Twitch is programming more live-streaming content that falls outside its wheelhouse of video-game broadcasts, showing glimmers of developing internet-based equivalents of linear cable TV networks.
The Amazon-owned company, in a bit of corporate synergy, will live-stream three shows from Amazon Studios’ spring 2017 pilot wave — hourlong sci-fi drama “Oasis,” and half-hour comedies “The Legend of Master Legend” and “Budding Prospects” — back-to-back in 120-minute blocks over a 24-hour period, starting April 5 at 1 p.m. PT.
The pilots will be available on twitch.tv/twitchpresents, where Twitch hosts programmatic TV content. On Thursday, Twitch finished a 17-day marathon of live-streaming 831 “Power Rangers” TV episodes.
The trio of Amazon pilots will be followed by the premiere of “Ironsights,” the first original mini-documentary from in-house production arm Twitch Studios. The 22-minute documentary, about a female Twitch streamer who plays “Big Buck HD,” premieres April 7 at 2 p.m. PT right after the end of “Twitch Weekly,” a show that spotlights Twitch creators and news about the platform. “Ironsights” will be live-streamed and available to watch on-demand on twitch.tv/twitch, which is the home for Twitch Studios’ live and post-produced original content.
Twitch Studios’ other recent project is weekly interactive talk show “Fanboys,” which debuted in February. It’s hosted by Twitch partner Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson and features guests discussing movies, TV and comics with users, airing on Twitch every Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT.
“There are a lot of amazing stories to tell about the Twitch community which rarely get the attention they deserve,” said Twitch Studios director Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham. “With Twitch Studios, we are looking to shine a light on these stories and celebrate our community.”
For now, Twitch says it’s “testing the waters” of original content covering community with “Ironsights.” The short film follows Sara Erlandson (pictured above), a Wisconsin bar owner and Twitch streamer whose title of choice is arcade hunting game “Big Buck,” as she travels from her hometown of Beldenville, Wisc., to the game’s world championship in Austin, Texas.
Last year, Twitch streamed two Amazon pilots, “Jean Claude Van Johnson” and “The Tick.” Based on the “positive community feedback and the impressive viewership numbers,” according to Graham, the company decided to do another run with its corporate cousin. “Speaking more broadly, we’ve now witnessed several marathons and single-episode experiments involving television content where it has been proven time and again that this form of entertainment combined with the interactive nature of Twitch works,” Graham said. “Given what we’ve learned, Amazon Pilots are ideal for airing on our platform for amassing valuable viewer feedback.”
Pictured above: Sara Erlandson in Twitch Studios’ “Ironsights”