Twitch is a growing corner of the internet that has yet to hit the true mainstream.
While the platform has and continues to support gaming content, other categories are on the rise. That growth and development of other segments will lead to more mainstream adoption. That could make Twitch akin to what cable has been to the world for the last 30-years. Live, interactive content that every day presents something new and unique. So, if you’re considering getting into Twitch streaming – here’s a few things you need to get started and why you should start immediately.
How to Get Started on Twitch
If you want to get started on Twitch, you’re going to need a few pieces of equipment, some tech skills, and a plan for your content. Let’s break that down into each of the categories.
Equipment You Need on Twitch
The equipment you need to stream on Twitch is not hard to get, but it does come at some expense. For starters, you will need a good computer capable of handling the latest games, as well as the ability to encode your stream. You want to look for mid-to-high end specs for your PC. The CPU should have at least 4-cores, 8 threads, and ideally 8-cores, 16 threads. You will also need at least 16GB of RAM, and an SSD for data storage.
Also, a modern GPU such as an Nvidia 2060, 2070, 2080 or an AMD Vega or RX 590 are necessary for gaming and some encoding. If you are playing console games, you will need a capture card. Finally, a decent microphone such as a Blue Yeti, and a webcam will provide the audience with the ability to hear and see you.
Tech Skills Needed for Twitch
Being a streamer is often a case of constantly fixing tech issues. You will need to be able to solve strange and confusing issues related to your equipment. Dropped frames, encoding methods and basic notifications for your stream will be things you struggle with.
Fortunately, streaming software has become much better in recent years. OBS and XSplit are the two main providers, and each offers their benefits and drawbacks. Familiarize yourself with both before you decide which to settle on.
Content Plans You’ll Need for Twitch
Before you go live, you need to figure out what your stream is all about. Are you going to play games? Will you interact with people watching? Why should people watch? What will you do differently than everyone else? Figuring out your content plan for your stream is crucial if you want to make streaming a serious part of your life. Even if you’re doing it for fun, knowing what and how you want your streams to go, is key to your enjoyment and success.
Why You Should Get Started on Twitch
If you are considering getting started on Twitch, there’s no time like the present! The next couple of years are going to be massive years for adoption and growth. Here are the five main reasons why you should get started on Twitch!
- It’s Still Niche.
Twitch as a platform caters to gaming content. While gaming is hugely popular, streaming remains a small part of the industry. That leaves significant space for the platform to grow. Beyond that, non-gaming content is underserved on Twitch – and is going to be a major focus of the platform in the years to come.
- The Barrier to Entry is High.
Not everyone can afford to spend a few thousand dollars on a streaming hobby. The technical problem-solving skills necessary are also not common among most people. Finally, streaming and having an enjoyable personality is DIFFICULT. Most people’s personalities flatten out on stream, and that loses viewers interest very quickly. Being able to have an animated but honest personality is a HUGE barrier.
- Non-Gaming Content is Underserved.
As previously mentioned, Twitch is building its non-gaming categories in an attempt to go more mainstream. In the coming years, the growth of the platform will likely be on the backs of those new categories that will appeal to the masses.
- Mainstream Adoption.
Twitch is still not a household name. While young people know about the platform, few people older than 25 do. That means it is following a similar trajectory to YouTube in that regard. And EVERYONE knows about YouTube.
- Communities Support Creators.
Unlike a lot of other platforms that offer the content ‘free’ on the backs of advertisers, Twitch has community support built-in. The community on Twitch has a mindset of ‘if I enjoy this content, I will support the streamer’. Monetization through subscription and digital currency means streamers can earn some income way before they would on other platforms.