In the COVID era, live streaming really took off. Twitch became the most used platform for live streaming and monetizing off these streams. All kinds of artists were on Twitch, from public speakers, to sports enthusiasts, gamers, musicians, etc. Musicians can greatly benefit from creating a profile and sharing new releases on Twitch. CyberPR shares how to use Twitch in this Musician’s Guide.
Twitch 101: The Basics
Creating An Account
First things first, you’ll want to sign up for Twitch. Luckily, signing up for an account is free! As a musician, it is important to set up your channel with a picture, bio, and outbound links to your music, website, etc. It is also recommended to set up a streaming schedule so your fans can be notified whenever you go live. At a beginner level, you have access to Chat, Followers, and Analytics. Being able to chat with your fans in real time can help boost your popularity and improve your brand.
Creating A Community
Communities are important to streamers because they are your biggest supporters. That said, they are here because they enjoy your art, but they also appreciate you calling them out for their support. Take a break in between your stream to catch up on Chat comments or new supporters. Answer questions along the way to make your channel that much more personal and authentic.
It is also incredibly important to set the tone. These streams represent who you are and showcase your brand, so make sure the tone is something you want to represent you. It is also highly recommended to have moderators in the Chat. A moderator’s job is to keep the Chat safe and positive as well as reminding users about upcoming events and keeping the conversation going.
Twitch greatly influences collaborations as well. Raiding is a common way of increasing your following and collaborate with similar streamers. Raiding is when you, as the host, choose another channel to enter to immediately after your stream ends. You send the invite to all your followers and whoever accepts will travel with you to the new live-stream. You and the streamer you chose to raid will now share the audience and may even gain a few new followers from it. It is fairly easy to raid and often encouraged to widen your audience.
The Streamer’s Sweet Spot
Streaming can be awkward, and it may take a few tries before you find your comfort zone. However, there are something things to keep in mind when streaming. First, your audience doesn’t just come for the music, they come to talk with you and others in the community. Your ability to interact with your community will make your stream stand out. You also have to keep it fresh. Although it’s nice to share your talent with your fans, they would be much more engaged if you throw in a new element every once in a while. When in doubt, reach out to other music streamers who are more experienced to help you out.
The Importance of Tagging
Just like with Instagram posts, using the right hashtags can increase your exposure. In your Stream Manager, you can add and edit the category and tags for your channel. You’ll want to set your category to Music and add the tags right below it. There are format tags and genre tags. For the format tag, you’ll want to only select one to describe the content you are streaming (musician, music production, music talk, etc.). With the genre tags, you’ll want to select between 1-4 tags that best describe your style. Remember to set these tags every few days as they reset after a couple days of not streaming and to further increase your chances of gaining viewers.
Content is key! You may not have the most amazing, professional setup, but your followers won’t care if the content is there. At the end of the day, Twitch is about your community and the importance in growing it. As your community grows, so will your gear. The most important thing to prioritize with your gear is sound quality. Make sure your audio is clear, well-balanced, and in sync with your video. As a musician, audio is the most important factor in streaming your talent.
Monetizing from Twitch Streams
When you first open your Twitch account, you start as a streamer. The more you stream and interact with your audience, the more “achievements” you’ll receive. After gaining a certain number of achievements, you’ll be bumped up to the Affiliate level. After gaining more achievements, you’ll be allowed to submit an application to be a Partner with Twitch.
To enter the Affiliate status, you’ll have to meet these requirements:
- streamed for 8 hours within 30 days
- streamed 7 unique days within 30 days
- average at 3 viewers per stream
- 50+ followers
Once in the Affiliate status, you can implement subscriptions. Subscriptions can be as little as $4.99/month for the simple tier. From there, tier 2 is $9.99 and tier 3 is $24.99/month. Subscribers get access to your emotes, badges, and you can choose to include ads to which you’ll earn money from. Emotes and badges are customizable and unique to fans.
Becoming a Twitch Partner is difficult to achieve and even if you meet the requirements, you must submit an application to be considered. The requirements to be a partner are as follows:
- streamed for 25 hours within 30 days
- streamed 12 unique days within 30 days
- average at 75+ viewers per stream
Being a Partner includes all revenue opportunities offered in Affiliate plus much more. As a Partner, you can give your followers many more emote and badge slots for customization and representation. Fans can also use custom cheermotes, animated emotes, in the chat which you can monetize from. When followers cheer in the chat, they use something called Bits. Bits are essentially virtual tips. For every Bit used in the chat, you earn $0.01. Soon enough, you can be earning hundreds per stream because of what you share with your community. Lastly, as a Partner you receive a Verified Badge, which confirms that you are who you say you are.
We hope this guide makes using Twitch far easier. Want to learn more about Twitch? Check out this podcast and this podcast for more details. Not quite ready to join Twitch? Order Ariel’s book The Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity for more pointers on building your brand.