CP #5: Reality TV 2.0

Or How To Win The Bachelorette From Home

Dreamed of being on The Bachelorette? Have a great voice and feel like you could win America’s Got Talent? Think if you were on Deal or No Deal you could win it all? Now is your chance to prove it!

Reality TV 1.0 was built for TV. Asynchronous, tape-delayed shows. One sided relationships with the on-air personalities. No real participation.

The rise of livestream interactive media, has broken the television glass screen and made Reality TV REAL. While coronavirus might have forced mainstream media to shift production home, creative personalities have been running successful livestream reality shows online for months!

Wait, livestream reality show from home? How?

We have to start with The Rajj Show. The unofficial kingmaker of Twitch, Rajj created the first network of creative live game shows on Twitch which have launched the Twitch careers of several popular streamers.

Let’s start with the Rajj Royale Podcast. The show starts with 12 guests in a podcast format with Rajj as moderator. Then, every 5 minutes the viewers vote in real time to eliminate one guest. The last guest standing is the winner!

Rajj’s second big show is the Rajjchelor and Rajjchelorette which is basically Twitch’s Bachelor and Bachelorette. What is at stake? True love or a ‘Host’ which basically means the winner’s Twitch channel is hosted on the Rajj channel. A classic Bachelor trope, “someone is not here for the right reasons…”.

Finally, The Rajj Talent Show which is a classic America’s Got Talent on Twitch. Four judges with buzzers. (Mostly small) Twitch streamers come on air and showcase their talent for 30 seconds and the judges select the finalists who are then voted on live by the viewers and a winner is crowned! Same as before, winner get a host.

According to Twitch tracker, Rajj averages 50,000 viewers per stream (recently peaked at 70k) for a simple at home production in a format we all love. Plus, its interactive and accessible. You want to be on the Rajj Show? Cool, join the Rajj recruitment live stream and impress his team and the chat. They love you and you are single? BOOM you are in the Rajjchelorette.

Why do people love this?

  • Active consumption👀

When you watch on TV, you can only passively consume the content. Shows try hard to drive engagement, but the barriers are too high. You have to go onto a different platform (Twitter and Instagram) while you are watching the show to engage with the show, characters, and other viewers. As a result, only the die-hard fans do this and casuals never engage. I am a big survivor fan and I still have never tweeted about survivor. In comparison, watching it live on Twitch with easy access to a live chat makes it super frictionless to engage with the show. Furthermore when a format like RajjRoyale incentivizes engagement (vote for your favorite contestant to stay), engagement rates will go through the roof.

Plus, when you engage more with the show, you have skin the game and you are more likely to watch more because you have a deep relationship with the the characters.

  • Social Viewing👯

When you are watching on Twitch, you are never watching alone (unless you are watching a stream with 1 viewer…in that case you are kinda watching alone). This adds a whole new layer of live ephemeral user-generated content which is often even funnier than the content on screen. It always feels like people are funnier on Twitch chat than in real life…

Other examples

  • Recent Zoom bachelorette raised $30,000 for Feeding America and averaged almost 1000 viewers on Twitch

  • FlashCash (hosted by me) was a livestream interactive Deal or No Deal gameshow on Twitch

  • The obvious one…HQ Trivia and all its spinoffs. Ripkord.TV tried to build a platform for livestream interactive gameshows, but the team has pivoted away since then.

The opportunity and challenges

As evidenced by HQ Trivia's dramatic rise and fall, live-streaming eyeballs are hard to scale. While Rajj’s numbers are eye popping for Twitch, for context, 10 million people watch the Bachelor. This is because Twitch has a significantly smaller reach than linear TV.

Second, synchronous TV makes for exciting content, but also makes it super easy to miss it. Livestream interactive content requires viewers to login and watch at the exact same time the show starts. If you login to HQ Trivia 20 mins late, you can’t play. Similarly you tune in to Rajj half an hour in, and your favorite contestant has already been booted. Sure, you can watch VODs or Youtube versions of the Twitch show, but with the livestream interaction elements stripped away, it’s just a bootleg Bachelorette.

There is a big opportunity here to create a massive network of livestream interactive gameshows. Just as Buzzr and GSN will never be as big as CBS, this syndicate of gameshows can’t be on their own app - they need to leverage the widespread distribution of a Facebook Gaming, Twitch, Mixer, or Youtube Live. While it might never reach the eyeballs of the real Bachelor, the real time monetization opportunities are way more. Plus, production costs are significantly lower. There is a real opportunity to build a profitable media company in this space.

Hit me up if you want to build this!

Potato Wedges

  • Must read thread on Tencent (worlds most successful video game company) and the secret of their great track record🎮

  • Quad will help you build your own one-person media company (podcasts, newsletters, hell even a gameshow company?)

  • A+ read on esports, monetization, and opportunities to build a massive company in this space

Couch Potato is a weeklyish newsletter by Paraj Mathur. You can support the newsletter by inviting your friends to be couch potatoes with you! Please share this post!