The Twitch phenomenon, video game consoles at the Elysée

She will already be celebrating her 10th birthday in June. But, in recent months, Twitch has become a phenomenon. Last October, Médiamétrie attributed 4.9 million unique visitors, a breakthrough of 40% in one year. In France, the platform owned by Amazon alone accounts for more than 80% of visits to a live video streaming site. With a very young audience. “The majority of our users are between 13 and 35 years old,” a manager tells us.

Initially, it was with “gaming” that Twitch started out, namely users who film themselves playing video games. Mainly to “Call of Duty”, “Minecraft”, “Fortnite”, or more recently “Among Us”. And the numbers are impressive. Twitch lists more than a billion minutes of videos viewed in 2020. A growing success that has brought out new faces, including in France, with Domingo, Gotaga or Zerator. And allowed some to reach more traditional media. Since October, Brak, 87,000 subscribers on Twitch, has been in charge of NRJ’s parties. Previously, the radio had already entrusted a program to Domingo.

Samuel Etienne makes the buzz with his press review

In search of a less grizzled audience, television is increasingly eyeing Twitch. Franceinfo was the first channel to take the gamble, well helped by a face now emblematic of the platform: Samuel Etienne. “It was born out of a combination of circumstances”, remembers the host of “Questions for a champion”. During the spring containment, a user, Etoiles, challenged him on Twitter. On Twitch, he rebroadcasts old numbers of the game of France 3 and has fun answering them and playing his 20,000 spectators. His message is shared by dozens of Internet users. Then hundreds. “I discovered a great place of freedom, exchange and interactivity,” he says.

With this first attempt, Samuel Etienne began to imagine a format just for him. “Except that I’m bad at video games,” he laughs. With Etoiles, they reflect and decide to do a press review, an exercise that the host knows well. France Télévisions gives its agreement. And even encourages him. For the occasion, Samuel Etienne is investing 2,000 euros from his pocket. “I had fun: new computer, additional screen, microphone, mixer, lights …” And it launches in the fall. Two to three hours of press review each day, as much preparation, including the weekend. And immediate success. They are up to 50,000 to follow it on a daily basis. “And they are not passive. Some even tell me that they went to buy a newspaper for the first time. And a few have even subscribed! »He confides.

Samuel Etienne does not intend to stop there. “I have been addicted to sports for twenty years. So, I’m thinking of a program on the subject on Twitch. I would like to take people running with me, ”explains the host, who earns no income from his streams. In the meantime, he is regularly solicited by colleagues, curious about the adventure. This is the case of Thierry Beccaro, who started on February 19 a talk show with young people. Before the announced arrivals of Arte and TF1 in March, for news broadcasts.

Politicians take the plunge

Because if the video game was so far dominant, other genres are multiplying. “The content outside gaming has quadrupled in three years, ”says Twitch. And it goes to the political world. Jean-Luc Mélenchon has already expressed himself on several occasions to Internet users, while claiming not to understand everything. And from Wednesday February 24, it’s Gabriel Attal who will try his hand at the exercise. Once a month, the government spokesperson will address Internet users as part of a debate co-broadcast on YouTube. The studio will be installed at the Elysée. “The President of the Republic wants us to address young people. And beyond that, there is no room for snobbery in our modes of communication, explains the Secretary of State to the Prime Minister, 31 years old. I am from a generation that grew up with the Web, with social networks. I am quite close to these younger generations. “

For his arrival on Twitch, Gabriel Attal will be accompanied by five or six young people and will answer questions from Internet users. Each show will be themed. The first will obviously be devoted to the health crisis. And the youngest of the government does not refrain from reinforcements in the future. “Why not invite a minister when he is directly concerned by the theme, like Barbara Pompili for ecology,” he imagines. The show on Twitch is scheduled to be monthly. But the pace could change. “We will see in use,” promises those around him.

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Politics on Twitch, a natural fit for the platform. “Our community is multidimensional and passionate, on all subjects. It is not surprising that the politicians are interested more and more in us, slips an official. Despite everything, this type of content comes with a lot of attention. “We prohibit politicians from monetizing their channel or buying advertising,” says Twitch. Which offers no preferential treatment, politicians having to adhere to the same terms of use as other users. From there to imagine Twitch weighing in the presidential election in 2022, there is only one step.

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