Amazon's game-streaming service Twitch has inked a deal with HBO to air the pilot of the comedy series "Silicon Valley," marking the first time a network will air an entire episode on the site.
On April 8, the cast of "Silicon Valley" will play video games and answer questions live for the Twitch community. Twitch has also promised an exclusive clip from the show's upcoming season and will live-stream the show's first episode from season one after the question-and-answer session. The show's second season premieres on HBO on April 12.
Twitch, which allows users to live-stream their game content and chat with each other in real time, has over 100 million users. The company was, but is operating independently. Twitch works on all platforms, including consoles.
Twitch has thrived as the go-to place for people to check out game content. Indeed, the company has been caused a dramatic change in video game coverage. Historically, gamers would read a game magazine or read a game-focused website to learn about new titles. Now, Twitch has become a top destination for game seekers, as users stream a title in real time. Even developers have taken to Twitch to show off their wares before a game is available. Twitch has therefore become a top destination for many hard-core gamers who want to check out a game, see how it works and talk with others while the host is playing.
The collaboration with HBO on "Silicon Valley," however, marks an important shift for Twitch. While the service is still game-focused and the live stream will center on gaming, Twitch is expanding its reach to pop culture and other forms of entertainment. The deal also perhaps shows how important Twitch might be in promoting certain shows that cater to its audience.
"Silicon Valley" centers on the lives of young people building a tech startup. The show was created by Mike Judge, the creator of "Beavis and Butt-Head" and "King of the Hill."
In a statement Friday, HBO vice president for digital and social media, Sabrina Caluori, said that the deal with Twitch makes sense when one considers the audience "Silicon Valley" appeals to.
"There is an authentic connection between Silicon Valley and the Twitch audience and this unique event is a great way to build upon that," Caluori said. "Twitch offers a unique opportunity to provide exclusive content and a highly social experience to this influential community."
Twitch was similarly laudatory toward its community. In a statement, Twitch's PR director, who goes by just Chase, said that the company's "community has been really receptive to pop culture on our platform." Chase also argued that the deal underscores "the power and appeal of live video."
The "Silicon Valley" question-and-answer session will air live at noon PT on April 8. Users will be able to watch the live stream on any platform Twitch is available.