Stream Wars Podcast Ep. 8: The Future of Twitch and the Importance of Streamer Tools with Peter Yang, Senior Product Manager at Twitch

Today my guest is Peter Yang, Senior Product Manager at Twitch. Peter has been in the Western live streaming industry for more than four years, starting out at Facebook working on Facebook live, then jumping over to Twitter where he helped develop Periscope after Twitter had acquired it. Most recently he has joined Twitch, where he works specifically to develop tools for streamers (or creators as he calls them) to improve their streaming experience, help them grow their followings, and monetize better.

We start out our conversation talking about some of Peter’s opinions on the Western live streaming industry, it’s differences with China, the future of the Twitch IRL category and the potential for the audio only live streaming vertical. Then we dive into his role at Twitch and discuss some of the specific products that he has worked on including Raids, Achievements, and Squad Streaming.

There are a couple terms that Peter uses quite a bit that you may not be familiar with. The first one is IRL, which stands for “in real life”. Video game live streaming is the main type of streaming content on Twitch and anything outside of that such as painting, dancing, a talk show, etc. is referred to as IRL content.

The second is Subs, which is simply an abbreviation for subscriptions. As we discuss in the interview, subscriptions are one of the ways that Twitch streamers can monetize their streams. viewers are able to pay a small fee to Subscribe to a Twitch streamer’s channel. This unlocks special privileges for them and the streamer earns money from each subscription.

The last one is Emotes, which are essentially emojis, stickers, and gifs used in the Twitch viewer chats. As Peter explains in the interview, the vast majority of Twitch emotes are what’s known as subscription emotes. Fans of a particular broadcaster can unlock a bespoke set of emotes when they subscribe to that particular broadcaster. And broadcasters earn the ability to have a greater number of their own emotes by racking up more subscribers.

If you enjoyed this episode and would like to learn more about Peter, you can find him on:

Twitter @petergyang

And here on Medium at Peter Yang

About Stream Wars:

This bi-weekly podcast will explore everything there is to know about the global live streaming industry, covering the latest trends from the top platforms both in China and the West (including YY, Huya, Inke, MeetMe, Twitch, Live.me, Bigo and Younow) while also addressing basic questions such as “what is livestreaming and why would anyone watch it?” Stream Wars will feature interviews with top streamers who share their tips and tricks for hosting a popular stream, what motivates them to stream, and how live streaming has impacted their lives. We’ll also talk to engineers and product developers to learn what it takes to build a popular livestreaming platform.