Streaming Games on Twitch.tv

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Many new companies have started competing with Twitch.tv, as it’s a very profitable company. Streaming online is often an easy way for people to make money. The process is easy, in theory: start streaming, build up a fan base, and people will start donating. Most streamers don’t actually do it for the money, though.

Brandon Bodnar, a student at Thornton and a Twitch streamer, started streaming at the beginning of this year. Brandon, like most other streamers, didn’t start streaming for the money.

“I was in a dark place where I lost a lot of my friends, and so I started to twitch stream. I really made it a part of what I am.”

Brandon now has almost 700 followers, most of which were gained during the summer. His main reason for starting to stream was to meet people and play with them. Of course, the incentive of some money was a bit of a boost as well. But in the end he said,

“If you’re not there for the viewers, I don’t know why you would do it.”

Brandon has made $23 so far, all in donations from his viewers. He streams Garry’s Mod, a game for the PC, which involves many different game-modes. Most of his viewers have come from watching him play Gmod. He often invites his viewers to play with him and join servers. It’s a quick and easy way to play with friends and fans.

In Gmod, there’s many different game-modes to choose from. With his streams, he’s been playing the biggest, most popular ones. He’s been tiring of them, so he’s starting to branch out to the smaller ones to renew his interest in the game.

Almost his entire summer was spent inside streaming.

But to him, it wasn’t a waste.

“I’ve worked hard to come back every day during the summer, and have spent literally two months not spending the day with friends to stream. You give a lot of time for something you’re not getting paid for towards the end. Money has never been a deciding factor for me. The button’s always been there for people to donate money, but it’s not the biggest reason.”

For any wannabe streamers, Brandon says a required program is the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), which is free. You also need a microphone/headset, and maybe a webcam. Many streamers often have webcams so that their viewers can see them, but it’s all up to you. Probably the hardest part about streaming is the time commitment. Brandon streamed nearly every day during the summer, so he was able to build up a solid and loyal fan base. For those of you who don’t stream very often. People will often forget about you.

If you were thinking about streaming for money, you might want to rethink that. Instead, try doing it for the viewers, fans, and friends.

For Star_, a YouTuber and Twitch streamer, he sees streaming as a way to relax, as making YouTube videos is stressful to him. He was recently dealing with some health issues, but had dedicated himself to streaming for a whole month.

“Meanwhile, things like streaming for a month was difficult, but was much less stressful and what I really needed to relax for a while.”

For many people, including Star, streaming can be a relaxing and fun experience. The money he got for streaming was an added bonus, but it wasn’t his first priority.

“Clicking ‘start streaming’ immediately feels like you’re doing exactly what you set out to accomplish, people show up and are happy to see you, and you can play a game for 4 hours and feel satisfied.”

Star_  is a YouTuber who is famous for his Team Fortress 2 videos. He has over seven hundred thousand subscribers. According to his blog, making YouTube videos can be really stressful to him. He often streams to Twitch to relax, but still be productive. Since he has such a large fan-base, it’s easy for him to stream to thousands of people. Since he’s played Team Fortress 2 so much, whenever he plays it, it feels almost forced to him. On Twitch, he plays a lot of different games, like Dark Souls, and more recently, Overwatch. Star absolutely loves streaming, but he simply can’t afford to do it for a living.

In 2015, Twitch boasted it had more than 1.5 million broadcasters and 100 million viewers per month. Because there are so many, the average is quite low, nearing $0. Most people know that streaming will get them hardly anything, as most streamers don’t have a donate button or any reason for their viewers to subscribe. The most popular Twitch streamers can make about $35,000 a month from just donations. To stream yourself, you’re going to need some hardware and software. For quality headsets that can record your voice at a good quality while still providing you with good sound will cost $50 upwards. Most streamers have a webcam so that their viewers can see the streamer. These cost about $20-70. For the streaming software, you can use the Open Broadcaster Software which is free, but if you want more features you can use Xsplit which costs $25 a month. If you’re interested in getting donations, you can use the website streamtip.com, which is a free and easy to use donating service which works with your stream. The most serious streamers have top of the line equipment, which costs a lot more than the items I’ve described here. Also if you’re planning to stream on PC, you’ll need a beefy computer to run some of the more popular games at an acceptable setting. People don’t like bad-looking games. As to the hardest part of streaming, which is building up a viewer-base, you should stream popular games and be good at said popular games. Also, people love free stuff so if you can, have lots of giveaways!

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