Variety streamers typically have slower growth as they don’t have a particular focus to offer their viewers. They generally do burn out less, and they have the opportunity to reach many different audiences. Most variety streamers end up focusing on just one or two pieces of content once they build their community.
In this post, we will cover the pros and cons of being a variety streamer. We will also discuss strategies on how to broaden your viewership and create a unique niche out of it.
What is a Variety Streamer?
A variety streamer is someone who broadcasts more than one kind of content. This could refer to more than one game or more than one category. Someone creating content for Fortnite and Sims 4 would be a variety streamer in the same way someone is hosting a talk show alongside their Apex Legends broadcast.
How to Grow as a Variety Streamer on Twitch
To find success as a variety streamer, try the following:
- Learn to entertain, not rely on the game for your viewers
- Understand your Twitch viewers
- Schedule different content for different days
- Stream in different languages
- Have a Marketing Strategy
1. Learn to Be Entertaining on Twitch
What are your personal goals as a streamer? What motivates you to broadcast? The answers to these questions may influence your decision on whether or not you should be a variety streamer.
DrDisrespect is one of the most notable variety streamers on Twitch.
If your primary goal in streaming is to have fun and make new friends, then stream a variety of things if you like. You may still grow over time as people are attracted to your style and personality. Your initial growth will typically be slower than a similar streamer who is focused on one genre. If you want to try to “make it big” or earn a livable wage from streaming, focus on one topic. Treat your channel like a job. Keep your focus on your overall goals and stay on course.
If you will be more entertaining and happier as a variety streamer, then that is the direction you should take. Utilize strong strategies to build your channel and brand to keep it rewarding for yourself.
2. Understand Your Target Audience
Another way to gauge whether or not you should be a variety streamer is to understand your viewers. Are the majority of your loyal following there for you or your content? If they are there for you, you can probably do just about anything and retain your viewer count. If they are there for your content, you’ll need to re-evaluate if changing your game or topic is a good strategy for your channel.
Use your social media to gauge what people want. How do they react to your posts? Do they seem more excited about your game, your stream, or general posts.
You can also host a poll on your channel Discord server to see what they want. Ask if they would like to see you try out a new category or if they want to continue watching your current content.
Accommodate your regulars as much as you can. While you should value all of your followers, give special consideration to the opinions of those who support you most.
3. Strategize Your Twitch Schedule
If you want to stream multiple things, we recommend that you have one main focus, then special days for variety purposes. This means that streamers who broadcast several days per week can set one or two days aside to do whatever they want, but focus on their main content most of the time. Setting up your channel in this way will give you the benefits of both worlds. You can try out new strategies over time to see how it goes without sacrificing the majority of your viewers.
When you write out your stream schedule in your profile or add it to your offline screen, clearly state which each stream session will cover so that your viewers know what to expect. This will also help you remember how to prepare for your steams so that you can plan your content.
Try to keep things in regular rotation on your schedule. If you stream the same days and times each week, don’t mix up your content on those days. Give different days a unique name to go with the content (i.e. “I play horror games on Terrifying Thursdays.”) These phrases or names will help you viewers subconsciously remember when you stream the content they enjoy most.
If you don’t often stream, schedule a “variety” day every other week or so. You can also use it as an incentive for a subathon or when you reach a specific number of followers or views. This will create hype, and more of your regular viewers may tune in to watch.
4. Stream in Multiple Languages
Another niche that isn’t always considered is the possibility of streaming in multiple languages. If you are bilingual or polylingual, you might be able to reach multiple audiences by broadcasting in different languages. While English is the “language of business,” you can reach particular audiences by streaming in their native tongue. If you choose to do this, select days for speaking in one language and different days for the others. This is easier than trying to be multi-lingual throughout your stream.
Let your audience know that you will be streaming primarily in a specific language on that day. If they want to watch regardless of the language, let them, but don’t try to translate yourself too often. Instead, sell it as an opportunity for them to learn and practice a new language.
5. Have a Marketing Strategy
Even though being a variety streamer can be difficult, there are some strategies you can master to make it easier. We have listed a few of them here:
- Network with streamers in all of your genres, regardless if they are variety streamers or not. They can help keep you in the loop of what’s going on. You may also be able to collaborate with them to create better content for your following.
- Avoid attempting large community projects in any specific genre. This includes creating unique servers for your followers or going on significant quests. People will become reliant on you and vie for your time. While this is an excellent option for growth if you plan to stream one thing, it can become a headache for variety streamers.
- Play different games, but stay within the same genre for less viewership loss. Some viewers will be up to watching similar games where they wouldn’t be willing to watch something entirely different.
- Create hype around a new game and mention it coming out several times before it is released. This will hopefully excite your viewers to watch you play, and you may pick up a few extras who are interested in the new game!
- Create an “intermission” clip that shows scenes from all your content. Keep it entertaining and hyped to attract viewers to the other categories that you stream.
Should You Be a Variety Streamer?
When deciding whether you should be a variety streamer on Twitch, you should consider the pros and cons listed below:
Pros of Being a Variety Streamer
There are several pros to streaming a variety of topics and genres. Variety streamers tend to have more options on where their brand can go in the future. Here are a few benefits that you may experience by streaming multiple things:
- You get to produce different content each day. You won’t wake up each day feeling as though you need to go back to “the grind.” Every day you have the chance to explore new ideas, and if you decide to leave one genre altogether, it won’t be shocking to your viewers. Streamer burnout will come less quickly, and you will stave off boredom.
- You can potentially reach a wider audience. While your initial growth may be stunted if you don’t stream the same content every day, you will be able to network and promote yourself in more than one location. While most of your viewers may visit your stream when you are broadcasting their preferred content, some may join you for the ride to become a pillar of your community.
- Games rise and fall in popularity. If you play multiple games, if one falls out of favor, you will already be somewhat established in others. You won’t have to start at the bottom trying to work your way back up again.
Cons of Being a Variety Streamer
There are also some cons to being a variety streamer. You may feel stretched too thin or feel as though you aren’t making a connection with your viewers. Here are some negative aspects of streaming multiple things:
- Some viewers may not become “regulars” to your channel. While they may visit each time you stream the content they appreciate, they may avoid watching when you stream other things. While this isn’t necessarily a negative thing, it can be tricky when you need to find loyal viewers to be your regular moderators.
- It might take longer to build a community where you can interact with your viewers. On the other hand, those who do join it will probably be around for the remainder of your streaming career.
- If you move from playing just one game to playing multiple games, you might see a decrease in your following. This drop in viewership can be disheartening for both new and veteran broadcasters. Some viewers will leave even when you entirely switch to another game.
- Streaming several kinds of content will split your focus. If you spend the majority of your time developing your skills in one game or subject, you will increase your ability in that area. Mastering a subject will make your content more valuable in some people’s eyes.
Remember Your Goals
While we mentioned this at the beginning, it is important to restate it in the end. Many variety streamers end up focusing on what brings them the most viewers, and that’s okay! As you progress in broadcasting, your goals and perspectives will change and grow with you. Adjust your strategy accordingly.