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Strictly speaking, Twitch is an international platform that almost always has an audience in one part of the world looking for an exciting broadcast to jump in. Nevertheless, hitting up prime time for broadcasting largely depends on your timezone, what games you wish to stream, and what kind of audience you wish to attract.
In this article, all the essential information regarding hitting the sweet spot for broadcasting will be laid out in a simple and easy to absorb format!
Post 15 of 22 in the Brand Growth
What Is a Peak Time, and Why Is It Important?
Attracting a consistent crowd is one of the most essential ingredients to a successful and lengthy career in streaming. Taking into account the timing when activity on Twitch is at its peak will save you countless hours of “fishing” for new viewers, as well as allowing you to create streaming schedules based on when your subscribers or followers are usually online.
So, when is the best time to stream on Twitch? It’s the time you can rest assured that your streams can be found by your target audience, when there are plenty of them to go around, and when your loyal followers can be found in abundance – basically when Twitch traffic is at its average highest.
When Does Twitch Reach Peak Hours?
If we consult Twitchtracker, a reliable source for reviewing statistics regarding activity on Twitch, we can analyze the data from the last 7 days to reach certain conclusions;
For the past 7 days, around the time from 20:00 – 22:00 pm (GMT), there is a steady increase (and period downfall) in the number of viewers that never goes bellow 4,000 000 (sometimes peaking at 5 million) while the lowest number of viewers are documented during 8:00 am.
Following the growing trend for striking the best time to stream, several users (usually outside of the US) have complained that adjusting to specific intervals has caused adverse effects on their daily life, and as such, often face a hard choice; sacrifice other, sometimes essential activities of their everyday life in order to stream or miss out on Twitch when it is, reportedly, at its peak in terms of activity.
Following the advice given by TwitchStrike, there is an answer to this dilemma, and it is as follows;
While it is true that there is indeed a peak time for streaming, it is by no means a “golden rule” that has to be followed in order to reach success. Taking measures of your local timezone and availability will save you both effort and time in adapting to intervals that suit you and your responsibilities.
Let’s take into example to stream a game such as Heartstone within the time zone of Central America;
Accessing TwitchStrike’s game guides gives you a pretty solid picture of almost every game that is being streamed and all the relevant status that gives you a clear picture of when to stream and the prospects of picking it up for broadcasting.
The information handed to you also includes the least popular broadcasting intervals, so you can adjust your schedule accordingly and experiment to test the data’s validity.
You also have access to individual “Heat Maps.” These graphics represent data bundles that detail all the days of the week and how active were certain aspects of streaming as a whole, such as the number of streamers during the week on Monday, for example. You can quickly extract the information you need by looking at the deepest shades of purple (the most active) vs. the lightest shades of the same color (as the least active).
What Is the Best Time to Stream?
Although not hard to answer (as the data you need to get a clear picture of the ongoing situation within the gaming community is readily available at all times), this question relies heavily on a multiple set of factors that can impact your decision in the end.
As Twitch is an international platform with a worldwide following, there really is no definitive time of the day that is completely “dead” –when it’s nighttime in your country, it might as well be morning in, let’s say, a country such as Russia, where people are starting their day and might as well have an audience that is tunning in!
That being said, let’s break down the necessities that you should keep in mind when talking about ideal time.
1. Networking and streaming monopoly
Do you stream with a couple of friends within a streamer community that forms streamer teams, or are you the type of broadcaster who likes being engrossed within solo games?
Your streaming style is massively impacted by the time you decide to start off your daily schedule, but that is not the entire picture.
When we talk about networking, it is only natural that we stumble upon other, potentially popular names within the world of Twitch that have their own Twitch stream time and might even have a monopoly on a particular market.
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What does this mean?
Take into account certain celebrities such as Kripparian, who is quite a big name within the streaming business when it comes to the game “Hearthstone.”
This online celebrity is famous for his late-night plays that attracted a large number of people to his stream, often leaving the competition (less known streamers) with almost entirely diminished viewer counts due to the appearance of a single, more popular competitor. You can imagine the frustration such a situation can create in many people.
An often overlooked side-effect of big-time female streamers, as well as male, being live at specific intervals is the fact that, sometimes, the audience themselves might start adapting to the time of their favorites, especially if we are talking about younger folks that love spending their time on Twitch. In some situations, the best time to stream on Twitch is when the stars start tunning in!
You can still decide that a specific peak time is right up your alley and that it accommodates your style of play, yet it is a risky gamble to simply stroll into such a situation without doing your “homework” (that is, being adeguately informed of how fierce is the competition).
However, this does not have to discourage you as sometimes you might really be the “next big thing” that just might get the audience riled up and jumping into your stream. Picking a time where the viewer to streamer ratio is very high, especially with trendy games, is usually occupied by streamers who have already monopolized that game market, yet it also means that there are many viewers present!
Regardless of what anyone says, freshness within monopolized gaming streams might become highly successful if they play their cards right. Since those cards have to trump what the top dogs are offering, you might be left with the middle of two extremes you can turn towards to;
- Stream popular games on days with high traffic that already have many active big-name streamers
- Choose less popular games and intervals of time that have fewer viewers and competition for you to compete with
Moving within the middle ground of both allows you to experiment, and even try your luck with both options if you so desire. Whatever the outcome, being armed with the right information will always be in your favor.
2. Your choice of game
An inseparable ingredient to every stream is, you guessed it, games that you broadcast to people (unless you count in “Just chatting”). That being said, your audience’s wants and tastes should correlate with your own to the extent that the activity is enjoyable on both ends.
You can pick up a popular game and take a small slice of the cake for yourself while the rest goes either to a small number of popular streamers or to a large number of less-known players on Twitch.
Taking into account the most popular choices for streaming, as detailed by SullyGnome, you can get an accurate picture of how much the potential payoff and risk is involved in picking a popular game;
There is almost always a balance in whatever choice you opt for, yet dead gaming communities will get you nowhere. At this point, you can also opt for picking a game that is not streamed as much as the rest, yet are still good pickings, and start attracting an audience during Twitch peak hours.
Being creative in this case is exceptionally beneficial, as people are more likely to jump in streams that are featuring new and exciting titles even if they don’t yet know the content creator. This is especially true for drawn-out game markets that keep dishing out identical games, which often gets tedious for all parties involved (even streamers who play it safe and keep streaming the same game for weeks get bored of it sooner or later).
3. What works best for you?
Even if you are a hardcore professional streamer, making huge compensations that take large chunks of your personal life out of the equation in favor of streaming is not a deal you should get yourself into.
A common mistake for both rookies and veterans alike is to set before themselves a schedule that demands way too much for them and, eventually, forces them to re-create their plans from scratch.
If getting tangled up in such a mess was not problematic enough, it is not uncommon for streamers to inform their subscribers and followers (directly or indirectly) about their streaming intervals and when their audience can expect them to be online. Some people might quit being regulars on your channel due to sub-par planning.
The perfect line between streaming and your personal life should not intervene, especially for hobbyists. What you could do is stream for a couple of hours during your free time and leave some extra space that you can use for “additional streaming” if your free time allows it.
Many games often have different best times to stream on Twitch, so that factor can be taken into consideration when picking a game of your choice.
That way, you can indulge in investing your time even in peak hours for streaming and not suffer any consequences that could arise from inadequate planning and the inability to follow up with a specific plan.
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