Statistics show that in 2021, Twitch generated a revenue of over 363 million dollars. In the last quarter alone, viewers watched over 5.46 billion hours of Twitch content, which was a 14.76% increase from quarter three of the same year.
Over the passed few years, Twitch has lead the charts when it comes to live streaming and video content creation. As a TV channel owner, learning how Twitch became such a big success, may allow you to replicate certain methods when it comes to live streaming and broadcasting your own content. It is also important to have the right live streaming tools that allow you to easily re-stream your content to Twitch and other social media platforms.
Today’s article is based around the history, fame, and strategies used by Twitch that you can employ in your own live streaming TV channel, as well as the necessary tools needed for a successful live broadcast. These tactics will allow you to push your channel to the next level, and find your place in the new TV streaming industry.
Justin.tv: Twitch’s Humble Beginnings
Twitch, the larger-than-life, live-stream broadcasting video platform wasn’t always what you see it as today. In the beginning of the platform’s journey (think 2007), Twitch was just a gaming subsection on a website that was called Justin.tv.
Justin.tv was created as a competitor for YouTube by Justin Kan. The purpose of the platform was to allow people around the world to broadcast a variety of live content to an unlimited number of viewers.
At the very start, Justin.tv had just one channel, made by Justin himself, where he uploaded vlogs of his everyday, 24/7 life.
Justin.tv started gaining a little bit of popularity, but it still never went where Justin wanted it to. In fact, the small amount of hype that came to the channel, just wasn’t what other creators were looking for.
Luckily, in 2011, the Twitch TV subsection of Justin.tv quickly became popular due to gaming streams becoming “what was hot”. This lead Justin to completely move Justin.tv to the new website called Twitch.
Twitch Understanding its Audience
Twitch’s rise to fame definitely wasn’t an overnight one. However, a lot of incredibly historic moments occurred in the live streaming industry after its creation that worked as catalysts in bringing Twitch to the level of success it has in the industry right now.
These were events like the League of Legends Tournament in 2012 that hosted a prize worth 2 million dollars and the game ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ being released, which allowed Twitch users to live stream themselves playing the game. The reason ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ was so popular was because it pitted 100 players against each other in a struggle for survival. Streamers were eager to share their experience on what could be called “the virtual Hunger Games.” The game revolutionized the gaming community and Twitch was the platform benefitting the most from it because it knew it fit perfectly into its niche.
Twitch realized that giving gamers a platform to share their gaming skills and reactions was something highly sought after. They held on to the concept of giving video gamers their own voice and then expanded from there. If not for its humble beginnings of trial-and-error and sticking to a certain niche, Twitch might not be what it is today.
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What you Can Learn from Twitch’s Fame
As a Live Streaming TV Channel owner, you must be thinking about how you can get your own channel to produce such incredible results. Well, the truth is, you must accomplish this first step; create your own individual identity and make sure you’re not bound by an external platform (yes, this includes Twitch).
Hold up. Did we just tell you how great Twitch was and then say not to bind yourself to it? Indeed, we did. There’s nothing wrong with Twitch. I mean, obviously, we’ve been raving about it’s history and fame hoping you can learn from it. However, as someone looking to own their own TV streaming network, it’s important to make sure you have the ability to be seen on multiple platforms instead of just one. In essence, your channel should have the ability to become its own app the way Twitch is.
This is why it’s so important to comprehend how Twitch experienced exponential growth: You can make sure your channel achieves the success it deserves by taking a few notes out of Twitch’s book. Use these notes as inspiration for your very own creative strategies.
We’ll Say it Again: Niche, Niche, Niche
As previously stated, Twitch started off as a video gaming content platform that has brought in billions of hours of viewership over the years. The fact that the website was designed for a particular niche, and then after its success, moved on to other streaming elements really says a lot.
It should be obvious by now, but what you should learn from this is that you need to find your live streaming channel’s purpose and make sure you create the best content out there in that niche. To get started, find ideas that match your channel’s goal, make good content surrounding that goal, and make sure you’re attracting the right viewers to enjoy your content.
Follow in the footsteps of Twitch, and make sure you see success in the one area you’re really passionate about before you try to move on to something new. Booming channels are always focused, on-topic or on-brand, excited about what they do, and well-engaged with their audience. Just because you see a little bit of an increase in viewers, doesn’t mean you should move on to a new, completely different topic. Those viewers went to your channel because they liked what you already had. Stay on-point and stay on task. If you pay attention, your audience will always tell you what they want, one way or another.
