Most people tuning in to Twitch are generally looking to see gameplay from the latest and greatest games or just more from their favorite livestreaming personalities, but now there’s a new channel perhaps fit for those of far more refined tastes. The UK Government has launched an official UK Parliament Twitch channel, offering quick and easy access to viewing the day-to-day debates raised by elected Members of Parliament in the House of Commons.
It might sound like pretty dry and boring viewing, and for the most part that may be true, but there are certainly some gems to be found. The UK Parliament channel has already broken into today’s list of top 10 hottest Twitch clips, as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council Jacob William Rees-Mogg was lambasted for having terrible posture by Caroline Lucas MP of the Green Party. You can see Lucas in action and a seemingly unphased Rees-Mogg’s reaction here.
The channel launch is almost certainly a tactical play in order to attract a younger audience to politics. Twitch’s main demographic is one that mostly takes a disinterest in politics, though the genius move of introducing meme-like exclusive emotes based on political figures should help to counter that. Channel subscribers gain access to emotes featuring the faces of current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister Theresa May, Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.
While it may seem like a simple publicity stunt, the House of Commons livestream is drawing a viewership, with the current broadcast sitting at over 3,600 concurrent viewers. That isn’t anything astonishing, granted, but it can’t be dismissed when the content isn’t immediately relevant to the platform. The chatroom is certainly enjoying itself, but only time will tell whether that’s a short-term novelty or will translate into a dedicated long-term viewership.