Streamer managers around the world | Batuhan Özmen - Gaming in Turkey | MENA | EU
We talked with Batuhan Özmen, the Director of Social Media & Internal Operations at Gaming in Turkey | MENA | EU, an esports and gaming agency.
In the interview, Batuhan Özmen gives use an overview of the current state of the Turkish streaming market and shares his thoughts on its future. We also talk about the relationship between brands and streamers, and how Hub of Streaming can influence it.
You have a great knowledge of the gaming and streaming industry in Turkey. What is its current state when talking about categories, creators, or interesting stats?
Twitch Turkey, as in the whole world, is a trendy sector that continues to grow day by day. It is closely watched by a vast audience, particularly Millennials and Generation Z. Turkish viewers especially prefer to watch streamers with whom they can emotionally connect and have fun. Especially Just Chatting, GTA V, VALORANT, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Minecraft, and Apex Legends are among the most watched content.
Elraenn is one of the most popular streamers producing content in Turkey and in the Turkish language. Elraenn's maximum number of views is 163,915, while the total streaming time is 1014 hours. In addition, Elraenn reached 27.2 million hours of viewership in 2022. The current number of his subscribers is around 23,394. Apart from Elraenn, wtcn, KendineMüzisyen, Pqueen, Jahrein, Mithrain, Elwind, RRaenee, Eray, and Levo are also important names in Turkish streaming.
HasanAbi, a Turkish-born streamer who has managed to rise to 9th place in the ranking of all streamers on Twitch and who lives in the United States and produces "Just Chatting" content in English, can be considered the most successful name in the world and in Turkey. With 5,012,300 hours of viewership and 22,306 current subscribers, HasanAbi is currently ranked 16th in Twitch's worldwide rankings.
Now we have a better overview of the Turkish streaming market. And what about the future? Do you see any new trends emerging in the constantly evolving world of streaming?
As you said, the live-streaming industry is developing fast. Brand new platforms, brand new formats, and streamers are also entering our lives. Unquestionably the most popular content at the moment and the trend that will rise is definitely AI. It surprises us each day that they are developing more and more and that they are able to handle even very complex tasks when it performed by manpower, just in seconds. It will definitely have an impact on this industry at some point, but it is unclear what kind of situation this will create. Perhaps we could see things like live broadcast channels, broadcasters, VOD content producers, etc. managed by artificial intelligence.
Apart from this, there are VR and 360-degree broadcasts that have been in our lives for a while now, but cannot fully enter our lives due to various socioeconomic reasons. I think that these will become accessible almost everywhere with the further development, cheapening, and widespread use of technology.
Finally, e-commerce has become a phenomenon that has entered and settled into our lives at full speed all over the world with the pandemic. Especially in Turkey, people have begun ordering bread and even water through home delivery applications. In this context, I think that live broadcast streamers who appeal to large audiences will of course play more active roles here. Product promotions in live streams, directing active campaigns to opportunities, organizing opportunity nights, etc. cases seem to be much more important. I think that brands will look for ways to work more actively with streamers who produce content in live broadcasts in this e-commerce storm dominated by the Affiliate system.
Let’s dive deeper into the relationship between brands and streamers. From your experience, what do brands expect when working with streamers?
Working with streamers is a fairly new concept for brands. The fact that Generation Z will gradually become a big part of the consumer society has fuelled the desire of brands that want to increase their share in the market to reach young people. In this context, Twitch and YouTube campaigns started to take their place in the digital marketing strategies of brands.
The main expectations of brands working with streamers are to make their brands a well-known and popular brand among Generation Z. In return, they want to see an increase in product and service sales and gain credibility.
However, growing sales and gaining credibility must be measured. What data and statistics brands care the most about?
In campaign statistics, the number of times the advert was shown, the number of times it was watched, the number of times the shared links were clicked, and CTR rates are among the data they are most interested in. The main reason for this is to be able to understand how effective their campaigns are through numbers. In this way, they can turn the user returns they receive after the campaign into meaningful data on paper.
