- Dell's Alienware brand of high-performance gaming computers partnered with DJ and producer Steve Aoki on a video series for viewers of Twitch, the livestreaming platform owned by Amazon. The series culminated with an exclusive live concert shown on Aoki's Twitch channel on Oct. 16, per information shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Aoki demonstrated Alienware's Aurora R11 gaming laptop during the livestream, which also offered a behind-the-scenes look at how he produces music. In a livestream sponsored by Alienware, Aoki played the arena combat game "Call of Duty: Warzone," previewed an upcoming single and offered a tutorial with his mom, Mamaoki, on how to make sushi.
- Aoki's latest livestream peaked at more than 60,000 viewers, a sign of how a mix of gaming and musical content can engage Twitch's audience. While the platform's roots are in livestreams of games, it has expanded into more general programming such as its "just chatting" section for a broader variety of topics.
Alienware's sponsorship of a livestreamed series starring Steve Aoki not only aims to reach a target audience of gamers, but also to raise awareness of its brand among more general-interest consumers partnering with the popular DJ and producer. With the approach of the holiday shopping season, Alienware wants to stand out as rivals like Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation offer their first new console gaming platforms in seven years. Their massive advertising campaigns are helping to raise awareness of the latest video games, especially as homebound consumers look for more entertainment options during the pandemic.
The percentage of gamers worldwide who spend at least five hours a week playing video games jumped to 82% during the pandemic from 63% before the health crisis, according to a survey by consulting firm Simon-Kucher. The company forecast that interest in video games will remain elevated, with 74% of gamers spending at least five hours a week playing games in the post-pandemic period. Battle royale games that challenge players to fight until only one player remains have seen the strongest growth this year, followed by multiplayer online battle arena, fighting and simulation games that take longer to master. The pandemic gave people more time to learn games like "Fortnite," which could ensure their popularity will last even as people resume former activities and spend less time on gaming, according to Simon-Kucher.
Alienware is the latest company to sponsor a livestreamed series on Twitch, which experienced a significant jump in viewership during the pandemic's onset. The number of hours watched on Twitch surged 83% from 982 million in February to 1.79 billion in April before declining as lockdowns lifted and the weather got warmer, TwitchTracker's data indicate. Twitch's average concurrent viewers jumped 76% from 1.41 million in February to a peak of 2.49 million in April before dipping during the summer months, though viewership is rebounding as colder weather keeps more people indoors, the data show.
Brands are taking notice of Twitch as its viewership expands beyond gaming and into general-interest categories. Among the recent examples, retailer Lamps Plus in August sponsored three livestreams from Katie Ruvalcaba, one of the most popular streamers of cooking shows on the platform, to demonstrate its lighting products in her kitchen. That same month, telecommunications giant Verizon started sponsoring a video game tournament that pitted popular Twitch streamers against each other for a chance to win cash prizes. More brands are likely to get on board with Twitch to reach younger consumers who are elusive to other media channels.