Reasons People Stop Watching You on Twitch

With over 9.7 million daily active users, Twitch has quickly become one of the leading services for viewing and streaming video game content on smartphones, tablets, PCs, and gaming consoles. Every month, over 2 million Twitch users stream their gameplay or creative content on the network with many of these streamers aiming to make a full-time income with their hobby and become a famous Twitch Affiliate or Partner.

To become a Twitch Affiliate or Partner though, a streamer must first reach certain follower count and viewing prerequisites. Not only do streamers need to get viewers to watch their streams but they also need to entice these potential fans into adding the account to their follow list and tuning in on a regular basis in the future. This can be difficult for newcomers who have little experience in broadcasting and building a brand but it can also be troublesome for established personalities too.

Here are the five biggest reasons Twitch users refuse to watch a stream (or stop viewing it as soon as they begin) along with our easy-to-follow tips for how to turn things around and become a pro.

No Camera

The most common way for Twitch users to discover new streamers is through browsing the Twitch website and apps. Both display thumbnails of current live broadcasts which are made from randomly generated screenshots of the stream and many users choose which streams to watch based entirely on these images. One issue with these thumbnails is that a lot of them can look the same, especially when browsing streams relating to the same game or subject. The most effective way to differentiate your screencap from all of the others? Have your camera turned on.

In addition to making your stream's thumbnail stand out among the (sometimes) hundreds of other search results on Twitch, having your camera turned on will give your broadcast a sense of legitimacy and professionalism. Letting viewers see your face will also allow them to connect with your more, which means they'll be more likely to stick around and watch you and possibly follow you for future streams.

  • Actionable tip: Whether you're using your Xbox One's Kinect, your laptop's webcam, or a dedicated camera, make sure to turn it on and place the layout box with the footage from the camera in the upper left or right corner of the screen. Twitch places the stream title and description over the bottom half of the thumbnail on their apps which will hide your camera footage.

You're Boring

man wearing an orange cap and purple jumper playing video games on a Sony PlayStation 4
joshblake / E+

As exciting as your gameplay of whichever video game you're playing may be, the majority of Twitch users choose to watch streams based on the streamer themselves and if you're not that interesting to watch, viewers will simply watch someone else instead.

It's important to talk during a stream. Even if no one's watching or talking to you in your Twitch chat, talk as if someone is so that when viewers check out your broadcast, they see an active streamer, not just someone staring at their monitor. An easy way to do this is to simply verbalize your thought process as you're playing a game. Stuck on a puzzle? Talk through your possible solutions out loud. If you have some viewers watching, make sure to welcome them to the stream and ask them about their day, where they're watching from, or even if they have the same video game. The important thing is to be active.

  • Actionable tip: Ask a friend to jump into your Twitch chat before you start broadcasting so that you have someone to talk to when you begin your stream. Another great tip is to invest in a quality gaming headset so your audience can hear you properly. 

Offensive Content

Twitch is a relatively open platform compared to other similar services and allows for swearing in its broadcasts. Just because this is allowed, however, doesn't mean that this is something streamers shouldn't be thinking about. While swearing usually isn't an issue for the average adult viewer, using coarse language during a broadcast may exclude underage viewers and adults watching the stream with their own children and can shrink your audience considerably. The same can be said for language that could be considered racist, sexist, or homophobic. The choice is a personal one but choosing to partake in a little self-censorship can greatly broaden your stream's appeal and would give viewers who are unsure about sticking around one less reason to watch someone else. 

  • Actionable tip: Rewatch some of your previous broadcasts from the perspective of someone in a different demographic. Would a father watch your stream with his children? Is your dialog welcoming to female and minority gamers? Make notes and adjust if necessary.

Repetitive Gaming

Something that a lot of new Twitch streamers forget is that they're playing video games for their audience and not for themselves. It's important to remember at all times what it's like to be watching someone else play a game and to keep the gameplay interesting with some sense of forward momentum. Dedicating over an hour to solving one specific puzzle in a game may seem important to the person playing but for the viewer, it can get old very quickly and can cause them to go in search of a more dynamic player on another channel.

  • Actionable tip: If you find yourself stuck on a video game and unable to progress, consider switching to a different game mode or even changing games entirely. 15 minutes should be the absolute maximum amount of time you spend dedicated to one specific puzzle or section of a game.

Eating While Streaming

Eating during a Twitch stream may seem like a good idea at first, especially with the new trend in social eating which involves doing nothing but eating on camera, but for viewers who are used to watching other content such as video games or talk shows, this can be a bit of a turn off and could even push some fans into unsubscribing.

It's all to do with an innocent disconnect that can happen between streamers and viewers. Streamers see eating on camera as sharing a meal with friends but many viewers react to it as if they're hearing someone eat on a phone call or while recording a podcast. Some viewers will be fine with it but many will get grossed out by it or even consider to be rude and unprofessional. Eat at your own risk.

  • Actionable tip: If you're doing a long stream and need to eat, simply take a 15-minute break. During this time, turn off your microphone and change your streaming visuals to play a video or image slideshow you've made. Many popular streamers use this method to showcase photos of themselves at video game or streaming conventions and this can be a great way to build a sense of community for your Twitch channel. Other effective visual ideas include a fullscreen reminder of donation goals or even expanding the chatroom to fill the entire display. Twitch Affiliates and Partners can also play some ads during this time which is a very convenient way to earn a few extra dollars while stepping away.

One of the most important things to remember when streaming on Twitch is to have fun but with these tips, there's no reason why your channel can't be successful as well.

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