Build Your Channel’s Community
Twitch has done a great job of keeping its community strong. From streamers to viewers, subscribers to fans, everyone knows their place and understands their value to the platform. Twitch makes it easy for each of the members of its community to interact with one another.
This tactic is incredibly important for a Live Streaming Channel to succeed. In fact, any kind of channel needs to build a community and ensure that it is strong enough to stand with the channel when needed. The stronger your channel’s community, the more opportunity it has to grow.
This goes back to ensuring that you’re producing a quality channel for your viewers. And along with that quality, comes an open community that offers a sense of belonging. The use of communities isn’t just a way to bring people together (which of course is great), but it’s also a very beneficial marketing tool for your channel. If you can get viewers to become a part of your community and give them positive feelings just by being a member of your channel, they will always come back. It’s good for them, and it’s good for you.
Create an Attractive User Experience
Twitch’s website and mobile application have both undergone massive visual updates and changes over the last few years. The purpose has always been to make sure that users and viewers have the perfect experience and feel drawn towards the platform.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most important factors for any website. So, if you’re creating an internet TV channel for your live streams, you’re going to have to make sure its user interface is suited for the targeted audience. How do you do this?
Here’s a quick tip; try to focus on these four elements when it comes to making your channel visually appealing: design and color, graphics, functionality, and consistency. Yes, it is going to take some time and research, but hey, all good things do.
Stay Dedicated to Your Craft
Clearly, Twitch didn’t reach this high level of success overnight. We’ve already discussed its humble beginnings as Justin.tv and the road to its accomplishments. Keeping all of that in mind, try to realize that you will also need to stay focused and dedicated to your TV channel in order to see the results you want.
Something we at TvStartup constantly preach is consistency. While that may seem like a no brainer, it’s usually easier said than done. People often think they understand how consistency works, but then when put to the task, fail to stay on track. The truth is, to achieve your goal of having a well-known streaming channel, you need to make sure you create great content and do it regularly without fail. With special content and dedication to your craft, you will eventually make your mark and get to the level of success that you’re looking for.
Live Stream Like a Pro
In today’s overwhelmingly technological world, it is critical that anyone looking to have a profitable live streaming channel has the right software and tools to reach success. There are three very important key elements all live streamers should have access to: a re-streamer, a video archiver, and pay-per-view options for their content.
Why Use a Re-Streamer
A re-streamer is a software tool that allows you to re-stream your live video content to popular social media platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. As previously mentioned, in today’s technology-crazed world, it can sometimes be stressful to share your content over and over again on all of the available social media platforms. A re-streamer helps you build your authority as your own live streaming channel (in essence, becoming your own Twitch application), while also giving you the ability to share your content on socials and your website.
With software that is equipped with a re-streamer, you can easily record your live stream and then share it to those platforms with a click of a button. Cross-platform publishing should be of the upmost importance for those wanting to establish an accomplished live streaming channel because it makes managing your channel’s content easier, and it saves time by eliminating the hassle of going in and out of multiple platforms to share the same video.
Why Use a Video Archiver
All live streamers should have software that has a video archiver feature. This enables you to record and archive your broadcasts. Archiving your videos is important because it gives you the opportunity to manage and preserve files that aren’t currently being used, but still have value.
The software you use should have its archiver as a built-in feature because any one who knows live streamers knows that they have mountains of video content. Preserving your content should be a top priority, not only for safe keeping, but for reference and inspiration later on. If you can keep all of your content archived, you will always be able to go back to any of the videos you’ve saved and learn from past mistakes, as well as work on unfinished projects. So, yes, an archiver is a must.
Having a pay-per-view option for your live streams isn’t only crucial for standing out in today’s competitive industry, but it’s also a great way to monetize content.
Offering your viewers pay-per-view content solidifies that your channel means business because you will be producing content that is worth paying for. It’s easily the best way to establish your authority as a heavy-hitter in the live streaming industry.
Pay-per-view live events are also a simple way to monetize your important content. So, make sure you are using software that provides you with the ability to charge a fee for any of your live streams that you deem worthy. This can be a huge advantage for content creators who live stream things such as premieres or concerts, but is not limited to only those events.
Twitch was one of the first platforms for live streaming video content, and it worked because of an incredibly innovative idea. The changes Twitch brought to the streaming world and its consistency in bettering its service are amongst the many reasons why it succeeded so greatly in its industry.
As a TV Network owner, your vision is to have the same kind of success story. By understanding the progression of Twitch and its platform, and knowing the value of re-streaming, archiving, and offering pay-per-view content, you are now able to establish your channel.
Time to get to work.