Page 53 - Adnews Magazine May-June 2021
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                 The team also has a brand partnerships studio with Edwin Hughan and Joanne Garcia, ad operations manager Alvin Bugay, content director Lewis Mitchell, head of marketing Sandeep Suvarna, and sales marketing director Cheeri Leo.
“It’s great that you have the front house sorted and speaking to the customers, but what about post-sale partnerships, ad operations, the strategy...” says Chanana.
“One of my biggest pushes is to have all that based out of Australia.
“So we have a full team of partnerships — think about them as talent teams — they are the ones who will scout out gamers, content creators, musicians, artists, sports collaboration, partnerships with perhaps AFL, Geelong, and the NBL [National Basketball League].”
The platform has delivered local campaigns for big brands such as Unilever, Mars, AHM Insurance and DoorDash.
“We’ve seen such amazing success with Australian advertisers, after our work on educating the market and perception around this idea that gamers are stuck in a dungeon,” says Chanana.
“We’ve really done a big job with that and we’ve seen Nestle, Unilever, Mars, entertainment clients, finance and delivery food services come onto the platform.
“Last year alone, we unlocked 22 new categories of advertisers onto our service, which we’re really proud of. Advertisers are really starting to understand that gaming is not niche, and Twitch needs to be part of their video-mix strategy because Twitch is now a live entertainment service, rather than just a gaming site.”
Chanana says the team will work on getting Twitch to be part of brands’ core video strategies, rather than an afterthought, and it’s a goal he thinks it can easily meet.
“In 2021, my biggest goal is to get Twitch out of the bucket of nice-to- have and into the must-have,” he says.
Above left: The Twitch AUNZ team. Above centre: Ricky Chanana, head of sales, Twitch AUNZ. Above right: Inside the Twitch AUNZ office in Sydney.
“That, for me, is a big win because once we get into that must-have and advertisers under- stand how crucial Twitch is as part of their journey to the con- sumer, it will be a big win for us and we’re already on that track.
“We'll smash that goal by this year. You’ll start to see all the hard work the team has done last year pay off. Even in the first quarter we have unlocked categories which we didn't see working last year and they are now coming onto the service.”
Twitch doesn’t provide user numbers for Australia but says that globally it has 2.5 million people tuning into its platform at any given moment. Across the globe, more than 1 trillion minutes were watched in 2020, a 60 per cent increase on 2019.
In Australia, users predomi- nantly fall into the 18-34 age group, and 75 per cent are male. Chanana says that will even out as more content is produced on the platform locally, with non-gaming content on Twitch quadrupling during the past three years.
This changing demographic is another reason Chanana feels brands will need to join Twitch.
“The 18-34 demographic is the hardest to capture,” he says.
“We all know they’re not watch- ing TV. In fact, 90 per cent do not watch free-to-air at all.
“In terms of gender, in the bigger mature markets it's almost 50/50 because the growth of music and other channels have com- pletely brought in new creators, and we are going to continue see- ing that grow in Australia, as well.”
But being reliant on user-gener- ated content means Twitch is also subject to brand safety concerns from advertisers that many other tech platforms face.
“One challenge which has come up in the past is sometimes there's superstition around brand safety,” says Chanana.
“We are big on brand safety. We consistently go out in the market that we are not a free-speech plat- form. We are moderated; we do a lot of work with our content cre- ators, partners and affiliates — they are all contracted so that’s one task we've done a really good job on.” | May/June 2021 53

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