Let’s talk about something that a few years ago was considered a funny joke, to say the least. Who would have thought that people would be able to stream video games for a living? Today, this childish idea is more than reality: this is the way of life for some people.
In this article, you will learn the basic streaming setup and how you can improve it to make your streaming more professional. Also, we will talk about the pros and cons of the most popular streaming platforms, such as Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, etc. Last but not least, we will share some helpful tips on how to grow your audience and make money with live streaming. Get ready, it will be a nice trip!
Popularity of game streaming
First, we want to reflect on the factors behind the popularity of live game streaming. As a relatively simple concept, it does something we love so much, but in a way that is much easier to access. We are always hungry for emotions and communication. So if you look at the most popular streamers, you will see that they are all incredibly energetic and talkative.
Since ancient times, we have enjoyed watching gladiator fights, Olympic games or any other competition. Another incredibly important factor that has helped live games gain their incredible popularity is the sense of community.
The need to be part of a community is essential for almost all human beings. And live game streaming delivers just that in people’s living rooms. Apparently, around 48% of gamers prefer to watch live streams rather than play alone.
Finally, since the most popular streamers are professional eSports players, viewers can learn something new and improve their favorite games. Viewers can learn not only from the game, but also through live communication, by asking questions related to the game. Live interaction is the key component for any successful streamer.
What are the basic requirements for game streaming?
Now let’s talk about what you need to start live streaming. Of course, you don’t need to participate in the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race to have high quality live streams. However, it is true that the more powerful the machine, the higher the quality of the flow. The low-budget hardware recommendation typically includes an Intel Core i5-4670 processor, 8GB of RAM, and the Nvidia GTX 650 series or better. Of course, you can broadcast live with consoles and smartphones.
In addition to having a powerful PC, you also need a good webcam and microphone, even better if you have a professional headset. Remember that audio quality is particularly underestimated. However, consider the following: Many viewers simply listen to live streams, instead of actually watching them.
Of course, you will need a third-party application, such as OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS, which transfers your data to a streaming platform. Restream Studio, on the other hand, allows you to broadcast chat sessions with your viewers right from your browser. You can forget dozens of tabs and windows when you want to take a break from streaming games!
Also, don’t forget that a stable internet connection is just as important, if not more so, as all other components. An Ethernet connection is preferable to a wireless connection. Another thing that matters is the loading speed as well. Basically, it determines the amount of information that can be transmitted every second. It is recommended that you have an upload speed of around 5 Mbps for decent quality live streams.
Also, you may want to invest more in lighting and all kinds of different special effects, like a green screen and custom overlays. This investment demonstrates your level of engagement, which can attract more viewers.
Which platform should you choose?
If that question was planted one year ago, the answer was quite obvious and unequivocal, of course, Twitch was the only door for the players. However, today there are excellent alternatives to the old Twitch. We have a view of popular broadcasting platforms for players.
We will push with the main rival of Twitch: the Mixer. The relatively new and promising broadcast platform was designed and optimized specifically for live video games. The mixer allows you to stream four other streamers. Furthermore, the platform is known for its FTL transmission protocol, which allows for live transmission with less than a second of latency. This means that viewers can see your live broadcast in real time.
Probably the only major drawback to the platform is a relatively small community compared to Twitch. According to reports, the mixer is only 2% of the total hours seen in the first quarter of 2020, even though Twitch is 65% of the pastel. Unfortunately for Mixer, including the import of students from the best streamers, like Ninja and Shroud, in the best situation.
Unlike Mixer, YouTube Gaming is doing a lot of good in these days. The platform has shown substantial growth in recent years and is currently in second place. YouTube Gaming Live has many interesting points, including a friendly interface, an integrated chat and an easy way to earn a good money. Besides, it can be very convenient to have all your video content on a platform.
Interrupting and growing your audience can be very difficult, especially if you don’t have an audience defined on your usual YouTube channel. This is, with much, the greatest inconvenience of YouTube Gaming. Some other minor inconveniences may include a limited number of chat moderation options and a relatively weak support for new channels.
The live broadcast of games are popular and profitable very quickly. It is not surprising that Facebook also wanted its share. Unfortunately, the way to win Twitch is wide. However, Facebook Gaming has its benefits. Much more streamers that are easier to earn with Facebook Gaming than with YouTube Gaming and even Twitch. This can be explained by the pre-existing audience. The players could share their transmissions through their schedules and groups of games.
Another benefit of using Facebook Gaming is a special program called Level Up, which offers a personalized support for transmitters, access to high quality transmissions (1080p, 60 fps) and a special currency for your fanatics to support. However, Facebook Gaming still has only 11% of the total hours watched, which is very inconvenient.
Twitch is indeed the biggest streaming platform for gamers. It seems that Twitch has everything: from a user-friendly interface and chatbots to a clear partner program and millions of viewers. Undoubtedly, Twitch is the way to go.
Unfortunately, every coin has two sides and Twitch is not an exception. Be careful with trolls when transmitting live on this platform. There are many users who insult you and make fun of you for fun. If it is generally not a big problem, it is possible that some streamers cannot support the presidency. The rule of prayer is to keep calm and trust, and eventually it will go away.
Each transmission platform has its pros and cons, it is possible to transmit it to each of the same time groups. With Restream, you don’t have to choose. It can simply transmit in multiple sequences in each one. In addition, Restream offers unbelievably useful features such as analysis, chat and Live Studio that can help you improve your broadcast and increase your audience.
Unfortunately, Twitch affiliates can use Restream to broadcast on just one platform: Twitch. However, we have something special for these cases. Restream Scheduler allows you to transmit your live transmissions from Twitch after the 24-hour exclusivity period.