Twitch streaming is all the rage lately. Many people are looking to get in on this type of streaming due to the success of many different streamers on the platform. That being said, it's not enough to hastily set up your equipment and expect to have a successful stream.
If you're serious about streaming, you have to act like it! That's why you need to take steps to improve your Twitch stream so that you can grow your brand and benefit from the platform.
What is Twitch?
Twitch is a live-streaming platform that is primarily used by gamers and other lifestyle streamers who are able to build online communities through subscribers. Launched in 2011, the site is owned by Amazon, and offers both free and paid versions for people to use. Twitch is available both on a desktop as well as on a mobile app available on both Androids and iPhones.
As of February 2020, Twitch has a total of 3.8 million broadcasters. It offers people the option to 'subscribe' to specific channels based on three subscription tiers ranging from $4.99 to $24.99 a month. In most cases, Twitch gets 50% of the revenue from paid subscriptions whereas the streamer gets the other 50%, although some high-profile streamers have been able to negotiate better rates with the platform.
How to Stream on Twitch
If all of this sounds really cool to you because you're big into video games, you're probably wondering how you can actually get started streaming on Twitch.
The good news is that really anyone can start streaming! You definitely don't have to have any special skills or qualifications. That being said, it's not necessarily the instant or easy money maker that people make it out to be.
Nevertheless, here's what you need to know about setting up streaming on Twitch:
- Create an account.
- Choose a software encoder.
- Set up your equipment.
- Plan out your content based on your target audience.
- Connect to the app, activate all your components, and toggle with the setting to find the best configuration.
- Start your stream, interact with your viewers, and build a brand that people will want to watch so that they subscribe and you get paid!
How to Improve Your Twitch Stream
When you're streaming, you want to put out the best possible content for your viewers. But how can you do this without spending an arm and a leg on expensive equipment?
As it turns out, a few simple adjustments and changes can dramatically improve your twitch stream.
Here are some different steps that you can take to improve your Twitch stream -- so try some of them out and get ready to be impressed by the results!
Upgrade your equipment.
The first thing that you can do to improve your Twitch stream quality is to upgrade your equipment. We understand that this may cost you some money, but if you're serious about making streaming a full-time job and actually making money from it, then it's definitely worth the investment.
The first thing that you may need to upgrade is your actual computer. If you have an older device that's slow, then you may need to upgrade to a more advanced piece of technology that will be able to easily handle streaming.
The second thing that you may need to upgrade is your video source. No one likes to watch fuzzy videos that make them feel like they are watching YouTube videos back in the early 2000s before 'HD' existed. Now that we have 4K televisions with amazing quality and devices with powerful Retina displays, anything less just seems archaic. So look for a camera or webcam that offers a high resolution, like 1080P, with frame rates up to 60fps. Also, look for helpful features like autofocus that will really improve your video quality while streaming.
The third thing that you may need to upgrade is your audio source. If you're using a less-than-stellar audio source, then you're really not going to be a very successful streamer. One option is to wear a separate headset with a microphone while you're streaming. Another option is to get a USB microphone that plugs into your computer and is able to deliver high-quality sounds that make it sound like you're coming directly from an actual recording studio! With these tools, your viewers will be able to hear you loud and clear.
The fourth thing that you may need to upgrade is your WiFi speed. A slow and laggy WiFi can totally ruin an otherwise good stream. Make sure that your WiFi speed is fast enough for streaming and upgrade it if needed to a faster speed that's better suited for streaming.
Prepare your background.
Even if you have the best equipment around, if you don't properly prepare your background and surroundings for streaming, you're not going to be very successful.
Here are some ways to improve your background for Twitch streaming:
- Eliminate background noise that will interfere with even the best audio systems. This means streaming in a quiet space free from outside noises.
- Place your microphone at an ideal distance, which is roughly 6-12 inches away from your face. Also, point the microphone at a 45-degree angle towards your mouth for the best audio.
- Changing up your lighting can make a huge difference in the background of your stream. There's nothing worse than watching a poorly-lit stream where you can barely see anything other than the screen. Instead, we recommend placing a couple of bright LED lights directly behind the camera. Turn off all overhead lights and check out the results. Add additional lighting sources to the side or behind you if needed.
- Set the right camera angle so that it's at eye-level and there isn't anything irrelevant or distracting in the shot. You can either choose to zoom in or use a wider shot based on the look that you're going for. Just be sure to clean up any clutter and make everything presentable.
Improve your settings.
The last thing that you can do to improve your Twitch stream is to improve your settings.
Here are some tips that you can follow to improve your settings and achieve a better stream:
- Use your graphics card for encoding to take some of the strain off of your CPU.
- Load your overlay from a single browser source so that your CPU only has to load one source rather than several different ones. This will help reduce your CPU usage.
- Adjust your video bitrate, but don't go lower than 2,000 kilobytes! The best speed for you will depend on your Internet upload, but 3,500 kilobytes is usually a good speed to shoot for here.
As you can see, by improving your Twitch stream, you're able to get more subscribers and become a more successful streamer!
Although it may take some time and effort on your end to make these changes, the return in subscribers and income will be well worth it. Just make sure that you invest in high-quality items like computers, cameras, microphones, and lighting to make your streaming dreams a reality.