You probably think that twitch's biggest weakness is discovery.
Still, you are wrong... twitch has a much more severe problem that is far more detrimental than discovery will ever be for it, an issue that is so severe it makes twitch almost unusable for streamers and viewers, a problem that, if it is not fixed soon it might mean that twitch is no longer the best place for live streamers to create content.
so what is twitch's real biggest weakness, what can they do about it but more importantly what can streamers who are currently on twitch do about that weakness to make sure that it doesn't impact their growth discovery and revenue.
So that was an ad; if you didn't know what an ad was, ads are a little bit intrusive, but on a platform like YouTube, they're not that bad because they don't play over the top of your content. The content will pause the ad will play. Then the content will start again, meaning you don't miss anything ad without missing content. That truly is the future of advertising integration except it's not because tv has been using that system for literally years.
Now not to mention the fact there are also pre-rolls and mid-rolls on YouTube that are skippable at the five-second mark making them even less intrusive to your content, now let's compare that to twitch, once you're an affiliate or twitch partner ads are added to your channel every person who comes to your stream will see a pre-roll ad that is usually 30 seconds max, it could be three times 10 second ads or one large 30-second ad but it is always 30 seconds for the pre-roll.
There are only three ways to turn these pre-rolls off one is to have your viewers subscribe to your stream, two is to cancel your affiliate contract or three the streamer can run their own mid-roll ads.
One mid-roll ad is 30 seconds long and turns pre-rolls off for 10 minutes 90 seconds of mid-rolls turns them off for 30 minutes which is the max you can turn a pre-roll off using mid-rolls that is a lot of unavoidable ads, you can't skip them in any way and it's really important to remember that twitch is live content which means anytime you choose to run an ad you are interrupting the viewer experience and taking them out of the content, this means you have to choose when you're going to interrupt this viewer's content by either making a viewer watch 30 seconds of ads before seeing your stream which makes one in three of them leave before making it even into your stream aka hurting your new viewer discovery or you can choose to run mid-roll ads in order to stop those pre-rolls and this can sometimes make non-subscribing viewers leave hurting your average viewer and retention rate because they literally miss the live content they can't see it again right when you're about to do something exciting in your game you ran a mid-roll to turn pre-rolls off for 30 minutes this is a choice that every single twitch streamer is forced to make once they reach affiliate either you hurt your overall new view or discovery or you hurt your current viewer retention rate.
Pick one but because these ads are so unavoidable and also unskippable, we can at least assume that the money you earn from ads as a twitch streamer is good it is much better than YouTube right, no the money earned from youtube ads is far better than twitch ads, twitch ads pay a miniscule amount compared to what i earn here on youtube.
This is the core problem and the biggest weakness with twitch as a streaming platform right now, ads are far more intrusive and detrimental to the viewer experience when trying to absorb live content and the way they integrate it is hurting streamers, twitch needs to solve this if they want to be the home of live streaming in the future.
The problem with that is that twitch is never going to lower the overall amount of ads going out, advertisers pay the bills and keep the lights on on the platform so instead we need to shift our approach rather than just complaining about ads we need to make the way they're integrated better which is why i've come up with a few solutions.
Solution number one is that twitch needs to make it so that pre-rolls are delayed if a brand new viewer comes into your stream, they should not be getting a pre-roll instantly, we all know that it's one of the quickest ways to bounce away from something, if you aren't invested in the content seeing an ad is not going to keep you around so instead let someone join get a feel for the content get invested in the content and then within 5 or 10 minutes give them a pre-roll, they will most likely stick around better if they've had a chance to actually engage and say hello to the streamer and the community, twitch inherently wants viewers to stay on the platform engaging with the content and absorbing more of it so that is why pre-rolls need to be shifted because they are one of the worst factors for creating bounce from a stream right now.
Solution number two, we need to shift ads so that they no longer hurt a streamer's growth but instead give incentives for the viewers to help a streamer to grow, add incentives for viewers such as little pop-ups that say hey you're not following this stream if you follow this stream you're going to get 45 minutes of ad-free viewing right now or sick of seeing ads if you follow the stream you get 30 minutes worth of ad free viewing every single day on this stream or incorporate solution number one into solution number two, if someone follows a stream give them delayed pre-rolls on that stream, i don't think this helps the new of your retention but i still think it's a great incentive so that people don't hate ads as much or if we're talking about loyal viewers and trying to make their viewing experience better in individual channels then let's let them use channel points to redeem skips on the next set of ads that play or a small period of ad-free viewing just once a day is enough you don't need to go over the top.
Or solution number three which twitch has already started doing and that is increasing the overall payout that ads give you, if you're unaware for a lot of streamers a new ads incentive program has been rolled out by twitch every single month they will give you three different tiers of bounty or gold to try and reach, each tier sets a number of hours you need to stream a number of ads per hour you need to run and then a guaranteed payout, you'll get if you reach that the amount is calculated and based on your average viewers from the previous month and you will be paid that amount.
