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Converging Experiences, Converging Audiences: An Analysis of Doctor Who on Twitch

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
Issue number5
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)1324-1342
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date11/12/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


While primarily considered to be a platform for livestreaming of video games, Twitch has recently diversified into streaming archival television content. In 2018 and 2019, episodes of the television show Doctor Who, originally aired between 1963 and 1989, were shown on the service, which also provides a synchronous chat function for viewers to communicate with each other as they watch.
This article examines this phenomenon through conducting qualitative and quantitative surveys with a segment of the viewership of these streams in order to uncover a diversity of age and experience with the content that exposes a convergence of viewership. Results indicate that the convergence of audiences and novel affordances of the service provide opportunities for new experiences and forms of interaction, both with the media content and with other viewers. The live, synchronous nature of the broadcast is a key feature, and while some viewers found having less control over their viewing experience disconcerting, it resulted in different watching and production practices. This included the creation of memetic content which was shared with the wider community of fans beyond those watching the stream. We argue that new forms of communal watching are enabled by digital convergence and emerging technology platforms and services. These lead to new shared media experiences and outcomes.