Here are the results of a sponsorship campaign that HOST ran for HP in Turkey:
Goals you mentioned before can be achieved through HOST (Hub of Streaming), a project that Gaming in Turkey | MENA | EU has recently launched. How do you think HOST will influence the Turkish streaming industry from a brands and streamer perspective?
HOST, which offers an easy but effective way to reach new generation consumers, is a remarkable platform for brands that want to seize the future from the present. It can enable brands whose main goals are awareness, increasing sales, and gaining sympathy to achieve their goals comfortably. In this respect, we can say that HOST is the campaign platform that many brands are looking for.
On the other hand, Turkish streaming has produced many great streamers in recent years, both through individual efforts and various content producer competitions. We can say that these first-generation big streamers are the architects of the current passion for "taking part in the streaming industry" in Turkey. The main problem of many mid and micro-scale content producers who started their own publishing lives with the influence of these big streamers is the inability to make a profit. At this point, HOST will create the igniting force that will enable many streamers to continue their passion with profitable campaigns that make a profit regardless of their audience size. We believe that with HOST, we will see many new names growing and developing in the Turkish streaming industry.
The size of audience is the most notable thing that differentiates microstreamers from major content creators. What others could you name?
There are always clear differences between smaller and more popular streamers. However, these differences may not always favor the popular streamers.
Often, collaborating with streamers that are more popular, reach a larger audience, and generate more engagement can help you achieve goals faster. However, such streamers may demand high budgets for collaboration due to their large audience and high engagement. The audience of these large streamers usually consists of people who like games or content they are interested in.
On the other hand, when we look at microstreamers, the audiences of these beginner or mid-level streamers are made up of people who are more engaged with them and the content they produce, and who want them to grow and reach larger audiences. Such streamers are less likely to collaborate with big brands, which is one of the reasons why HOST is preferable for brands and streamers.
And this is exactly where HOST comes in.
That’s right. In general, instead of paying a single popular streamer with a high budget, HOST offers a more efficient business model to reach micro and medium-sized streamers and show campaigns to their entire viewers. The audience of such streamers is also motivated to provide more support for the improvement of these streamers. From a budget point of view, reaching more small or medium-sized streamers rather than paying a high amount to a single popular streamer is a more cost-effective and efficient choice.
How important is automation in streamer management and monetisation from an agency point of view?
Automation plays a critical role in agencies' streamer management and monetization processes. While making business processes more efficient, it also offers more data analysis and fast decision-making.
For Gaming in Turkey | MENA | EU & HOST, automation is crucial to effectively manage streamers and optimize campaigns. Using automation in data analysis and audience segmentation can help improve campaign results and reduce its costs. In addition, automation saves time and resources while making ad placement and content monitoring processes more efficient.
At Gaming in Turkey | MENA | EU & HOST, we are committed to using automation both to help streamers earn more revenue and to serve brands much better. I also think it is one of the important roadmaps we need to follow in order to gain a competitive advantage and get a bigger share of the pie in the industry.
Concluding the interview, what are the three things that you'd recommend to new streamer managers to always keep in mind when working with streamers?
I think this is one of the most important questions. Brands always expect creators to fully embrace the brand and advertise as if it were their own brand. Of course, considering the fees paid, such demands may seem extremely natural. However, the fact that streamers appear natural in their advertisements against their own target audience, marketing the content without believing and adopting it, can create distrust among their audience.
In this context, new streamer managers should soften the ball in their chest with a Turkish expression while conveying brand demands to streamers in the first place and should convey the demands to the streamer in a more understandable and easy-to-explain way by passing the demands through a filter. In this context, brands should not force creators to memorize various texts and instead should allow streamers to explain the content in their own style. Establishing this bridge and carrying out the process with the right communication language is, of course, at the top of the duties of streamer managers.
1. Streamer managers should simplify brand demands and convey them to streamers in a more understandable and identifiable way.
2. It is important to explain to brands that streamers are not artificial intelligence, and to ensure that the content is transmitted to the streamers only as a brief and that the rest of the process is conveyed to the audience in the streamers' own style.
3. Streamer managers should have strong data and analytical skills. Data helps them understand the performance and interaction of streamers. Therefore, monitoring and analyzing data and creating strategies based on this data is critical for successful management.