On top of what you earned from running ads normally this means if you would normally earn 100 from running ads and then you also accept a bounty that offers you 120 for running the same amount of ads then you will earn the full 220 usd from the bounty and the normal ads income at first, the payouts for this ad incentive program caused a bit of an uproar because they were a bit small but as it's gone on i've seen slow and steady increase in the amount they're willing to pay out at least in the streamers i work with and it seems like they're on the right track but the problem with the ads incentive program is it doesn't actually solve the problem of ads for the viewer it simply means that i as a streamer get paid a decent amount for running my ads and i might be more willing to run them because of that.
Which leads us back to our original conversation that ads are intrusive and they need to be changed if it's going to work with live content this wouldn't be a stream scheme video if we didn't give you an actionable tip that you can implement right now as well, if you are a streamer who is an affiliate or a partner that means there are ads on your channel you need to know how many pre-rolls are going off and how many mid-rolls are going off and then you need to choose what you're going to focus on and how you're going to balance that with your content, at the end of the day you don't want too many mid-rolls and turning off people who like your content but you also don't want pre-rolls turning away people who might have loved your content, be aware of it and balance it.
The biggest piece of advice i can give you though is that as a streamer you probably have a starting soon screen and even if you don't it's most likely okay to run a 60 to 90 seconds worth of ads right at the start of your stream it usually takes about two minutes for a notification to even go out and for viewers to start coming in, anyone who's already there right at the start of your stream is probably also subbed and won't even see those ads which means if you do run those 6 to 90 seconds right at the start nobody actually sees them and you'll still get to turn pre-rolls off for 33 minutes and then as you go through your normal live stream try and find times where you go to the bathroom or it's a lull moment where you can say hey i'm gonna manually run 60 to 90 seconds of ads right now i'm not earning money from those ads i'm simply running them because it turns ads off for new users who aren't subbed or aren't members of the channel i hope that's okay and push the add button, viewers will be okay with this most of the time.
That said you also have to build this expectation up, you can't just instantly start running three minutes worth of ads whenever you want to start, small work your way up and make sure you're not making them interrupt your content.
Ads are a far worse problem for every single streamer on twitch, in fact ads also impact your discovery but that isn't to say that twitch discovery doesn't have its own fair share of issues but here is my hot take which doesn't actually owe you discovery, you and i or we as streamers are responsible for our own growth and we understand that twitch has issues, the moment that we start blaming a system and aggressively repeating the words twitch discovery is bad that's why i'm not growing it's really the moment that you've given up on growing at all because at the end of the day if twitch discovery is bad and you know that it is that bad then why aren't you taking action rather than just going around and complaining about it being bad.
Twitch has a system in place for how their platform works their platform has a way of the viewers using it and finding people they want to watch, it's not up to them to completely rebuild it it's up to us as content creators to try and use that system to our best ability to grow in, no way am i saying that twitch's discovery is a godsend or it's good, i'm just saying that there are dozens upon dozens of creators that i know personally who have managed to grow in the past two years from zero to 200 plus average viewers without any external funnels like youtube or twitter or anything like that and they did it by using that platform and how it works and understanding how you a viewer actually uses twitch but i can't name any of those people because they all go to different schools but i promise they're definitely real and they did grow on the platform.
I'm not just saying that folks aside it is absolutely possible to grow on twitch it's just very difficult which is why often it is easier to go to a more discoverable platform such as youtube and then bring those people over to your stream, it tends to be faster more sustainable and just generally more powerful for growth.
But should twitch do more to increase discovery for new creators and help new streamers to grow? well yeah absolutely because it's in their best interest to be the best place for streamers to start, they want to make sure that the next ludwig chooses to make content on twitch instead of onto youtube because then he grows and makes them money but does that mean they have to change their entire platform and how discovery works? No, but let's talk about how twitch can become more discoverable for a new streamer.
Now the obvious one and the one that comes up every single time this conversation starts is the idea of creating a clips feed on the front page of twitch similar to tiktok that scrolls through and shows you new streamers, the concept is to take this clip feed and to put it on the home page or somewhere really obvious on twitch that will then serve twitch clips that have high retention rate and high clickability or shareability much like any other algorithm does for tiktok or youtube shorts and in turn by showing these clips to people it'll help new streamers be discovered more but hear me out, i think this is a terrible idea and a massive waste of time which users barely go to the homepage of twitch and when they do go to the home page of twitch they're usually only there for a second before going straight to their follower list on the left and clicking on their favorite streamers who are online.
It is incredibly rare for a viewer to go to twitch home page or to twitch in general and peruse around looking for a new streamer and even if i was wrong about that let's pretend like every single person who goes to twitch goes to that twitch homepage and they love to peruse around and try and find brand new favorite streamers would twitch add this feature to their home page, i don't think they would and i don't think they should because when you have a platform such as twitch or youtube that has a main product you don't add a secondary product and then put it in high traffic real estate like the front page or anywhere else, that'll interrupt or distract or take viewers away from your main product.
