Page 52 - Adnews Magazine May-June 2021
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                 Meet the Team
AMāori woodcarver’s Twitch livestream isn’t where you expect to find a nation’s leader make a surprise appearance, but with more than a million followers to Broxh’s account, that’s where New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern popped up in 2020.
Broxh primarily streams the Māori art of woodcarving, whakairo, and became a source of entertainment across New Zealand during COVID-19 lockdowns. As a result, he now has 1.3 million followers to his account — evidence of Twitch’s growth beyond the gaming niche. By the end of 2020, it wasn’t just Ardern, with US politicians appear- ing on Twitch livestreams for Q&As; musicians such as Travis Scott performing; and even fashion brands such as Burberry hosting run- way shows on the platform.
The global boom for Twitch came just months after the Amazon- owned company launched its Australian team in January last year, recognising the market as one of its biggest in the region. The team is led by former Unruly managing director Ricky Chanana as its head of sales for Australia and New Zealand.
Chanana tells AdNews that a big focus for the team has been to educate agencies and brands on the wide appeal of Twitch.
“We were already starting to see a lot of content creators come onto the service before the COVID-19 pandemic, such as musicians, artists and people just chatting, but I would say the pandemic has definitely exacerbated that growth,” he says.
“Twitch is a live entertainment service for music, DJs, sports, gaming and more. You also have to remember gaming is now part of pop culture. It's not niche — your cousins, your friends, they're all gamers.”
Chanana has also been committed to having a complete team on the ground beyond its commercial team, which includes account directors Hamish McPhee, Batoul Peters, Sam Spray and Adam Lung.
Lockdowns around the world caused live- streaming platform Twitch to explode in 2020. We catch up with local boss Ricky Chanana to see where the platform has landed after the initial hype, and where he wants to take it next.

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