Thursday, 12 April 2018

Twitch - March 2018 Report

Hi everyone and welcome once again to my monthly twitch report.

Last post I talked about the things I tried in February, which included giveaways and trying to reach new people on subreddits.

In March I continued doing the same along with a few new experiments.
March Experiments.

1- Dressing up

One of the things I've noticed about some big streamers is their decision to completely forgo their real life personality and trade it for a persona that they use while streaming.

It's a lot easier to say and do things you normally won't if you convince yourself that you're portraying a character, this opens up a lot of room for experimentation and appeal to multiple audiences.

I tried dressing up, donning on a couple of different outfits while playing the game Super Seducer. I thought it was a good time to debut these personas because Super Seducer is the type of game that relies on the streamer to be entertaining

Conservative Arab costume. Just missing the beard! 
I was going for suave but creepy. Similar to the Super Seducer

The idea of doing these sort of gimmicks to reach new people is worth trying. It gives you flexibility and shows your viewers you are open to ideas. First time viewers will also be impressed with the effort and would be more likely to come again and see what crazy thing you're gonna wear ...or not wear ;) 

In both February and March the amount of viewers who converted to followers was almost exactly the same (both at 5%). Bear in mind that the graph above also takes in account regular viewers. Twitch doesn't have a stat that shows ONLY new viewers but all viewers who come to a stream, so keep the above information in mind.

Overall the sample size is small (I only dressed up for 2 days out of 23) and the general volatility of Twitch means that you must do the same test many times to get conclusive results. Both days of dressing up gave me above average viewers at 23 and 27 compared to my daily 20. Great results but the sample size was small and more testing is required.

Conclusion: If you are playing something with slow gameplay or replaying a favorite game, try out a new personality. Spice things up a little and see how your audience reacts.

2- Momentum 

This isn't quite a scientific section but I think anyone whose streamed had those feelings of "wow this is awesome" whenever the stream is going great. This feeling permeates through the streamer and the viewers and is the difference between an awesome stream and an Ok stream.

This isn't something you can turn on or control, but what matters is when you feel the stream is growing and getting better, try to stream longer and more often to keep the momentum going. 

I should point out that I streamed a lot more in March than I did in previous months. I streamed around 40 hours in January and February, but increased that to 55 hours in March. I felt the stream was picking up steam and I had more energy due to being excited!.

This feeling of excitement wasn't just in my imagination, but the chat as well was more active. I had almost double the messages per stream in March as I did in February, and more than 3 times than January.

Conclusion: Try to be more flexible, if you stream 2 hours and a lot of newcomers show up in the last 10 minutes, go for another half an hour. If chat is being extra active and discussions are flying, then keep it going and don't shut down the stream. If more people are showing up to each stream then stream more days if possible. 

3- New chatbot and viewer polls.

I've been using Nightbot since I found out about it and it's been an extent. Nightbot allows you to make your own commands, which can feature links and some interactivity. I felt like there were more things I wanted from a chatbot and so I decided to try out Streamlabs chatbot.

The 2 benefits of Streamlabs that I was most interested in were the currency option and making your own sound commands. Since  my experiments in February I noticed great growth and met lots of wonderful people. However I did also meet people who seemed less interested in my content and more in my giveaways over anything else.

In an attempt to curb the problem, I added a currency system. Basically you get 1 coin for every minute you're in the stream and to join the giveaway you need 15 coins, you can also join multiple times up to a limit.

Adding a currency system opens up new options as well, viewers can spend coins to run special commands and vote on polls. This allows regulars to have more say on how the channel proceeds compared to first time viewers who may not come again. (Coins can be spent to vote for the next game to play or what action to perform in Telltale type games).

Conclusion: Got a favorite quote from a game? did someone clip your scream during a horror game? whatever it is you can think of, make a command for it and let chat spam it. It gives streams a bit more personality and that always helps.

March Numbers!

Click me!

1- I didn't have as much fluctuations in March as I did in February. February had some days when I was streaming to 8 people and others where I was hitting 25 average. 

2- The number of people finding my stream from just browsing Twitch was 3 times higher in March compared to February. While there is no one reason for this, it probably boils down to a few factors.

Since my channel grew, people didn’t have to scroll down the page as far to see me. The closer to the top, the more people will see the channel!

