Over the past 5 years in my role at Streamlabs, I’ve seen content creators run into serious issues with doing streaming sustainably over the long-term. 79% of new streamers give-up and quit within 90 days. Those that continue, often suffer and toil tremendously at risk to their physical and mental health.
We’ve tried to help alleviate this with great streaming tools at Streamlabs, but we’ve barely made a dent in real issues. These problems have a recurring pattern, and have been happening repeatedly over several years. They also feel structural — tied to the specific implementation of live video today, not just on Twitch, but industry-wide (even in China).
Now feels like a good time to hit pause and reflect on these problems and challenge deep-seated assumptions.
1 — Just. Can’t. Stop. Streaming.
Their advice to other streamers: don’t stop streaming.
Each Twitch/YT/FB/Mixer/Caffeine streaming channel is like a micro-TV channel that accumulates a niche audience. If that channel is not online, it is losing audience to other channels that are live. Viewers want something to watch now when they come to a livestreaming site, and if their preferred channel is offline, they’ll just watch something else. If this happens repeatedly, they’ll forget about their earlier channel and move on.
The problem here is that it’s humanly impossible to be online 24/7/365 but that’s what viewers ultimately want. Streamers burn out trying to deliver this on their own.
2–Nearly everyone is streaming to an empty channel
80%+ of channels are not affiliates on Twitch, and have 0 to 2 viewers.
If you’re a streamer, or want to be a streamer, the overwhelming odds are that you’re streaming to an empty room. Nobody is watching.
This also leads to the massive churn of 79% of streamers giving up in 90 days or less. If nobody is watching, why keep streaming?
If streaming wasn’t so hyped right now and there wasn’t a continuous inflow of hopeful, new streamers each month, we’d be seeing huge churn numbers on streamers. This is happening with some platforms such as Mixer over the past year.
OK. I get it, that sucks. How do we fix it?
Working on it. Stay tuned and follow for Part 2 — coming soon.