Twitch has exploded in growth in recent years. From esports to podcasts, the streaming platform has logged over 22 billion hours of viewing in 2021, over double the time visitors spent on the site in 2019.
In 2022, Market Research reported that there were over 4 million live streamers across the globe. Compare that to around 30,000 actors, actresses, roughly 40,000 journalists, and media professionals, and one can quickly see how difficult it is to pop on this new medium.
But it isn't impossible. New streamers must do three things to stand out on streaming platforms like Twitch, Kick, and Caffeine.
Be good at something
Learning about the streaming industry is essential, so it's encouraged to visit Streaming This Weekend often for the latest tips and tricks. However, more than understanding the how-to's is needed to make it on Twitch. It's a start, but there are nuances to building a thriving Twitch community. Popular Fortnite streamer OliverOG says that it starts with being good at something.
"If you're entertaining, it's still really hard to get your name out there," Oliver says, "tournaments helped me, but you have to be very good at a game."
Oliver says that making jokes and being talkative is fantastic, but ultimately streamers need to be good at a game or close to a bigger streamer to make a name for themselves. And if they're lucky enough to build the kind of relationships that gets their channel mainstream exposure, the next skill they'll need to learn is fostering a sense of community.
Building a safe and fun community
The community always comes up in all of Streaming This Weekend's interviews with professional streamers. Specifically, building a safe and fun community on a Twitch channel.
And according to Oliver, fostering that community is a step that cannot be skipped.
"I enjoy just playing with viewers, building a community and stuff," Oliver says, "but there are a lot of pros that don't really care about streaming. They don't care about their communities, in my opinion, as much. They just kind of see it as, 'I'm really good at the game, so these people are going to watch me no matter what.' So I think it's pretty rare to find a pro that is interactive with fans."
"Love what you do."
When reading reports of live streamers banking thirty thousand dollars a month playing video games, it's easy to lose perspective. Dollar signs can motivate an army of live streamers to hop on the popular platform to cash in, but Oliver says that loving what one does and being good at it is the key.
"I started as a kid just kind of playing video games, obviously like anyone else. I played on a console for quite a while too. And then, one Christmas, I got an integrated graphics card and Windows laptop for 150 bucks. That's when I started playing more online gaming, just on the laptop and stuff. I got into League of Legends, all those games, [I was] a big Minecraft player. And then eventually Fortnite came around."
Indeed. Since 2018, Oliver has made nearly $20,000 from Fortnite competitions and racked up over 31,000 eliminations (according to the official OliverOG Fortnite tracker). Compare this to STW's measly 671 matches and $0 in competition earnings, and one gets the idea; OliverOG is great at Fortnite because he loves Fortnite. He also loves streaming.
"I always loved gaming. I would just come home from school and play. And I love streaming, but you have to be prepared to just go up there every day and do it."
The money will follow
In many ways, live streamers on Twitch are more than entertainers; they're influencers, VJs, hosts, and even friends to their viewers and fans. One of Streaming This Weekend's favorite OliverOG segments is when he pulls viewers into the game and plays a round with them. The closest thing one willing to that on traditional media are hosts reading Tweets during a live broadcast.
But what can be learned from popular streamers like OliverOG is how to turn the things people are passionate about into a reality.
As Marsha Sinetar says, "Do what you love, and the money will follow."
Be sure to check out OliverOG on Twitch and follow him on Twitter.