3- Followers are the biggest source of my views, but not by much. I was a little shocked to see that they only account for 20% of my views, it's a little hard to imagine where the rest come from though. 30% of my views from Twitch are either people browsing around or followers, the other 70% is largely unaccounted for since Twitch doesn't seem to track them.

Now let's compare the last 3 months and see how things are going.

 Average Viewers 

While March had slightly less growth percentage wise than February (which saw 50% increase) March was an amazing month for me, getting an almost 40% increase in viewership.

When streaming pay attention to what time people are tuning in to watch you. If you stream 4 hours but nobody shows up in the first 2 or last 2 hours then consider moving your times around to take advantage of this.

I stream at a sweet spot, 11 PM (GMT). It's a good time for my US audience to tune in as it's after work/school, but before bedtime.

New Followers

While the percentage of people who followed in March was slightly less than February, it was double in volume. I only started trying out new things in the second half of February, so perhaps if I had started earlier then we would see a smaller gap between months.

Either way, a lot more people in March were interested in a return visit and that's great news.

 Total Unique Views 

March saw more than twice as many people find my stream as February. Most of my views came from what I tried to do in February but I also posted a link to my stream using Twitter and on my company homepage. 

Games I played

In March, one of the things I started to pay attention to was how many people are following a specific game. If a game had a ton of followers, would that reflect on my viewer list? The results I got suggested that wasn't the case. 

1- Resident Evil 4 (163k Followers): I started the month with Resident Evil 4 and managed to finish it. With a lot of people following the game, tons of mods and nostalgia, RE4 gave me a lot of value for my time.

I recommended this game for streaming in February and maintain that it is fantastic for growing your channel. I played RE4 from March 1st and 2nd. 

2- Final Fantasy Tactics (16k Followers): I spent most of March with FFT, a turn based strategy RPG with a strong emphasis on the job system. Tactics has many of the same pros as RE4, they are both fan favorite games in very well known series and both are quite long in the tooth, giving them nostalgia points.

FFT is quite long though, sitting at around 40 hours easily, this is both a good and a bad thing, it's good because it removes the headache of picking another game so soon after starting but it also means not reaching new communities for the duration of the play through.

Still, minor gripes aside, Tactics was very helpful for growing my channel and I recommend it.

3- Gorogoa (2k Followers): An absolutely gorgeous game that uses art as a way to solve puzzles. I was very impressed with it. And it's the most creative and original game I've played this year.

However there are several downsides to Gorogoa for streaming. Firstly it's a 2-3 hour puzzle game with no replay value, once you finish it (in one stream probably) you have no reason to revisit it. It's hard to reach new audience when you spend so little time with one game.

Secondly it's expensive for it's price, at $15 for 2 hours of entertainment.

Overall while the game itself is wonderful, I don't recommend it for new streamers. It's worth it if you have a consistent audience who can appreciate the art and the puzzles, otherwise stay away.

Cringe: The Game!

4- Super Seducer (19k Followers):
Firstly, don't judge me, I played this game for the plot okay? 

Super Seducer is one of the saddest games anyone can play, it is just one one episode of harassment after another. By the time you finish an episode you'll feel like you need to shower.....twice.

There have been tons of reviews for this game so I won't make another one. What I will say though is that I streamed this game almost the day it came out and it.....wasn't so bad to stream.

With a lot of cringe and bored acting, the ability to make choices and zero gameplay, SS is ironically a really good streaming game. You can make polls to discuss what is the best option to tackle your date (in some instances literally) and it's fun to see what is "right" and what is "wrong" according to the game.

SS gave me the most active chats the days I streamed it, with more than 1500 messages everytime. People like to talk about it.

For $15 and 10 hours of gameplay, there are worse options than Super Seducer.


March was fantastic for me, the best month of the year so far. While I didn't try quite as many new things as I would have liked, just continuing what worked and adding a few variety streams really helped. 

Streaming to a bigger audience is tough though, there are more conversations going on and messages are easy to miss. I sometimes miss the first message a newcomer says and might alienate them but it's a learning process and I am adapting.

In April I intend to upgrade my PC to take advantage of more quality options, add a Green screen and test adding images to marketing posts.

If you enjoyed reading this or want me to discuss certain topics indepth, please leave a comment with your thoughts. Any and all feedback is welcome.

Favorite clip of March

I had a funny bug occur with RE4 that I enjoyed, check it out here.