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Post 8 of 22
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Variety streaming is one of the hardest areas to grow on Twitch, it’s really crowded, everybody is doing it and there are many other reasons for that as well.
Today I am going to tell you why that is, what you can do about it and how to focus your content and how to best lay a strategy going forward.
That being said let’s skip the boring parts and jump right into it.
Post 8 of 22 in the Brand Growth
Variety Streamer Meaning
The first thing that we are going to talk about is the true meaning of variety streamer and what you have to do to be considered as a variety streamer.
I mean there honestly isn’t much to talk about this subject because I think all of you already know what variety means. Therefore, you can assume what you need to do to become a variety streamer. Nevertheless, I am going to dedicate a few sentences to this subject.
A variety streamer is someone who doesn’t focus his content on only one subject, thus, if you stream multiple games or you run a podcast and stream Warzone or any other game you are considered a variety streamer. Basically, if your streams are about more than one thing you are considered a variety streamer.
Related: Best Games to Stream
A Thing or Two About Growing Your Variety Streams
When you take a look at apps that track the fastest growing channels on Twitch, if you take a closer look you are going to see that almost all of them play a single game (or at the very least a single genre).
Obviously, that is no accident. You see people are creatures of habit. They like consistency, they like knowing what they are going to get and they really don’t like unexpected surprises. For example, how would you feel if you went to see a Star Wars movie expecting an action film, but instead you got like an hour of a romantic comedy.
To get people to passionately watch your streams you will definitely need a hook, you need to let people know what to expect when they come into your stream. Whether that is streaming the same game or the same genre of games just some sort of a routine.
Whenever you’re first starting off (this is true for a lot of things) it is much easier to build a niche first than expand out from there.
Another silly example; look at Matthew McConaughey in his career, he started out in romantic comedies, and now he is filming a lot of different content and is staring in awesome TV shows. That is because that was his first typecast that got him noticed and then he expanded.
For streamers being typecast is in fact a good thing it means that people actually care about you and want to come back for more of that content. You can use that later to expand, but first, you want to just try to get typecast in the first place to get people to care.
The thing that you need to avoid is that same conversation whenever you meet streamers in real life; Hey what do you do? Oh, I’m a variety streamer (talking insecurely).
If you can’t sell yourself (you know what I mean) to others and describe yourself in that way, how can you expect people to know what you are doing and to know what you are about? That is very important because that is one of the ways to deal with people if you want to be taken seriously.
Competition and Choices in Variety Streaming
So, you read all the above and you still want to become a variety streamer. The first thing to keep in mind is that your competition is everyone. Everyone wants to become a variety streamer, basically that is because that’s what they want to do and that is kind of the definition. Doing whatever that is that you want to do.
What are some things that you can do to ease into that transition and to get people to care? So, one thing that you can do about it is to introduce variety into your social media. There you can talk about different topics, different subjects, make videos that are comedy-focused or that are focused on art, literature, movies, or anything like that.
Social media is a good place to experiment without having to sacrifice a day of a stream in your normal stream space.
Now I must implement one thing to definitely not do as a variety streamer. That is, never ask your audience what they think you should play. Generally, most people don’t even know what they want until it’s right there in front of them.
If you present them with a choice, the people that pick an option and don’t get to see their choice on your stream, probably aren’t going to show up on your stream again.
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You should always be the elected dictator of your stream, you are their Julius Caesar and it is your job to lead your people. While asking your audience what you should play is a bad idea, you can still use them in other ways.
I suggest starting a discord channel for topics that you can talk about on your stream. This I a way to get some idea of what your audience is into and what they want to hear without the harsh idea of them not being able to see their choice on your stream.
Overall, it’s good input and it helps guide your future content and your future games. You can kind of use that to decide what to stream next and where to go.
Another way is to use these smarter than now algorithms of the internet to your advantage. Go to YouTube type in the game you are playing, click on the video, and then check out the recommended videos for that game.
Chances are that if YouTube thinks that enough people like the one to like the other, that is going to apply to Twitch as well. It’s like the Netflix search algorithm, except this one works.
Passion is a Key to Success as a Variety Streamer
The thing that is tricky about this topic is that depending on where you are at in your journey as a streamer and a content creator there are really different answers. But I think one of the core things you need to know is that if you are not passionate about what you are streaming, it is going to be obvious.
So, before you start diving into whether you should stream X game or Y game or for how many weeks or months you should focus on one game. The first question should be: “Do you even like that game?”
I think what we are seeing right now, with quarantine and just natural evolution of live streaming we can see a rise in IRL streams and all the different potential there is for people to share their passion with an audience.
For example, I know people who do mental health streams, axe-throwing streams, studying streams, and so on. These streams are successful because they are portraying what the person is passionate about.
