Twitch has become the center of online entertainment but it’s still a niche destination for online casinos with their casino sign up bonuses and video game broadcasts. As both creators and fans spend more time at home playing video games and watching video gaming content, Twitch has taken the lead in market share for livestreaming platform hosts.
Twitch has tens of millions of viewers who watch gaming competitions and podcasts daily on the Twitch platform. Twitch hosts other types of video content as well including concerts, NFL games, musical acts, wrestling matches, cooking shows and more.
Yet Twitch continues to be best known for its gaming streams where people can interact with the content creators and become part of online communities.
If you want to get your gaming content streamed, Twitch is a good option. The platform offers multiple ways that you can start broadcasting content from your PC, console or phone with little effort and a minimum of technological skill. Regardless of whether you’re just starting out or you want to level up your stream, you can use Twitch’s user-friendly tools to put your show out into the gameosphere as you attract and retain fans.
Twitch is a livestreaming platform that was bought by Amazon in 2016. Anyone can put out any type of content on Twitch but the service is best-known for its live-gaming content. Despite the fact that the previous market leader, Microsoft’s Mixer, directed gamers to Facebook Gaming when it closed, most of Mixer’s top streamers went to Twitch.
Twitch now has a 63.6 percent market share within the streaming community. All platforms are seeing an increase in viewership as people stay at home – in 2019, total viewership across Twitch, Facebook Gaming and YouTube was 3.89 billion hours during Q3 while in Q3 of 2020 it was estimated to be 7.46 billion hours.
Twitch, however, continues to move ahead faster than other platforms. In December 2020 Twitch fans watched approximately 1.7 billion hours of content -- a 109% increase over December 2019.
On Twitch, you can find any type of gaming content that you want. Some gamers stream their online matches and high-stakes esports professional tournaments are also featured. Some gamers actually build their community by providing broader entertainment along with their gaming content – art lessons, musical performances, even whittling and woodworking tutorials.
It doesn’t take a lot of technological skill or expensive equipment to get your content on Twitch. Try it out!
Stream to Twitch
Many of the latest consoles and PCs are built with streamers in mind so if you have the right hardware, you can go live with the lick of a button. There’s also a mobile Twitch app for both Android and iOS.
Set up a Twitch account. Go to Twitch.tv and click “Sign Up.” Create a username which is how you will appear in your streams and in your chats. Submit your email address and date of birth and create a password. Click “sign up” to finish. All of your gaming content will be streamed using this account.
The PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One have everything that’s needed to start streaming immediately. Once you click the Share button on PS4 or the Create button on PS5, you can click “broadcast” and start your stream. If you’re using Xbox, simply download the Twitch app and then go to “broadcast.”
Many streamers prefer to use their console because there’s no need to download software, hook up webcams or spend extra money. Some consoles connect to the Lightstream system that allows you to add custom graphics and layouts to your broadcast.
From your phone, you simply download the Twitch app for Android or iOS and set up your account. Tap the home screen’s profile icon and then “Go Live.” In addition to giving you the ability to broadcast mobile games, your phone allows you to stream yourself doing things that you may want to add to your streams – cooking, discussions of current topics, hobbies, etc. (Twitch’s IRL category is generally used for such non-gaming content).
If you want to go live from a Mac or a PC you’ll need to download a streaming app. Some of the most popular streaming apps are XSplit and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). These applications allow you to create scenes from various video and audio sources ( your mic/ camera) which can then go live to Twitch.
For a monthly subscription, Twitch’s own Studio software and Lightstream offer novice-friendly apps that beginner streamers can use as they go live directly from the cloud.
There are a number of online tools that you can use to enhance your stream. For instance, Streamlabs offers on-screen notifications, tools for monetizing your stream, custom layouts, etc. StreamElements is a cloud-based suite of services that gives you the ability to add elements including bots, widgets, custom layouts and other features.
Don’t neglect the basics like a good mic and webcam. The better your equipment, the better your viewers will be able to see and hear you so it’s worthwhile to invest in good hardware. You might want to spend a few dollars on lighting as well and, for console gameplay, a capture card.
Remember that your success as a streamer isn’t dependent only on the equipment – you need to be creating good content and find a style that will engage viewers and bring new fans to your streams. It’s a good idea to start small and work your way up but as you move forward, it’s important to invest in quality gear. Zinda -- Natasha “ZombaeKillz” is a Twitch streamer who has over 7000 followers.
She notes that there are often discounts for streaming equipment but she emphasizes the need to invest if you want to move forward as a streamer. “I try to tell people now, because I’ve fumbled along the way … spend the money on the good things. Don’t go cheap off the door. Because you’re just going to replace the cheap later……I have really good headphones, because headphones you cannot do without.”
Other recommended equipment includes a good mic, a quality webcam, lighting equipment, stream controls, an Ethernet cable for PC or console streaming and a multi-channel mixer that gives you the ability to manage all of the stream’s audio sources.
Once you get going, successful streamers suggest that you maintain a schedule in order to grow your channel. When fans know that a particular streamer will be going live on specific days at set times they are more likely to return, engage, comment and bring along other viewers. You should also post your streams on your social media accounts, along with your schedule, so that viewers know when they can expect to see you.