Live-streaming has grown in popularity over the last few years. Millions of viewers cheer for their favorite broadcasters through popular streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Gaming. The community grows year over year and there is always room for talented new entertainers.
Why to Stream on Twitch
Live-streaming is an affordable hobby that can potentially earn you an income in a booming industry. In addition to learning new skills, broadcasters are able to entertain viewers and network with fellow-content makers, many of whom become friends or business contacts. Streaming can also boost your personal confidence.
If you are looking for a creative outlet, want to make new friends, or are interested in learning how to build your own start-up business, you should consider streaming. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Streaming is an Affordable Start-Up / Hobby
Streaming is an affordable start-up business or hobby. Depending on what you already own, the cost of your equipment could cost less than a thousand dollars.
If you are a gamer, you probably already have a PC capable of streaming. This means all you really need to start is a camera and a microphone.
Most software and streaming services are free to use and there are many affordable or free-to-play games available. Additionally, as most streamers play from their homes, there are no additional overhead fees.
As revenue comes in, you can reinvest in your channel by upgrading equipment, adding gadgets, or purchasing other things that will enhance your channel. The initial investment is minimal.
2. Live Streaming is a New Billion Dollar Industry
Live-streaming video games is still a relatively new concept. Twitch was launched on June 6, 2011. Since its inception, the community has continually grown throughout the last decade. In 2016, a study by SuperData showed that Twitch had more subscribers than HBO, Netflix, and Hulu. Concurrent views on Twitch average 953,000 with the record being 2.9 million on June 10, 2018. Several top Twitch streamers regularly draw in more than 100,000 views during their performances, with some reaching nearly a quarter-million viewers.
In June 2019, the popular Fortnite streamer Tfue was watched for a total of 9,154,829 hours by an average of 49,686 concurrent viewers. His highest peak was 237,165 concurrent viewers for the month. With many other popular channels across multiple platforms, you can see how live-streaming is taking the world by storm.
High-profile companies have invested in the streaming enterprise. In August 2014, Amazon purchased Twitch for $970 million. As of the end of 2018, the live-streaming industry was worth over $10 billion with optimistic expectations for growth.
As the industry grows these companies will continue to offer incentives and products to help streamers build their brand and engage with viewers. New games, platforms, and software are continually released all the time. Utilizing these opportunities will increase revenue for both companies and gamers.
3. Streaming on Twitch is a Potentially Profitable Hobby
In July 2018, it was estimated that there are 2.2 billion gamers worldwide. Less than 5 years earlier, it was reported that there were 1.2 billion global gamers and that 700 million of them were online. These stats show that gaming has nearly doubled in half a decade. The few million users on Twitch are merely a drop in the bucket compared with the number of global online players.
While gaming is the traditional content for live-streaming, more and more viewers are tuning in to different kinds of broadcasts as well. At any given time on Twitch, you can watch a chef preparing food, a traveler touring the world, a guitarist live-learning songs, and more. If you have a particular skill or hobby that you would like to showcase, chances are, there are a place and an audience for you.
Many streamers broadcast on a daily basis. Many can potentially turn their hobby into a career. At the very least, they can offset some of the cost of their passion. You need to be organized and dedicated to become successful (it generally won’t happen overnight). Many people enjoy the experience of monetizing something they love.
Streamers typically earn through advertising, subscriptions, donations, sponsorships, affiliate links, and merchandising through their branding. Many entertainers have found additional creative ways to generate income through their passion.
4. Streaming Helps You to Build Valuable Skills
As you build your brand and learn to stream, you will develop several skills that may help you in future opportunities. In a TNW Talk, the author of “The 4 Hour Workweek,” Tim Ferriss stated that confident people can become world-class masters in a field within 6-12 months with just a few simple steps. Break a big project down into smaller pieces and focus on the bits that are most important. Build around those elements while keeping why you want to stream at the forefront of your mind.
Here are a few ways you can potentially build your skillset through live-streaming:
Learn How to Understand Streaming Software/Hardware
You will learn to master your chosen stream setup hardware and broadcasting software (such as Open Broadcaster Software) to meet your goals. Examples include audio/visual syncing and editing, hardware capabilities, and encoding.
Increase Creativity By Streaming on Twitch
From perfecting your ideal camera angle (and your lighting) to potentially designing unique logos and overlays for your streaming channel, there are various ways to creatively build your personal brand. You will also need to plan and organize your content.
The Twitch Streamers Community is a great facebook group for networking.
Learn to Social Network
As your channel grows, opportunities to work with subscribers, sponsors, or other streamers will rise. Build your social networking skills by evaluating which connections will help you meet your goals. In addition, learn how to use various social media sites and alert your followers to any of your future ventures.
Marketing Experience by Streaming
Streamers learn to collect revenue from various sources. They also learn to use discernment when working with sponsors or other clients.
Learn How to Properly Present Yourself
Successful streamers capture their audience with their personalities and content. As these skills improve, you will attract more viewers to your channel. Interacting with a variety of people will make creating friendships in your “real life” easier as well as give you stronger verbal skills for negotiating in business.
Whether you eventually expand your brand into other areas or enter a new industry, many of these skills and the confidence gained learning them will transfer with you. Even the practice of learning valuable skills will help you grow more quickly in your new field.
5. Expand Your Social Network By Streaming
Streamers interact socially with their viewers, fellow broadcasters, and potential sponsors. Many establish close friendships with like-minded people through their content. These contacts can help you flourish your brand and find additional opportunities for growth.
Most creators follow and support each other’s work. Many actively seek and participate in collaborations with each other. Connections can be found on forums such as Reddit, through Stream Discord servers, or one-on-one through the streaming platform. Many form groups that encourage each other in their growth help one another plan new content for their streams, and host those channels when they are not online.
6. Boost Your Confidence and Dedication
You need confidence and dedication to broadcast. As both of these qualities grow they will begin to compliment each other. You need the confidence to begin streaming and dedication will help keep you focused through your early days. As milestones are met your confidence will grow, fueling your dedication to continue. These qualities are very valuable, not only for your streaming channel but to help foster other aspects of your personal and professional life.
Many streamers created their channels in order to boost their confidence or overcome their anxiety. According to her profile, one example of this is an Italian violinist, ViolinSolo, who began to stream in October 2017 to overcome her performance anxiety. Playing to an unknown audience (and to her loyal followers) has continually progressed her goal.
7. Educate or Inspire Others to Stream
All creators hope to inspire or influence someone with their work. Many want to pass on useful information that will help people in their own journeys. Streaming gives you the opportunity to do both. To become this person, you need to have a clear goal for yourself and take steps to reach milestones along the way. Most people won’t care what you know until you prove yourself.
Even if you don’t have a particular skill-set going into streaming, you will build one. There will always be new streamers who will want to connect with you and hear your advice on how to build their own channels. Network with streamers who inspire you and reach out to beginners who need inspiration.
As you learn – both about streaming and your content – sprinkle helpful advice throughout your stream. People are very attracted to channels that are both entertaining and educational. Not only will this practice set you up for success, you will experience the joy of helping others.
Many streamers have reported that even if they don’t make money, they find the experience very rewarding. People stream for the social aspect, for bragging rights, or a host of other reasons. It is imperative that you understand the reasons why you wish to stream and find enjoyment through the process of meeting those goals.