But have in mind that not all content that you might be passionate about will have a large audience. The thing to figure out is where is the overlap between what you are passionate about and what the audience is passionate about.
Benefits of Variety and One Game Streamers
One of the most common questions on Twitch is: “What game should I stream?” But more importantly, should I focus on one game or should I try to be a variety streamer and bring in all sorts of games.
Here I am basically going to give you my two cents on the benefits of variety streaming versus the benefits of focusing on one game in one community.
If you are focusing on one game (the thing I think is smarter for beginners) there are definitely some things that you are gaining from that.
As I said in the previous headline, your early growth is going to be largely based off on the audience that you can attract by playing only one game. And after you assemble a loyal audience you can start your transition forward variety streaming.
What I really mean is that your early growth will be largely based on relationships. It could be other stream communities, essentially any stream-based community. Those are going to be your first Twitch viewers, and if you are ingrained in the community of a game. That will just be one more community for you to network in and for you to build relationships in.
One cool benefit of single-game streaming is that you can become an expert in that game. Then you can share your knowledge of that game with people who come in and are curious about it.
On the other hand, if you are hopping from category to category, you never really get ingrained in that community and it can be hard to become an expert in the game you have played for a week.
The downside of jumping from one game to another is that the certain community that followed you for that specific game will most definitely abandon you. And that is totally acceptable because they have every right to abandon content that they don’t find interesting and don’t want to watch.
One of the best content creators that I have seen, they sort of straddle this fence of variety and keeping thing moving and keeping thing fresh and also kind of getting ingrained it to the community of the games they play.
The way that they structure their streams is they focus on just one or two games for a set period of time (like a month or six weeks, or longer depending on what game you play).
The interesting thing about it is that audiences will come and see a fresh face for a game that they love but the established community there and the established structure that kind of emotionally prepares them for a point where they move on to other games.
That way your audience will not be blindsided by it and won’t be confused and frustrated about it. They might still leave but there is goodwill and understanding and if you eventually go back to a certain game that they liked, in 99% they will come back.
So, basically, if you are going to be a variety streamer, be a variety streamer with structure and timeframes, and schedules. That way your audience can always know what to expect from you, and if you ask me that is the most important thing when it comes to Twitch variety streamers.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does variety mean on Twitch?
Today there are more and more variety streamers on Twitch and the number is only rising. But what does variety mean on Twitch? Well, let’s put it as simple as possible.
When a person chooses to stream different content on a daily basis, going from one genre to another. Rather than focusing on a single game variety of streamers play what they want, when they want.
2. Who is the best variety streamer?
Well, according to Twitch statements, the best variety streamer is a fellow named XQCOW. He plays a variety of games such as GTA 5, Rust, Minecraft, Valorant, and so on. His average views go up to 84.821 ranked 13th overall on the Twitch platform. Not bad for a variety streamer.
3. Is being a variety streamer hard?
We already discussed this topic above. But either way, I am also going to say a few words about this here. The answer to this question is YES. It is pretty hard to achieve something like a variety streamer. Why? Well, that is based upon multiple things.
The first being that you can’t really choose a specific community to grow if you stream multiple games. The best thing to do when you start streaming is to try to break through with a single game. Then when you have a bigger audience you can slowly start to transition to another game or any type of content.
4. How do I become a variety streamer?
As I said above this isn’t an easy job to begin with. What you should do is, choose a single game that you are passionate about. When you do that you should look for a community where you can grow and expand your views and audience.
When you achieve a certain standard (if I can call it that) you can slowly start to prepare your audience for something new, and then you can start streaming any content you like and become a variety streamer.
5. Is it better to stream one game or a variety?
This is a difficult question, primarily because it depends solely on what you like and how much money and audience would you like to earn/get. For beginners, it’s way better to start their career as a streamer by playing only one game.
That way you can be a part of a growing community and try to boost your audience through these communities. Then when you have a certain audience you can start thinking about becoming a variety streamer (depending on what your audience would like from you).
If you made it all the way through here, then obviously your goal is to become a variety streamer. My advice is don’t wait a moment longer, you will want to get into it as quickly as possible. Do something like 3 days a week you do a normal stream and one day you are doing the variety day using those tips that we gave you.
It is a good way to ease your audience into that process and build up that personality first before making the jump.
For a counter-example, you can look at Ninja, who is well known as a Fortnite streamer. One day he chooses to stream the Final Fantasy 7 and he got only five thousand views compared to his average fifty thousand views at the time. Therefore, you can’t just dive into it and expect success, you got to build it up.
I hope that this content helped you in any way. Good buy and good luck to all of your streamers out there.
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