During the last five years, game streaming has developed from a niche market into a mainstream activity and the supply of services and technology on offer has exploded. Today, some streamers garner audiences larger than big media houses, and services such as the game streaming service Twitch host millions of daily active users. While such activity is often waived merely as a manifestation of video game culture and an extension of online behaviour by adolescents, the phenomenon has begun to generate significant revenue and has managed to shift media consumption behaviour from large commercial organisations towards content created by private individuals. However, we still have a dearth in our understanding on how streamers undertake this activity and what tools they have in their disposal to facilitate successful endeavours in streaming. As this is an activity driven by individuals, are these individuals using vastly different modalities of communication, or have common trends emerged across broadcasters, as they have in traditional media? To build a better understanding of this, we utilize the existing understanding of affordance theory, and analyse the most popular elements and practices employed by streamers in their video streams and profile pages through the investigation of the 100 most popular individual streamers on the Twitch platform. The results show new aspects of social commerce that emerges from the novel forms of online business models of individual online video streamers.
- Social media