A few quick takeaways from the Bob Ross marathon that just wrapped up on Twitch:

  1. The marketing reach of Twitch is so vast that it was able to convince tens of thousands of under-30 gamers to sit and literally watch paint dry for a week straight.

    Underestimate their stranglehold on content distribution to the esports and gaming scene at your own peril.

  2. We still prefer communal media experiences. The Bob Ross marathon isn’t a thing without Twitch chat; it just doesn’t stand up on its own. On-demand gets all the industry attention, and it is good, ye; but most of the Bob Ross episodes posted to YouTube have been up for at least a half year, and have view counts lower than the average concurrent viewership on this week’s stream.

  3. In one sense, it means we’re all hipster douchecanoes. Most everyone showed up at first for the grins, after a critical mass gathered behind the notion that it was a novel thing to come spam twitch chat against; at least this was something different in the way of raw trolling material. It was only after a day or two of watching it that people began to realize what a colossal fucking badass the guy is.

    If it weren’t for Twitch hyping it, along with the ability to spam memes next to it in real time, thousands would have never given themselves a chance to have a genuine moment with this content. I’m conflicted about that.

  4. In another sense, it’s not all that bad; or at least highlights the fact that decentralization in all things is not necessarily great. Good gatekeepers can do good things, like garner mass attention around something that would get none otherwise.

PS: you’re out of your gourd if you think YouTube’s gaming arm could have pulled off a similar stunt with the same degree of success.