Twitch Interactive Inc., the company formerly known as Justin.TV, recently notched a major milestone when it recorded 45 million viewers watching 13 billion minutes of streaming video games in a single month. It’s a testament to online gaming’s ability to attract eyeballs, whether that means watching one of your friends go nuts in Titanfall, or joining in on Twitch Plays Pokemon, the maddening performance art piece that saw thousands of participants wrestle for control over a single hero simultaneously.
Previously, only gamers on a PC, Xbox, or PlayStation were able to broadcast their gaming adventures to an audience. But today, Twitch announced via a partnership with Gameloft that its broadcast platform is going mobile for the first time ever. Asphalt 8: AirBorne is a popular arcade-style racer for iOS being billed as the first ever mobile game to feature Twitch’s live-stream technology. More titles are said to be on the way, too. “Live broadcasting represents one of the most important shifts in the way people play games,” said Matthew DiPietro, Twitch VP of Marketing, in a statement.
Mobile presents a unique challenge for Twitch. Phone games tend to be more casual than console or PC titles–think: Candy Crush Saga vs. Call of Duty–but the potential audience (i.e., anyone with phone) is enormous. Twitch sees the mobile market as a huge untapped opportunity: After all, the thinking goes, if a certain level of Candy Crush is proving extra frustrating, who wouldn’t mind receiving a few helpful pointers?