Twitch is an awesome live streaming platform with a huge community of content creators streaming anything from gaming, cooking to ASMR and cosplays. With millions of monthly users, it’s a vast exposure. With the Coronavirus insight, Twitch viewerships skyrocketed to billion hours of streams in 2020.
With people being stuck at home for more than one year now, due to Covid, people have turned more and more to these options to engage themselves. The popularity of Twitch has crossed all bounds.
According to an estimation report of January 2021, streamers had broadcast approximately 22,089,295 times on Twitch, and its viewers had a watch time of about 2,173,794,168 hours.
So, if you are completely new to this awesome live streaming platform, do not worry! Here, I will talk all about Twitch streaming features and how to stream on Twitch in easy ways. Let’s get started.
History Of Twitch Platform
Twitch is one of America’s most popular leading streaming software, founded by Justin Kan, Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel, Kyle Vogt, and Kevin Lin ten years ago in June 2011. Twitch had exponential growth to achieve the popularity it has today. It became a subsidiary of Amazon in 2014 when Amazon acquired the same under an all-cash deal.
According to reports published in February 2020, Twitch had 3 million monthly broadcasters. It also has 15 million daily active users on average. As known from the reports of 2018, Twitch has more than 27,000 channels partnered with them. Twitch has been termed as the “talk radio for the extremely online”.
Although almost anything you can stream in Twitch, it is most popular for its gaming content. It is popular among users as a gaming video streaming platform, including broadcasts of various esports competitions. It is also popular for its live stream of individual players and games related talk shows. Twitch has also introduced its “in real life” streams for content creation, where the content creators can reply to spectators’ comments.
Basic Understanding Of Streaming
Streaming can include everything from gaming to movies, webcasts to podcasts, music videos to television shows. Streaming can be pre-recorded or live, transmitted to the audience via any device, smartphone, or personal computer, Mac or Windows PC. Streaming can be said to be a continuous stream of real-time media data.
With loads of data being consumed every day, streaming has gained immense popularity, especially among youngsters. One of the main differences of streaming data with other media files is that they do not need to be downloaded to watch later and deleted once played.
Live streaming is generally broadcast of an event or game, as developed and transmitted to users. Everything is live-streamed in today’s fast-paced life, including award shows, premiere events, matches, ceremonies, and others. It is simple, and all that one requires to get started with streaming is stable to fast internet connection.
Fairly many streaming apps have been developed, including the scope of live streaming from various social media including and not limited to Facebook, Instagram. Twitch is one such streaming platform. The user can select YouTube or any other streaming app. This article will have a detailed view of Twitch, why to choose Twitch, and how to stream on Twitch.
How To Stream On Twitch
Although any device can be used for streaming, the streaming software is not inbuilt in the operating system or the device. You need to download separate streaming software for streaming. Some of the best streaming apps include OWN3D Pro, OBS Studio, Streamlabs, LightStream, vMix.
Both the paid and free versions of this software are available. They are compatible with both mobile phones and gaming PC. One can also capture gameplay by playing popular games on their gaming consoles.
Twitch Streaming In Android
Although most users prefer using a PC or a console, streamers do have the option to start streaming using Androids. With big games like pubG or Fortnite available for mobile, streamers have never been easier to stream from their smartphones. There are two ways in which video streaming and audio streaming can be performed in Twitch by users from their Android phones.
By Using Streamlabs Software
Streamlabs is used for an easy and fully mobile streaming experience. Streamlabs is a popular name in the world of gaming streams. It has an Android app in the play store that makes streaming super convenient. You need to follow the following steps-
1. The user has to download the Streamlabs app.
2. Then, the user should sign in to Twitch, giving the credentials.
3. After allowing the necessary mic and audio permissions, the user has to set up the screen, camera sources, and widgets to stream gameplay or broadcast videos.
4. After pressing the red Stream button in the centre of the bottom bar and inserting stream info, the user should press OK to get started.
By Using OBS Software
Another most popular, open-source streaming software is OBS or Open Broadcaster Software. To start streaming through OBS, follow these simple steps-
1. First, the user has to connect the Android to a PC using USB debugging and a screen recording application.
2. Now, go to “About Phone” under the ‘Settings’ option.
3. Then, the user should tap the build number 10 times or until it unlocks the developer options.
4. The user should then enter the Developer Options and turn on USB Debugging after two-factor authentication.
5. Next, the user needs to find a reliable app for running their mobile devices on their pcs.
6. After setting up OBS with the Twitch account, the user can start broadcasting by entering personal information from the official website.
Twitch Streaming In Mac
Streaming on Twitch Channel from an Apple Mac is fairly as simple as anything. All that is needed to get started is to find broadcasting software. One can always opt for Twitch Studio, the software developed by Twitch. Other streaming software like Streamlabs and Open Broadcaster Software also works fine.
