Twitch is known as the place to watch and broadcast live video games, be it competitive eSports like Dota, a humorous "Let's Play" or a bizarre Pokemon experiment. But to grow, the company is now looking beyond the interactive button-mashing medium. Today it's launching a full-time food channel, which will broadcast a variety of cooking shows 24 hours a day, seven days per week. To mark the occasion it's launching with an all-episode marathon of The French Chef, a cooking show that was created and hosted by Julia Child. It was one of the first culinary programmes in America, running between 1963 and 1973 on NET and PBS.
The move builds on the success of Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting, a classic TV show that was first shown on Twitch last October. It was hugely popular and sparked a weekly slot on the site, which has now morphed into two showings each Monday. The company will be hoping for a similar reaction to The French Chef, in order to launch its new cooking channel and the other shows that will inevitably follow. Twitch is staying tight-lipped about these, but has pointed to streamers such as DomesticDan and Lulaboo that already use the platform for food-related broadcasts.
The new channel will change Twitch's image and also serve as a warning shot to other video sites, particularly YouTube. It also shows an awareness of how people, especially youngsters, are slowly changing their TV viewing habits. Instead of spending hours with cable, they're choosing smaller channels and producers based on sites like YouTube. If Twitch can become the go-to platform for these personalities, only in a live setting, it'll act as another broadside for traditional TV channels and providers.