This is the same reason why youtube won't push live streams or shorts directly to your homepage on desktop because by doing that they might hurt their main product videos and lower their overall user session time on the platform and most likely if they did add this little clip feed over on twitch you probably wouldn't be able to spend bits or subscribe to a user.
Just based on that which means they can't monetize it and if they tried to monetize it small streamers would lose their mind because that's what small streamers on twitch do, they lose their mind because they're incredibly passionate about this platform, i personally don't have a feature suggestion or a solution to deal with twitch discovery and i actually think it's wild that so many people think they can pose solutions that would solve all of this, i actually think that in order to fix this you would have to completely rebuild twitch and that would be a huge amount of time energy and testing in order to be able to do that which would likely hurt their main product and their main audience who already uses it.
The actionable tip here is to stop thinking, there is some magical button or some magical world where twitch is going to help you be discovered, if you want to be discovered on twitch you have to be at the top of an active beloved category that people are going to and want to see more content in or you need to receive raids, hosts and collaborations with already established streamers or you need to diversify to more discoverable platforms such as youtube or tiktok which is so easy now because you can use a service like join combo to turn around tiktoks in under five minutes.
That is it, there is no magical solution it is just hard work and finding ways to increase your reach and discoverability because twitch is what twitch is, this has been a lot of doom and gloom so i want to make sure that i talk about one massive strength that twitch has over other platforms and i also want to talk about an issue that i think every single streamer needs to be aware of but before i get into both those things i want to throw it out there, if you find this video interesting or helpful at all then consider checking out my other content and throw me a subscribe a like or a comment, honestly it really helps the channel out and it's totally free, you can unsubscribe later if you don't want to be subscribed.
Twitch's biggest strength and the reason why i love the platform and why i'm still streaming on the platform is its community culture which you have probably heard a thousand times but you likely don't actually know what that means, what does it mean to have community culture, i want you to think of youtube for a second, youtube is kind of like a bunch of island countries each creator is its own island, audiences can split between two or three island countries and have dual passports but the culture between different islands and different creators varies greatly depending on where you go.
Twitch though is more like a single unified country with a lot of different states, now culture can vary from state to state but you're never going to be lost or out of place, you can cross state borders into another twitch chat or another state and say kappa and people will understand exactly what you mean, youtube lacks this and honestly i don't know if YouTube will ever actually be able to create a community culture as strong as twitch because it is so diverse and so large that you're never going to get everyone on the same page but i also don't actually know whether or not youtube even needs this to be successful.
As someone who is a youtuber on this channel and a streamer over on twitch i can confidently say that i have met dozens and dozens of streamers through using twitch's rating, hosting, being rated myself and more and i've now become friends with these streamers and it has absolutely helped me as a creator, it's helped meto grow and to be more confident and i imagine if i had some way of actually meeting other youtubers who are similar size to me well i'd probably be a much more comfortable youtuber and i'd probably be growing a lot better on youtube as well but where would i even begin to attempt to do something like that as a youtuber, this is no weakness of twitch this is a strength and they need to double down harder on the community culture aspects.
They have they need to do more events, they need more networking tools and they need to add more features to keep viewers active in the specific communities they like to spend their time such as channel points, predictions and everything else, the new artist badge and the new prediction upgrades are a great start but let's go further than that, roll out squad streaming to all affiliates, fix auto hosting and give us the option so if we end our stream and we choose not to rage for our own reason it pops up with different streamers from our auto host that we recommend, this way our audience stays on twitch it stays on the platform and in our community.
The actionable tip for this part is that if you are on twitch and you want to grow as a streamer then your best most powerful tool is the community building tools they give you, vips, channel points, predictions, going into other streamers chats and getting an idea about how the language is used, move around the platform and absorb the content and how people interact then bring that back to your stream and make it the best place to be because there's a lot of community culture that a lot of you guys probably don't understand as new streamers and that's holding you back.
But here is the final point of this entire video and the hardest part of this whole video to talk about and that is the fact that there are issues on twitch with ads and there are issues with discovery, there are also solutions that can be built out but none of those solutions at least none of that i've posed or that i've seen online will keep viewers and streamers on the platform because youtube solved a lot of these problems they don't have, the issues with ads as much anymore and they don't have the issue with discovery anymore which means that it's going to take a huge amount of work for twitch to build out a system that makes it better for creators to spend their time there.
The thing that will actually keep streamers and their communities on twitch is that community culture by giving them more tools to focus on that community and giving them a sense of connection that you just don't get on youtube, that's how you're going to win but the problem there is that in a year from now five years from now 10 years from now youtube can have built out all of those tools and they might have been able to grow a culture we don't know and that's the truth that nobody can truly understand what platform is best for streamers and nobody can predict the future because streaming is an incredibly unstable and scary place but as mac from always sunny likes to say i'm playing both sides so that i always come out on top and if you want to play both sides or understand the big differences between youtube and twitch then click this video right here, it's all about twitch vs youtube and everything you need to know as a brand new streamer, it'll really help you out, i'll see you guys next week, subscribe to the channel for more!