The user has to ensure that whatever software is used by the user, the version is compatible with Mac. Connecting the Twitch account to the software is all that is needed to get started with streaming. After enabling the required streaming setup, the user will be ready to start the first stream. Twitch recommends a Mac laptop with a 1.4GHz 8th Gen i5 128GB, a USB C Hub Adapter to plug in USB interfaces, and Ethernet cables.
Twitch Streaming In Xbox
One Streaming in Twitch on gaming consoles like Xbox Series would require the user to download the Twitch app by selecting Xbox Store from Apps and then clicking on Install after selecting Twitch app. To start streaming, the user must follow the following steps-
1. The user needs to press the Xbox button to open the guide and select My games & apps from ‘See All’ under ‘Apps’.
2. The user should then select Twitch to start the app.
3. Then, the user needs to sign in under the Sign in tab by entering the proper credentials.
4. After that, the user must enable the required broadcast settings and choose the Broadcast tab.
5. Clicking on the Start Streaming option would enable the streamer to stream videos or broadcast gameplay.
To stream without a fancy laptop, one can always use their Xbox One, PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series to stream directly from the console without any additional software. The only drawback is the lack of customizations available in the case of consoles.
For the Xbox console, only downloading the Twitch app would enable the user to start streaming. In the case of PlayStation, one can start streaming using the console’s Share menu. For Nintendo Switch or any other console, you need a capture card to record gameplay while streaming.
Top 9 Twitch Streaming Apps
1. OWN3D Pro
OWN3D Pro is basically a plugin that can use only after expanding OBS Studio. It, like other streaming platforms, has a paid and a free version. Although you can access a streaming platform with this software, it is designed specifically for Twitch, and some features can only be used for Twitch. The entire software uses terminologies used by Twitch.
2. Open Broadcast Software Studio (OBS Studio)
OBS Studio is open-source software; it is completely free and can record videos and live streaming. Although it lacks features available in paid versions, adding extensions to this software can access the core features. It is a versatile software that can be used for streaming on any platform and not just Twitch and can be accessed on a computer with any operating system. It is very user-friendly if one learns the technicalities of the software.
Wirecast is mainly targeted at professional streamers and is paid in nature. It offers two paid versions, Wirecast Studio and Wirecast Pro. In fact, their tagline is “Stream like a pro.” The user can stream from cameras, webcams, and more. It can support numerous professional audio sources with access to over 500,000 unique media assets. Wirecast also allows replay, scoreboards, clocks, and timers perfect for gaming streams. Wirecast can be used to stream to Facebook Live, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo Live, or any destination more than once as per the user’s requirements.
4. Nvidia Shadowplay
Nvidia ShadowPlay is mainly used by gamers and has Nvidia GeForce graphics cards. It allows you to record and share gaming videos and live streams in high quality. You can use it to broadcast to Facebook Live, Twitch, or YouTube Live. It lacks advanced features as available in the pro streaming software. It can be used to customize the Livestream since it supports camera and graphic overlays. Being hardware accelerated, Nvidia Shadowplay can run in the background without any problem.
Gamecaster began its journey under XSplit software, but it has created its own identity in the world of streaming. As evident from the name, it is focused on playing games. It is used to stream to Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube in 1080p and stream lag-free. Gamecaster has a wide variety of free overlays, including professional overlays like trains, goals, and widgets.
6. XSplit Broadcaster
XSplit Broadcaster is another popular streaming software used for live streaming and recording in Windows. One can stream and record quality content in 4K 60fps. XSplit Broadcaster can be used to stream on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. You can even use it to broadcast to multiple stream services simultaneously.
Earlier, Streamlabs was a live streaming program used with other live streaming software tools by streamers. Streamlabs OBS is now a combined and better software combined by the Streamlabs tool with OBS Studio. It gives an advanced streaming program with a user interface. It also offers better user support with subscription issues.
Like OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS is free. Streamlabs OBS has a wide variety of gaming overlays and can be used to multistream to multiple platforms simultaneously. With Streamlabs OBS, you can stream on Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook. Unfortunately, it is exclusive to Windows PCs only.
8. LightStream Studio
LightStream Studio can be used to stream to Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, and custom RTMP. It can be used to capture Xbox and PlayStation gameplay for streaming to Twitch. It has varied paid versions for the user to choose from.
vMix is used to stream to Facebook Live, Twitch, and YouTube. It has five versions, including a free pack. It is primarily used as a Video Mixer to provide live HD video mixing. And the best part is that it is used as live streaming software that allows publishing live productions directly to the Internet.
