Interactive Media student presents research on Twitch, calling it ‘the next wave of broadcast media’

During the 2021 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, Meg Boericke ’20, G’21 discussed her in-progress research on how to take advantage of the video-sharing platform’s interactivity and combine it with established norms to better pre-professional and professional streamers' practices.

In the days leading up to last week’s 2021 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, hosted virtually by Elon University, Meg Boericke ’20, G’21 said she didn’t view her research presentation as a culmination, but rather the next step in the process.

Meg Boericke ’20, G’21

A graduate student in the Interactive Media master’s program, Boericke presented “Don’t Forget to Subscribe: Researching Campaign Strategy for Twitch Streamers” during the virtual event’s Electronic News Refereed Paper Research Session on March 19. Her research investigates how to take advantage of the video-sharing platform’s interactivity and combine it with streaming norms established by the site’s community to better pre-professional and professional streamers’ practices.

“I was really looking forward to presenting at AEJMC for two main reasons,” Boericke said. “First, Twitch is still relatively unknown to the general public. The platform is mostly dominated by the gaming industry and is just now catching the eye of the public. Secondly, due to the difficulty crowdsourcing qualitative research to judge audience sentiment during the campaign, I was looking forward to getting feedback about improving my current study for future development.”

Boericke’s project designs, prototypes and evaluates a novel approach to implementing a stream campaign strategy to help Twitch creators solidify their brand and grow their community.

The research is still in progress, but some of the main findings have shown a consistent increase in audience engagement and viewership with the implementation of the structured campaign.

Boericke’s foundational research was conducted during the fall 2020 semester, while the campaign creation and implementation took place in January and will conclude through the end of March.

“Going into the project, I knew very little about the platform, but I quickly learned how it is the next wave of broadcast media,” Boericke said. “Averaging around 1.6 billion hours watched per month, Twitch is revolutionizing broadcasting by breaking the wall between creator and viewer. It’s highly interactive, and audiences can have a real-time effect on the content they watch. The threshold for entry as a streamer is lower than ever due to the increasing accessibility of technology and streaming software.”

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Before enrolling in the Interactive Media program, Boericke graduated from Elon in 2020 with a B.F.A. in dance performance and choreography, as well as a B.A. in strategic communication.

Fellow Interactive Media student Dion Cummings G’21 also participated in the Southeast Colloquium’s opening session with New York Times Magazine staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones. Cummings joined Communications Dean Rochelle Ford and Maeve Ashbrook ’21 to interview the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter about covering race and politics, as well as launching the 1619 Project.