Achievement Unlocked: Metal Bands Turn to Twitch

What do many gamers and software engineers have in common? They love heavy metal.

So, it should come as no real surprise to see bands turning to Twitch, the live streaming service popular with gamers, to share and promote their work.

From Trivium to Twitch

Matt Heafy, guitarist and lead vocalist for Trivium, has been leading the charge in this space.

His Twitch channel has 154,000 followers at the time of writing (for comparison, Trivium has 565,000 on YouTube), and his almost daily videos, in which he streams live performances and guitar clinics in addition to games, get anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of views.

Heafy recently told Blabbermouth that he makes significantly more money from Twitch than Trivium, when he’s not on the road. This is testament to the fact that nowadays, artists like Trivium, who routinely play in sold out arenas, only make so much from album and stream royalties, and need to be on the road to make a decent living.

Speaking of being on the road, Trivium were invited to perform at gaming conference, DreamHack, in front of tens of thousands of gamers (watch entire concert below).

Other metal musicians such as Devin Townsend have reached out to Heafy to learn the ropes, building a Twitch following of over 14,000 in under three months. Meanwhile, Herman Li, guitarist of Dragonforce — the Nintendo-inspired power metal band that broke through barriers when their epic track, Through the Fire and The Flames, was featured as the final song in Guitar Hero 3 — has over 92,000 followers on the platform.

In fact, Dragonforce’s music has been so popular with Twitch users that Li recently announced that three of their albums can be streamed on the platform DMCA-free (which basically means they can stream to their heart’s content and not worry about content being removed in violation of copyright).

What these artists are doing is ultimately a form of business model innovation. They’re exploring new and untapped marketing and distribution channels to not only serve their fans in a new and unique way, but also unlock an entire audience of new fans. It’s akin to the blue ocean strategy that INSEAD professors W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborge wrote about in their book of the same name.

As the old adage goes, fish where the fish are plenty, but the fishermen are few.

Metal bands aren’t alone. A quick perusal of the latest Music streams on Twitch shows that the platform is also gaining popularity amongst EDM artists.

Watch this space.

Trivium released its ninth album, What The Dead Men Say, on April 24 via Roadrunner Records.