The Washington Post is starting a channel on Amazon owned platform Twitch, and will launch a series where they play video games with prominent politicians and live stream it.
Twitch is the world’s leading destination for live streaming, particularly focused on video game streams, and the Washington Post say they want to tap into that audience for their politics and news content.
They previously live streamed the Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook hearing’s from Capitol Hill earlier this year on Twitch, which was a great success garnering over 380,000 viewers on the day, as well as a clip made from the stream hitting over 1.5 million views.
But their future plans include using Twitch much more often and even launching video game related content intertwined with their usual politics coverage.
So far, two series have been announced. The first is live news coverage of Donald Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin, where some brilliant one-off moments like this were captured on stream:
The second series will be more suited to Twitch’s core audience, called ‘Playing Games with Politicians’.
Starting on July 19th, prominent politicians such as Rep. Matt Gaetz, Senator Corey Booker and Rep. Suzan DelBene will be interviewed by political reporter David Weigel while they try their hand at video games.
Coincidentally (or perhaps not so), Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also owns the holding company ‘Nash Holdings’, which acquired the Washington Post in 2013.
However, Pheobe Connelly, deputy director of video at the Post, says the decision to launch content on Twitch is purely down to the massive audience already established there, not because of any involvement with Bezos. Speaking to DigiDay:
“A constant question for us, because the digital landscape is evolving, is, where is our audience right now? Right now, a huge video audience lives on Twitch. That is the appeal for us.”
The Post will need to make sure however it works, it will need to work hard to stand out from the massive crowd of channels, but given their already extensive social media presence they do have somewhat of a head start.
If clips like these can go viral using Twitch’s built in clipping service though, it will help the channel itself grow organically – and perhaps more traditional media outlets will try their hand at live streamed content.