention was able to agree to a streaming deal that gives Twitch broadcasters the right to co-stream the Convention and showcase their own Anderson Cooper-style commentary while the event is live. The RNC was, unfortunately, too caught up in “red tape,” according to Twitch, to provide a similar arrangement, but you can host their Convention on your channel still.
The Republican National Convention, located in Cleveland, OH starts next week on July 18th and runs until July 21st. If you happen to be going, be sure to check in at the main stage, because it is apparently a Pokémon Go gym! Streaming of the Philadelphia, PA-based Democratic National Convention begins the following week from July 25-28.
What are the odds that we can have a positive experience in comments as well? Let’s give it a shot and see if we can keep it on the topic of Twitch rather than political fights.