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There are a lot of gamers online that also share their gameplay on the platform Twitch, but is that all the reason or are there other reasons to stream on Twitch? Why do People Stream On Twitch? We will find the answer to that question here.
What Is Twitch?
If you are a gamer than you most likely have heard about Twitch. Otherwise, you might have heard about it through media or because you watch a different type of channel on Twitch. Twitch is a platform where you will find many broadcasts of people playing games. Since you can find so many broadcasters, it means that Twitch is also a place to stream your own broadcast to Twitch.
Twitch started actually as a service under the name Justin.tv, where it was going to follow the lives of Justin and his friends 24/7 as a reality TV livestream. Later on the platform became available to a bigger audience to open up for broadcasting yourself through it and it changed its name to twitch.tv. It took a good while before gamers were popular on the platform. Some years later it was acquired by Amazon, but it is still available under its own entity Twitch.tv.
Since Twitch is property of Amazon, some stuff on the platform costs money. Watching is for free, but there are commercials before, during and after broadcasts. To support your favourite broadcaster, you can give them donations, throw cheer emotes (currency) and subscribe to them per month.
Note that the fees for the currency as well as for the subscription are higher than what the broadcaster is getting. Some of what you give to the broadcaster will go to the broadcaster itself and some of it goes to Twitch.
That sounds perhaps attractive to you as a gamer, but with more than 4.6 million broadcasters, it is also a difficult market to get into, get popular at and actually make some decent money with.
Okay, so far I have been talking about gamers, but you will be surprised that Twitch also offers broadcasters to broadcast under categories like Food (cooking and baking), Talk Shows and Podcasts, Just Chatting, Art, Science, Education to name a few. So the platform doesn’t limit itself on gamers only, even though that is the biggest group.
For every category you will find popular streamers’ and less popular streamers’. On the desktop browser version of the Twitch website, you will find that channels with the most active viewers are in the top rows, followed by channels that have fewer viewers.
This means ultimately that if you are on row 20 it is very hard to get any viewers. Twitch has also a desktop app and a mobile app that allows for watching. The mobile app also allows for streaming. Streaming on PC requires some software and basic equipment such as a microphone and a webcam among other things.
Why Do People Watch Streams?
Many people watch Twitch. Extremely many actually. I had to research the statistics of Twitch for this article and it dazzled me.
Before we dive into why people do stream on Twitch, it is important to understand why people watch these streams in the first place. If you are having that knowledge, it will be much easier to play in on the demands of the audience.
People Watch Streams:
- To make informed buying decisions
- To learn how to do something and getting questions answered
- Being able to get tips and tricks from the pro
- See a pro perform the action
- Being entertained by the streamers’ personality
Informed Buying Decisions
It might surprise you but a lot of the people that watch streams on Twitch are actually thinking of buying something and they want to make sure they are going to make the right decision. Say you are streaming a new game that is either out or will come out in the shops (soon). Now people are able to see what the game is about and whether it is something they would like to (buy!!) and play.
The same goes for other categories. If you look at cooking, someone might be thinking about buying a new type of pan or oven dish, while they get in the stream shown how well (or not well) something works for the various options there are available. They might have questions about the usage or the way how to prepare certain foods.
If a game is purchased through the Twitch shop, you will also earn revenue over it. There are many options to monetize your stream for this kind of buying decisions.
To Learn How To Do Something
Many people will actually just see if they can learn how to play a game or do another activity. They might not have gotten all the experience yet. They might have burning questions regarding the activity and what better solution than to ask this to a real person.
This is actually one of the main things about streams. There are actually real people out there showing you stuff and you can interact instantly with them (as long as they manage to follow with on chat). This is a different concept from a TV program or a streaming service such as Netflix. You are able to instantly interact with the broadcaster.
We are social human beings and need that connection to get that extra insight whether something is good for us or not. Anyhow, I digress. People want to learn stuff, either to do something better themselves or to, again, make informed decisions.
Asking questions and getting them instantly answered is also a big plus of watching streams on Twitch.
Getting Tips And Tricks
Watching a stream on Twitch also adds the ability to get a lot of tips and tricks and perhaps being able to get some hidden secrets even. This goes for every category. Just think about the gamer that shows you handy tips and tricks to make your first play a bit easier and survivable. Or that cook that gives you some handy tricks to not cut in your fingers because of the tears generated while cutting an onion (yes there are methods to not have a crying session every time you cut an onion!).
See A Pro Do Something
Alright, you don’t need to see the celebrities per se, you might actually figure out that a lot of unknown players of games or unknown players in other industries are also pro in their act.
Seeing a pro use or do something can give you extra confidence or at least adds for a lot of entertainment value. We all love the hero’s, the big winners. They are like the strong leaders we want to follow.
Entertainment is something we all need. We all love to laugh or become part of the discussion. As social as we are and as much as we need to lighten the spirit to escape from the daily life, entertainment has been and still is one of the main ways to do so.
There are plenty of streamers’ that make special personalized characters or personalities during their streams. They can be just unique and themselves or actually pretending to be something or someone else. They can become one with the game or activity, they can role play, use different voices and smart video effects.
The entertainment side of Twitch is very wide and large and different per broadcaster. Entertainment is very important to differ from the many other broadcasters and it is something that makes many people return to the stream.
