Should Luxury brands be interested in the streaming phenomenon?

Prof. Perrine Desmichel

By Prof. Perrine Desmichel14 septembre 2023

Just a few days ago, up to 1.3 million internet users were simultaneously tuned in to watch the second edition of GP Explorer, an F4 race organized at the Le Mans circuit by Squeezie (the most followed streamer and YouTuber in France) on Twitch. What should we make of the excitement generated by streamers among the younger generation, and why should luxury brands take a closer look at this medium of the future?

Streaming is no longer just a geek thing. Today, more than seven million users regularly log onto Twitch, compared to three million five years ago (Statista 2023). Amazon's platform is not the only player in the market, with the rise of live streaming on YouTube (and other social networks), along with the launch of Kick, a new competitor in the market. Alongside the proliferation of platforms, there has also been a diversification of channel content. Streaming is no longer limited to gamers sharing their screens and commenting on their games; users' profiles and interests have expanded to the point where one of the most viewed categories on Twitch is now "just chatting" (a space where streamers engage in open conversations with their community).

To understand the full potential of streaming, it's important to take a closer look at the Twitch phenomenon. Streamers embody both yesterday's TV presenters and yesterday's Instagram influencers. Successful streamers are primarily masters of entertainment. Their strength lies in their spontaneity and unwavering creativity. Streamers can deliver live content for hours on end (multiple times a week) while interacting with their community by answering questions and fulfilling requests. "Continue the live with a Kentucky accent, please," "change your costume"… Streamers are challenged and co-create their content hand in hand with their follower community. In fact, these followers subscribe to their favorite streamers' channels and can make donations to help them grow. Moreover, successful streamers have unmatched influence; they are true participative brands. Building on this, the most famous streamers are increasingly turning to events. They leverage their creativity to collaborate with brands to achieve the extraordinary, as exemplified by Squeezie's GP Explorer, sponsored in part by Samsung.

But is the world of streaming of interest to luxury brands? Some brands seem to think so, such as Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, which featured streamer Maghla in one of its recent campaigns. While it's reasonable to assume that major luxury houses have little interest in sponsoring nano-streamers, they should be on the lookout for rising streaming stars. These stars, in the eyes of the new generation, possess the assets of creativity and influence across multiple networks (as streamers often have a presence on YouTube and TikTok). However, it's important to understand the codes of streaming and be willing to embrace a degree of spontaneity, which is not always the norm in the luxury world.

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