Gears You Should Have While Twitch Streaming
The pre-requisites for streaming in Twitch are fairly simple. A user does not need all fancy equipment to get started. Some of the necessary pieces of equipment required to get started on Twitch are-
A Good Computer/ Mobile Device
Generally, streamers prefer gaming desktop or laptop for streaming, while Twitch recommends Intel Core i5-4670 processor (or its AMD equivalent), 8GB of RAM, and Windows 7 or newer, a Mac can be used for the same too.
A graphics card is required for streaming computer games. Streaming while cooking, playing music, or hanging out in real life can be done quite easily with ioS or Android directly to Twitch through the Twitch mobile app or otherwise.
A Twitch Account
One of the absolute necessities for Twitch streams is having an account in Twitch. Signing up in Twitch is absolutely free and hassle-free. After initial setup, the user has to visit the official Twitch website and create a profile by customizing the image, description, and other details.
Solid Internet connection
A solid internet connection is required to get started with the stream. The only way to ensure a high-quality net is by using Ethernet.
Microphone and camera
A useful requirement for a user to start broadcasting is to have a high video and audio quality. One can start with a regular headset; as one goes up the ladder, a USB microphone like the Blue Yeti or the Hyper X Quadcast is recommended for a crisp hearing experience.
For the users to see them clearly, streamers should use a proper webcam like the Logitech HD Pro C920, which has a sharp 1080p HD quality and wide vision facility.
This is the most important requirement to get started with streaming is the Broadcasting software. Some of the commonly used software include Open Broadcasting Software which is free and open-sourced.
While other software like XSplit and Streamlabs OBS have premium versions, Twitch has come up with their own streaming software named Twitch Studio, which is embedded with cool features. Designed to be like OBSstudio, it is still in beta mode.
Main Reasons For Twitch Popularity
Twitch is the most popular and world’s number one games streaming platform. However, it has not received as much popularity in non-gaming streams as it has in gaming streams. Viewers choose Twitch over other streaming websites for its spontaneity and easy user interface. Some of the important reasons why Twitch is winning the hearts of millions of streamers and viewers alike are as follows-
Easy to use and connect
Being the biggest live stream producer and the leading digital publisher, their programming and user interface are most accommodating and conventional for streamers and viewers. Connecting a Twitch account to various social media websites is very simple and can be done with a few clicks.
With the latest update, Twitch just chatting category has been incorporated into the user interface and functions as the normal chat. Since interaction with viewers is crucial for a streamer, this development has proved to be very useful for content creators.
Generally, streaming platforms do not have an extensive range of communities like Twitch. In Twitch, the streams are separated mainly into gaming and non-gaming categories, including and not limited to music, movies, challenges, and programming. Depending on the content, the stream gets specified into a particular category that helps a user in selecting the particular community or communities that they are interested in.
Increase In Popularity
Being the leading broadcasting platform, it can help a streamer gain a significant following and help in levelling up.
Twitch enables its users to choose overlays from the preinstalled options available. One can add text to the video, a scoreboard while streaming a sports event or challenge, and many more from the drop-down menu. The user even can add stock graphics that are available in the app or from the gallery. It gives the streaming videos a more personalized and unique touch.
How To Build Your Fanbase
It takes years to build a fanbase. Now is the appropriate time with more than half the world under lockdown; everyone is hooked to the internet. Building a fanbase is not easy and does not happen overnight. The streamer has to keep creating content. It might require a little investment in the beginning.
Finding a particular niche is important. And attaching social media accounts with the Twitch account might help to get more followers. Supporting other popular streamers by engaging with their content-related discussions, interacting with viewers by asking questions, responding to chats in the chat room help a streamer to get more viewers.
How To Earn On Twitch
Even you can earn a good sum of money while playing video games the whole day. Isn’t sounds like a dream come true for many gaming maniacs! Well, for this to make happen, first, you need to become a twitch affiliate and start building a fanbase. The more viewership you attract, the better you will earn. Apart from views, there are some other parameters too to follow.
It is simple to become a Twitch Affiliate and earn well if you have the following-
- You must have a minimum of 50 followers as your fans or subscribers.
- The streaming time is also crucial. As per the norms, you must have at least 500 minutes of broadcasting time within the last 30 days.
- Another thing to follow is the consistency of broadcasting for a week.
- There must be an average of three concurrent views.
If the above-mentioned criteria are met, you can generate income through Subscription, Bits, and Ads. Bits are virtual currency. There are three subscriptions($4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 per month) paid by subscribers shared with Twitch. In return, the subscribers get some very cool features like emotes, badges, access to special chatrooms, and uninterrupted streaming.
Guidelines For The Parents
Though it is fun to stream on twitch, excess of anything is harmful. It can even worsen if left unregulated. Twitch has its own age restrictions and use guidelines. However, parents should also watch it because Twitch is also prone to bullying, hate speech, adult content, violent games, nudity, and sexual content. So, overall, guidance can save your kid from spending extra money and cyberbullying.