The practice of live streaming has become incredibly popular over the years, with millions of viewers from around the world tuning in to watch their favorite video game personalities. As of October 2017, it’s reported that more people subscribed to video game streams and Let's Play channels on YouTube and Twitch than all of HBO, Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu, combined. Meanwhile, advancements in computer technology, fast-speed internet connectivity, and the ever-growing eSports scene have only served to boost these audience figures to new heights. The popularity surrounding video game live streaming certainly shows no signs of slowing down, but how did this streaming phenomenon start?
The rise of the video game streamer
Broadcasting gameplay footage for the world to see isn’t anything new, especially since video game walkthroughs and guide related content have been used by media outlets for years. In fact, many streaming stars initially garnered widespread popularity through gameplay walkthroughs and Let’s Play videos. One of the earliest adopters of this was Felix Chelberg, who launched the PewDiePie channel on YouTube in 2010. His over the top reactions and comical playthroughs quickly garnered him a lot of attention, and it wasn’t long before other channels started to pop up and begin streaming their own gameplay videos. However, the practice of live streaming became popular in the mid-2010s on sites such as Twitch where droves of people would eagerly watch their favorite internet personalities duke it out in live competitive games.
How do gamers turn live streaming into a profession?
Games like Fortnite, PUBG, Dota 2, League of Legends, StarCraft 2, and CS:GO currently dominate Twitch and YouTube viewership figures. These games are not only incredibly popular, but they’re also incredibly competitive – in fact, many can take years to master. As a result, many pro players like Ninja, Shroud, and Myth use Twitch to stream their high-level gameplay and mechanical mastery, providing entertaining commentary, as well as valuable game knowledge to go alongside, giving viewers insightful knowledge that they can use in their own games. Top streamers can earn money from sponsors, audience subscriptions, and donations. Of course, not all live game streamers are so lucky and the majority have to spend long hours competing for their views. The money is certainly ripe for the taking and if you have the skills and charisma to captivate a live audience, you could be well on your way to streaming stardom.
How can I become a live video game streamer?
If you’re not put off by the unsociable work hours and long stream times, then we have a few tips that could prove invaluable when it comes to setting up your own live streaming career.
1) Learn how to stream. This one sounds like a no brainer, but you’ll need to get familiar with your chosen streaming software before putting out any content. After all, no one wants to watch you fumble around with your sound levels and picture quality. Check out our ‘How to Stream Your Games on Twitch’ guide to get started.
2) Invest in some decent streaming equipment. There’s no point trying to grow an audience when you don’t have the necessary gear to stream with. After all, your tools are just as important as your content.
3) Be consistent. This point is very important to every video game live streamer, especially new ones as you’ll want to stream daily to grow your viewership.
4) Interact with your viewers. As you start to get an audience it’s important that you talk to them, so be sure to check your chat every so often.
5) Find your niche. It can be hard to be original when there’s a sea of other live video game streamers out there, but you’ll need to stand out from the crowd if you want to make it. If your entertaining and fun to watch, then your audience will grow.