- Amazon plans to transform Twitch, the video streaming platform for gamers, into a shopping channel as part of this year's Prime Day shopping event. "Twitch Sells Out: A Prime Day Special Event" will showcase gaming, electronics and other products in two 12-hour broadcasts, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Pacific time on July 15 and 16, per a blog post.
- Twitch is lining up popular streamers to participate in the event to showcase special deals, including products that have been specially curated for the service's audience of gaming enthusiasts. Twitch is urging gamers to co-stream throughout the entire "Twitch Sells Out" event if they want to add their own commentary to featured products.
- In the lead-up to Prime Day, Twitch on July 13 is hosting two Prime Crown Cup gaming tournaments in Las Vegas and London. The Las Vegas tournament will feature Apex Legends, the battle royale game published by Electronic Arts, and be hosted by streamer TimTheTatman, per a blog post. The London tournament will features EA Sports titles and be hosted by streamer Castro1021, per a blog post.
Amazon continues to ramp up Prime Day with the addition of Twitch to this year's shopping event, which will be extended to 48 hours, the longest ever, per an announcement. The Prime Day blitz includes a concert on Amazon Prime Video, the e-commerce giant's video streaming platform, with Taylor Swift as the headline act on July 10. By streaming shopping content on Twitch, which mostly consists of gamers who watch each other play video games, chat and share strategies, Amazon can parlay audience engagement into direct sales of gaming-related gear, downloads and even big-ticket appliances. Gamers are receptive to advertising, with 53% of mobile gamers saying ads helped them get updates about products they need or want, compared with 42% of non-gamers, per researcher Newzoo. Almost half (43%) of gamers said they're more likely to buy or use brands that have ads they like, compared with 32% for non-gamers.
Amazon has experimented with home shopping programming in the past, including its fashion-and-beauty focused show called "Style Code Live" that was canceled in 2017. It also has run live video feeds directly from its website during past Prime Day events to highlight some of the best deals from its advertisers. While Amazon typically doesn't disclose sales figures for Prime Day, the company last year said it sold more than 1 million smart-home devices on the second day of its 36-hour Prime Day event, making it the biggest sales day for smart home devices in the e-commerce giant's history.
By hosting gaming tournaments before Prime Day, Amazon aims to boost publicity for Twitch shopping events among gamers. Brands including AT&T, Intel, Coca-Cola and Mercedes-Benz also sponsor esports events to reach audiences that are harder to find among traditional media like TV, radio and print. Corporate sponsorship of esports tournaments is expected to surge 34% to $457 million this year, Newzoo said in a separate report.