Creativity 50 2015

Creativity 50 2015: Emmett Shear

CEO, Co-Founder, Twitch

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Emmett Shear
Emmett Shear Credit: Courtesy Twitch
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Emmett Shear, Twitch CEO and co-founder, originally didn't want to enable the live video platform to let people broadcast themselves painting or drawing. Twitch had already built an audience of 100 million monthly viewers -- and Amazon spent $970 million to acquire Twitch -- by sticking to its roots as a forum for video gamers to watch each other play live. "We looked for ways not to do [artist streams] for a long time because we're a big believer in focus," Mr. Shear said. But Twitch is also a big believer in experimentation and couldn't ignore the growing number of people tuning in to these live-streams who seemingly had nothing to do with its typical gaming videos. "We've tried creating communities that we thought should exist, and then we've tried creating communities that are already growing organically on the site," Mr. Shear said. "The latter is more successful, embracing what our broadcasters are already doing." In October 2015, the company rolled out Twitch Creative with a marathon broadcast of late art instructor Bob Ross' "The Joy of Painting." The payoff was huge: More than 5.5 million people tuned in to the marathon, and now roughly 2 million people check out Twitch Creative each month.