- E.l.f. Cosmetics will launch a branded Twitch channel on May 9, claiming it’s the first major beauty brand to do so on the livestreaming platform. The channel will premiere at 7:30 p.m. ET with a three-hour livestream hosted by gamer and special effects makeup artist Autumn Rhodes, whose guests will include gamers, beauty influencers and musicians.
To promote the idea of “Gameup” — a cross between gaming and makeup — E.l.f. will run a sweepstakes on social video app TikTok that asks people to post videos of how they put on makeup in preparation for livestreaming sessions. After the contest wraps on June 6, E.l.f. will gift seven people makeup and gear to create their own livestreams, along with a chance to appear on the brand’s Twitch channel.
As part of the launch, the cosmetics brand is introducing an “E.l.f. You” effort to continue its mission of supporting female gamers and to help them break through glass ceilings in the male-dominated world of gaming. E.l.f. plans to host weekly livestreams on Twitch after the Sunday premiere, per its announcement.
As one of the leading makeup brands among teens and adults under 25, E.l.f. Cosmetics is launching its channel on Twitch to meet Gen Zers where they’re likely to spend their time. Amazon-owned Twitch has more than 140 million monthly users worldwide and saw a surge in viewership last year as the pandemic kept people stuck indoors. Viewership remains elevated, growing 28% to about 3.2 million concurrent views last month, Twitchtracker estimates. The growth is even more significant considering it builds on the jump in viewership Twitch experienced in April 2020, the first full month of lockdowns in Western countries.
E.l.f.’s launch of a streaming channel comes as the platform’s content diversifies into areas other than gaming. While Twitch’s streamers historically consist of mostly male gamers, there are signs that female streamers are gaining an audience as content preferences shift to the fast-growing category of “just chatting.” The genre of live video diaries surpassed gaming-related content to become the most popular category on Twitch in 2020’s third quarter, per data cited by Bloomberg. The change in preferences has helped more women to break into the top 200 ranking of streamers, which is still mostly dominated by men. Amid this shift, E.l.f. has an opportunity to create content that appeals to female Gen Zers who comprise its target audience.
The cosmetics brand’s Twitch channel launch will include an appearance by Kathleen Belsten, a popular Twitch streamer who goes by the name Loserfruit, or Lufu. To strengthen its position among Gen Z gamers, E.l.f. in November 2020 teamed with Lufu with plans to launch E.l.f. University, an initiative to support female gamers. A social survey conducted by E.l.f. found that 70% of its fans play video games, while 65% enjoy watching others stream gaming content.
Now, the channel launch coincides with E.l.f.’s sponsorship of a live reality-competition series called TikTok Gamers Got Talent in a partnership with digital media company Enthusiast Gaming. The seven-week series will follow contestants as they compete for a chance to win $25,000 and beauty products. As with the new Twitch channel, the series will reinforce the idea of “gameup” to appeal to women. It also follows E.l.f.’s several branded hashtag challenges on TikTok that went viral in past years and helped to raise brand awareness among Gen Zers.