Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Arts


Media Studies


Hearn, Alison


This thesis critically analyzes Twitch.tv, a gaming-oriented, online live-streaming site. Viewing the site as a ‘lean platform’ (Srnicek, 2017), it analyzes many aspects of Twitch’s business operations, including ownership structure, video game industry affiliations, use of data, and the monetization of user activity. This analysis then identifies three major areas of concern arising from these operations: the tendency toward monopolization in the gaming industry and its peripheral activities; the intensification of audience commodification; and, the tendency to turn professional streamers into precarious creative labourers. All of these implications point to a growing need for concerted labour organization. The goal of this thesis is to address gaps in the existing literature about Twitch and to provide a foundation for future critical inquiries into the site.