Now that you got the idea of what does make people watch streams, it is easier to understand why people stream and how they deal with differentiation from the enormous streamer base.
Why Do People Stream On Twitch?
Perhaps you have dreamed about it yourself too: To be the star of your own show! The reasons for people to stream on Twitch are many. Some do it for sheer fun, others to meet people or to fight their anxiety and a lot do it to earn some cash.
Streaming is a great deal of fun. I know because I stream myself and so does my wife. The world of streaming and content production has opened an entire world for us to show what we are capable of and to develop social contacts, new friendships, co operations and many other things.
As I said, there are many ways and reasons to start streaming and it really opens up for a lot of possibilities. I was also amazed to see how many people were actually having one or another mental problem they were suffering and fighting. It is also an interesting fact that a lot of streamers’ have saved people from committing suicide.
The amount of people that are truly lonely at home, even with family or friends around, find their place in the streaming world, either as a streamer or as a viewer (in a lot of cases as both).
You can also earn some cash with streaming, but the amounts really depend on whether you are going to make the streaming a business or not.
With over 4.6 Million streamers’ on Twitch, you need to really put your stamp on your niche and differ from the rest. As we discussed the reasons why people watch streams on Twitch, you can figure out quickly how to differ from the rest.
To differ from the rest, You will need to be good at one or more of the following area’s:
- Helping people to make informed buying decisions
- Learn them something and ask their questions
- Give tips, tricks and uncover secrets
- Be a pro at something
- Entertain them!
It is also a good idea to figure out what your niche will be for your content creation.
A Niche is a topic for a (very) specific audience.
Among many others, it could be:
- a hobby,
- a specific game,
- a play style,
- a way of showing entertainment,
- your own profession/vocation
- you, if you are a celebrity
Most importantly however, is that your niche should be something that you ultimately enjoy. This is not just because it will make you show happiness on camera, but it is also something that you can keep on doing for the coming months or years to come. You simply will have to become an authority or expert on your niche, for that will make you a pro at it and the person-to-go-to for this sort of information.
Niches also need to be very audience specific, because it will make it easier to have a target audience, again to differ from the rest and to get a very specified group of people towards your stream.
Like I said, you are also going to stick to that niche for a (very) long time. A specific niche will also help you to make your nose go into the right direction when it comes down to branding your channel, choosing affiliate products and building your community.
How Much Money Can You Make With Twitch?
People are nowadays very much interested in how to make money on the internet. There are many platforms that allow you to earn some buck and Twitch is no exception to the list. When you are starting out as a streamer you cannot make much money, unless you play it smart early on. You can earn some buck through donations or some affiliate links, but the chances that you will hit anything substantial is little with so little traffic (viewers).
You can start earning money through Twitch as soon as you have reached a certain level of credibility on their platform. They measure your credibility through an achievement system with a required amount of viewers, followers and broadcast hours.
There are currently two known programs to make money with Twitch:
- Twitch Affiliates
- Twitch Partners
You can be a Twitch affiliate when you have made the habit to stream a bunch of hours and tried your best at getting an audience. What is the point of giving you the option to make money if there is no money to get for them in the first place? Exactly, you need to do some work and get that traffic that can be used to make money off.
As a Twitch affiliate you can start to earn some revenue from the subscriptions and bits (cheers) on your channel. Revenue earned through Twitch will be paid out 60 days after you have reached the 100 USD threshold at the end of the month.
There is still an achievement system in place to open up for partnership, but you won’t be automatically become a partnered streamer.
As a partnered streamer you are going to be a proper influencer and also an ambassador of the Twitch brand, which is why they are very specific in who they want as a Twitch partner. Be prepared to follow their terms of service to the dot and also make the much higher achievements on average audience and hours streamed to be able to apply for the program.
Unfortunately, like I already mentioned, you won’t become automatically a Twitch Partner. You actually have to send in an application much like an application to a job. Think here the type business plan and you are getting in the right direction. You will have to prove that you are having plans beyond becoming a partnered streamer and have a proper idea of how you are going to achieve that goal. If you are so lucky to be let into the partner program, you will have more revenue options available and a bunch of other extra’s that work for building your channel.
Twitch Partners get quicker paid by Twitch, only 45 days after the 100 USD at end of month. Twitch Partners get also:
- Ad revenue
- Game sales revenue (although I am not sure whether this still works)
- Better paid, because of a cut on the fee that Twitch Affiliates do have to pay
- Multiple emotes on their channel as well as cheer emotes and badges.
Building Your Channel
So the first thing you will need to prioritize on is building a community and getting people to watch your stream. Defining your niche and your way of bringing the unique details to your stream is one of the most important ways, but perhaps not one to start out with.
The first thing you need to do is to figure out whether you even like to stream on Twitch, so just start. Most people have a microphone on their webcam, their laptop or on their headset for their PC. If you don’t have any of that, you can even use your mobile phone to stream. Most people also have a webcam and decent internet. There is plenty of free software available to start out, such as StreamLabs OBS, StreamElements Live OBS, Just OBS and player.me.
Want to learn more about how to start creating content for Twitch? Subscribe to my 5 day course now!