Seoul, South Korea – Popular streaming platform Twitch has announced that it will be shutting down its operations in the South Korean market by February 27, 2024; citing rising operational costs in the country brought by the country’s prevailing network fee implementation to content providers (CPs) in the country, both domestic and foreign.

In a blog post by Twitch CEO Dan Clancy, he stated that they have put a lot of effort into finding ways to continue operating in the country by reducing costs. It is worth noting that the platform tried experimenting with peer-to-peer (P2P) livestreaming, as well as reducing the maximum video quality output to 720p.

However, the platform noted that despite these measures, the network fees in the country were 10 times higher than in most other countries, making operations no longer feasible. Moreover, Twitch has continued to operate with difficulty in South Korea with significant losses.

Speaking about those that will be affected by the closure, Twitch has stated that it will be working with rival platforms such as AfreecaTV and YouTube to aid creators in the transition process to their platforms.

“I would like to reiterate that this was a very difficult and difficult decision, and one that all of us at Twitch are deeply saddened by. Korea has always been a stellar player in the global esports community and will continue to do so. We’d like to thank you all for your hard work building a great Twitch community,” Clancy said.

It is worth noting that South Korea has an implementation for content provider tech companies to pay a network fee depending on the traffic they generate towards internet service providers (ISPs). This regulation came to international attention when South Korean ISP SK Broadband had sued Netflix over the huge traffic it generated thanks to the popular series “Squid Game”.

Singapore – As the gaming scene in the Asia-Pacific region continues to flourish, their activity gives marketers and advertisers the opportunity to expand their demographic base, evident with the latest partnership of media investment company GroupM and global interactive live streaming service Twitch, which aims to give advertisers access to the large gamer base in the region.

Through the partnership, GroupM’s clients will enjoy access to insights on Twitch audiences in a fragmented Asia-Pacific region that stream Alpha, Beta, and Early Access games, as well as access to Twitch CTV (connected TV) inventory.

Furthermore, it also gives GroupM’s clients access to Twitch’s innovative solutions, which offers a full suite of services from ideation to production, for bespoke ads and experiences. Additionally, GroupM and Twitch will co-author a playbook that is designed to help FMCG advertisers target gaming audiences across Asia-Pacific, to be launched this year.

As the platform provides content options beyond gaming, Twitch is at the forefront of live entertainment and features content that is relevant to audiences in this region, such as music and art, which allows GroupM not only with in-depth streaming knowledge and tools to help brands but will also enable a seamless experience working with Twitch as a platform to reach millions of gaming, music and art audiences.

“At GroupM, we are focused on building our gaming expertise. Asia-Pacific is made of vibrant communities – especially gaming communities, and Twitch continues to be the leading service that cultivates today’s most sought-after audiences. We’re excited to collaborate with Twitch, and we are committed to making smarter gaming decisions for our clients based on Twitch’s unique audience insights,” said John Miskelly, APAC investment director at GroupM.

Meanwhile, Sunil Yadav, head of agency development at Twitch, commented, “Twitch is excited to partner with institutions that create significant impact and GroupM’s razor focus on high-quality engagement for brands makes them an ideal partner for us.”

He added, “With Twitch’s unique advertising solutions to help brands build closer relationships with consumers and co-create shared live experiences, we are confident that GroupM will be able to deliver strong consumer experiences with our insights.”

GroupM had previously worked with a gaming-related partnership with Philippine-based esports talent agency Tier One in a bid to make advertising more inclusive in the esports community in the region, including opening it up to more mainstream brands.

Singapore – Amazon’s live streaming service Twitch has announced that it has appointed two former Dentsu International heads Mandar Kambli and Sunil Yadav to be its newest leads for the APAC team. Kambli will join as Programmatic Enablement Lead, while Yadav will be assuming the role of Agency Development Lead.

In August, Twitch named a new marketing head for APAC, and the latest hires come as it continues to grow its team in Singapore and across the whole region.

Kambli comes to Twitch with 14 years of industry experience with agencies, ad tech, and publishers. He was with Dentsu from 2015-2019 where he led programmatic product, supply, and data initiatives across the region. He was most recently the head of advertising platforms for product listing app Carousell.

Meanwhile, Yadav brings with him 20 years of expertise across advertising, media planning, and digital communications. He was previously president of APAC at Dentsu’s media innovation and investment arm Amplifi where he managed media buying and media partnership. Notably, he built its programmatic agency Amnet, across 14 markets, and launched its content agency TheStoryLab in APAC. Prior to Dentsu, he worked with media agencies Mindshare and Starcom, and TV company Mediacom.

