While social media is an amazing way to build a brand, Meta’s seemingly random enforcement of their Terms of Services has seen many legal cannabis brands lose their accounts, and followings built, overnight. While Meta’s platforms are amongst the most well-known, their disdain for cannabis content makes them an unsustainable platform for building a brand.

This doesn’t mean brands shouldn’t be engaging on social media, it just means they need to find the right platform.

Twitch, owned by Amazon, is the largest live-streaming platform online – with Google and other tech giants struggling to compete. Hundreds of thousands of channels go live every day to millions of audience members, playing video games and engaging with their viewers. Not only a large platform, but Twitch’s approach to cannabis-creators is also much more laissez-faire; to the point where even Snoop Dogg himself streams on the platform.

Why Twitch?

Twitch is a great choice for cannabis marketers simply because of their leniency with cannabis; the overlap between gamers and cannabis consumers is remarkable. In Cannabis Business Times’ article on “CannaGamers”, a recent poll showed that 54% of cannabis consumers use cannabis while playing video games. This number is steadily growing, as there was an 86% increase in cannabis use before/while playing video games; seeing an 86% increase from Q1 to Q3 of 2020. Despite this, products that include video games in their marketing make up for less than 1% of the American cannabis market, with 81% of the market share made up by Vapes.

With this incredible overlap between cannabis consumers and the gaming community, there is a huge opportunity for cannabis marketers. Twitch’s viewership has only grown year after year, amassing over 2.78M concurrent viewers in 202, with 1460 billion minutes watched across the globe – yet no cannabis companies seem to be jumping at the opportunity.

Keeping Compliant

While Meta’s platforms aim to be an all-ages experience, Twitch understands many creators want to create content that is more adult-oriented. For this, there are relative age-gating creators can place on their channels, making viewers confirm they’re of age for adult content. While this doesn’t confirm one’s age, this can be paired with the ESRB rating of the games being played by the creator to ensure the audience being reached is adult.

What about Non-Gamers?

While Twitch is a video-game forward platform, in recent years, they’ve expanded their reach through the creation and rise of categories such as Just Chatting, Sports, Art, & Makers and Crafting. While brands have the option of working with gamers, there is an equal opportunity to collaborate with artists, musicians, and large personalities that choose Twitch as their primary platform for content creation.

How can a Brand get Involved?

Creating Twitch content isn’t the only way brands can infiltrate the Twitch community; in fact, working with established creators on the platform is the most apparent opportunity. While creative endorsement/collaboration opportunities exist (similar to the trend seen on Instagram), brands can also work to indirectly grow their brand while supporting content creators. While following a Twitch channel is free, subscriptions (which the proceeds go directly to the creator) can be gifted to the creator’s audience, creating the opportunity for the creator to discuss the brand and interact with the brand in a way that directly exposes them to new audiences. Brands can even message in the general chat for free in ways that allow the creator to ask probing questions to discuss the brand. While larger creators on the platform may not choose to engage with brands seeking free marketing, there are hundreds of thousands of smaller creators who will be excited about this type of engagement.

As the market and subsequent regulations continue to evolve, the methods marketers will take to reach new audiences will evolve as well. The question now is; who will be the first to utilize the amazing potential of Twitch properly?

Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by ADCANN

William Zorn

William Zorn

Certified Cannabis Sommelier & Twitch Affiliate; William is currently an expert in digital cannabis marketing.