Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pewdiepie Reinvents Public Access TV on Twitch!

Anyone remember Wayne's World with Mike Myers about two doofuses on a couch doing a Public Access TV show? Of course not, you probably weren't even born yet! Well, it looks like Pewdiepie doesn't remember either! Maybe this is a good time to insert brainiac quote "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." (Edmond Burke)
Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in Wayne's World - ©1992 Paramount Pictures

Although the movie Wayne's World was a fictitious parody of the Public Access TV phenomenon of the 80s & 90s in America, the reality is Public Access TV was a rich experimental playground for budding TV wannabees. As a free speech platform mandated by Congress in the 1970s, Public Access TV was exactly that: public access to the TV airwaves by any enterprising talent that felt like making a TV show.

Awesome shows came out of that experience, some even becoming famous like The Robin Byrd Show, TV Party, Beyond Vaudeville (which became a real TV show called Oddball) or TV with Ray Cathode that inspired MTV's AMP. (look 'em up). 

All these shows broke new ground and did things on TV that nobody had done before. Pewdiepie's show 'Best Club' on Twitch however seems to be plowing fallow ground. After only two shows he is bleeding viewers, going from 80,000 for the first episode to 18,000 for the second episode which is a dizzying 75% drop. It seems that he got the message because the next day he tweeted: "that stream was insane, was just testing it out... wasnt expecting that. will do a charity one next time".

Was it that he wasn't expecting such a big drop in viewers or that the constant begging for donations made it sound like a PBS telethon? Either way, the formula seems wrong for Twitch. A prominent feature on Twitch is the chat which is simultaneous to the stream and allows viewers to comment in real time. This is a raucous place where memes are born and trolls earn their wings. During episode 2 of 'Best Club' chatters were complaining about being ignored, even when they donated money, a cardinal sin on Twitch! 
'Best Club' episode on Twitch with Pewdiepie and Brad Woto. Looks a lot like Wayne's World to me :)

Best Club episode #2 also suffered from a rookie streamers mistake of plugging the cameras into a different input from the mic resulting in the dreaded 'audio out of sync' nightmare.

Twitch is a very different animal from YouTube. By any account this will be a head-scratcher for the producers of Best Club and it remains to be seen if the Pewds will be able to turn this lemon into lemonade.

Follow Pewdiepie on Twitch @Netglow

Follow DizzyTV on Twitch @Dizzy__TV

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