At Twitch, Kambli will be responsible for developing and supporting Twitch revenue growth across multiple regions and sharing his expertise on programmatic. With it, he will be helping enhance Twitch’s work with its customers and manage a number of key relationships. Yadav’s role, on the other hand, will charge him with the task of leading all agency partnership negotiations and relationships. He will help build upon Twitch’s success in other regions to help APAC brands and their media agency partners develop deeper relationships with the brand.

“Our pace hasn’t slowed since our last key hires in APAC, and we’re excited to bring key team members in Mandar and Sunil aboard,” said Steve Ford, vice president of Twitch for sales in APAC.

“As new users in APAC and across the world are continuing to come to Twitch, they’re finding their community and forming lasting bonds with creators. Our continued expansion will make for a better experience for these new users, as well as the brands that excite them. We’re planning even more big hires across APAC in 2020 and beyond, and look forward to taking exciting new steps in a number of markets here,” added Ford.

On the new role, Kambli said, “I’m excited to join Twitch during this period of unprecedented activity and growth in APAC. Twitch is multiplayer entertainment – it’s unique, interactive, live, and such an exciting place to be, whether you are a viewer, creator, advertiser, agency, partner, or anyone in between. And our goal is to work hand-in-hand with everyone to make the most of it.”

Meanwhile, Yadav commented, “On Twitch, everyone comes together to celebrate, learn, and grow their interests and passions, and I’m looking forward to helping agencies to learn about how to best work on Twitch to do new and exciting things. Gaming and live streaming are two areas where APAC’s audience and its passion are unparalleled, and we are just scratching the surface of the exciting new things that are possible for brands on Twitch’s platform.”

Twitch has also announced the start of its first salespeople based in Taiwan, providing a physical presence to support early inroads that Twitch has made with partners and organizations in the country. The new hires in Taiwan join the existing content and marketing teams in its office location.

Singapore – Amazon Music and live streaming service Twitch have partnered to announce that Twitch’s live streaming functionality will now be integrated into the Amazon Music app, enabling users to move seamlessly between live streams and recorded music. 

Available since Wednesday on iOS and Android, artists worldwide will now be able to connect live with Amazon Music’s customers across all streaming tiers. 

With this incorporation come new features to navigate the live stream function, such as push notifications from artists users follow when they go live on Twitch. On the artists’ side, they will be able to easily link their Twitch channel to Amazon Music via the newly-launched Amazon Music for Artists app.

The companies revealed in the press statement that the COVID situation has been a big determinant in the platforms’ collaboration when during this time, in-person events have been largely limited. 

Amazon Music Director Ryan Redington said, “We’re providing artists with more tools to instantly engage with fans, and this new feature couldn’t arrive at a more crucial time in the industry.” 

Tracy Chan, VP, Head of Music at Twitch added, “Especially now in a time when traditional venues are closed and tours have been canceled, musicians are looking for new ways to continue creating, [connecting] with fans, and [building] community.”

A number of artists have already jumped in on the new feature, and starting this week, fans can now view artists’ shows live on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel.

Among others, The Killers’ Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. will join Amazon Music on 4 September at 1 pm Eastern Time to answer fan questions about their latest album, Imploding the Mirage.

Soul singer and storyteller Nicole Atkins will also be hosting on the platform a variety series slated every Wednesday at 7 pm ET, with performances and interviews with friends and artists including Elle King, Cut Worms, and Whitney.


Singapore – Twitch, Amazon’s live video streaming service has appointed its newest marketing head for the APAC region, Sandeep Suvarna

The appointment comes in the middle of the streaming service’s rapid expansion in the region. It is expected to form a critical part of a wave of new hires in Singapore, to grow the local Twitch community and further improve the service for its content creators, media partners, and publishers.

For his new role, Suvarna will be charged with overseeing Twitch’s marketing strategies for APAC audiences. 

“Twitch is redefining the way we think about entertainment, and provides a point of connection for millennials and members of Generation Z who visit the service to socialize with communities of like-minded individuals and creators,” said Suvarna.

This is not the first time that Suvarna will be spearheading a digital streaming service. Prior to joining Twitch, he most recently launched Fox network’s FOX+ in APAC. 

His credentials boast of over 15 years of marketing experience, working across prominent brands such as LinkedIn and Yahoo. 

“Sandeep’s expertise in marketing comes at a crucial juncture as Twitch expands its operations in the Asia Pacific,“ said Sunita Kaur, APAC Senior Vice President of Twitch.

“With Sandeep on board, we look forward to broadening our services, and showcasing both our gaming and growing non-gaming content, to a greater number of users across the region,” added Kaur.