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How to get started on Twitch, according to the experts

January 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 24.6%. 3 min read.

Here's how to get started with Twitch streaming, from the hardware and software you need to advice from the experts.

Once a niche destination for watching video game broadcasts, Twitch has become the epicenter of online entertainment — especially now that creators and fans alike are spending more time at home.

The Amazon-owned live streaming platform is host to tens of millions of viewers, who tune in daily to watch gaming competitions, podcasts, concerts, cooking shows and just about anything else involving a person speaking into a microphone.

Better yet, trying out Twitch streaming for yourself has never been easier, thanks to a variety of ways to start broadcasting from your phone, console or PC in just a few clicks.

In order to help you on your Twitch journey — whether you’re just getting started or want to level up your stream — we talked to popular streamers and industry experts about everything from picking the right equipment to putting on an engaging show that will keep fans coming back.

For the uninitiated, Twitch is a live streaming platform that first launched in 2011 and really picked up in popularity around the time it was purchased by Amazon in 2016.

You’ll find everything from podcasts and live cooking tutorials to NFL games and wrestling matches on Twitch, and popular musical acts such as Code Orange and Trivium’s Matthew Heafy have embraced the platform as a means of playing for their fans at a time when in-person concerts simply can’t happen.

The latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles let you go live with the click of a button, and the Twitch mobile app for iOS and Android makes it just as easy to start broadcasting no matter where you are.

On Xbox, simply download the free Twitch app, log in with your account, and go to the Broadcast tab to set up your stream and go live.

Console streaming is a great way to get started on Twitch that doesn’t require you to spend extra money or have a ton of technical know how.

Natasha “ZombaeKillz” Zinda, a partnered Twitch streamer with more than 7,000 followers, recommends console streaming as a good way to get started, and found early success using her Xbox One X’s built-in tools before investing in a higher-end setup.

Going live on Twitch from your phone is as simple as downloading the Twitch app for iOS or Android, setting up your account, tapping your profile icon on the home screen and selecting “Go Live. ” Streaming from your phone is a great way to broadcast your favorite mobile games, or use your phone’s camera to stream yourself cooking, playing music or just hanging out and chatting with your viewers.

Two of the most popular streaming applications are Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and XSplit, which let you create a multitude of scenes from different audio and video sources (such as your camera and microphone) and go live to Twitch.

“I try to tell people now, because I’ve fumbled along the way… spend the money on the good things,” says Zinda, noting that top streaming gear can often be found at a discount.

“You can have a stream that doesn’t look as great, but if your audio is bad, people will automatically turn you off,” says Adams.

This multi-channel mixer makes it easy to manage all of the audio sources for your stream — including your microphone, game sound and background music — in order to provide the best possible mix for your viewers.

As experts such as Nir and Adams point out, streaming consistently can help grow your channel — after all, if your audience knows you’ll be live on certain days and times, there’s likely a better chance they’ll come back.

“The biggest thing is always consistency,” says Adams, who streams around twice per week, but is able to keep people coming back by sticking to the same general time for his weekly podcast recordings.

Twitch has more than 400 million unique streamers that go live every month, and popular titles such as League of Legends and Fortnite have hundreds — if not thousands — of people broadcasting them at any given time.

“I understood in year two or three that there was no one else having conversations about race and blackness in the way that we were in the gaming space,” says Adams, whose channel SpawnOnMe largely consists of live podcast content that spotlights people of color in games.

“I know that numbers are important and I know that analytics are important, but I really think it’s important to focus on growing your skillset, your understanding of the technology that you’re using, your understanding of your audience, your understanding of the games that you’re playing, or the type of community you want to build,” says Zinda.

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