Do you remember when you and your big brother had only one PC and you had to watch him play until he got bored and let you do it? If someone told you back then that people would rather watch someone else playing, than do it themselves, you would probably laugh at them.
Well as we are looking at the present times, this ain’t that funny anymore. Looking at present number and statistics of live streaming may be a jaw-dropping experience. The whole market’s worth is estimated to be 70 billion dolars. The jump of live streams viewers in 2016 compared to 2015 was 81%. The most popular platform for game streams is bringing 10 milion viewers daily solely.
Talking about more useful statistics for people who want to monetize streams, viewers watch mid-roll ads 90% of the time. This info may be advice to put your adds somewhere later in your stream, as people tend to turn off the stream or restart it so there is no annoying ad.
When it comes to streaming setup there is broad selection of hardware for you, depending on what do you want to stream. Streaming games will require better equipment than streaming only vlogs or real life views.
The recommended setup will be at least Intel Core i5-4670 or any equivalent presented by other brand. Be sure to read some reviews or ask someone who is experienced with this topic before the purchase.
The next important piece of meat is a graphic card. Be sure to have at least minimum what is recommended by the game you want to stream or higher if you want to provide best experience for the viewers.
It’s also important to mention RAM (random-access memory), minimum is 8GB, but as it comes with relatively low price, you could bulk up to 16GB.
I won’t discuss other elements there, like power supply unit, as these things should be adjusted to your choices from previous paragraphs.
Even though it’s recommended to stream using desktop computer, there is no problem in using laptop for that. Click here to see the comparison of best laptops that will do the job.
There is some important benefit with laptop streaming choice. This will be the best for people who travel a lot and change their apartments and environment as these devices are convenient to store and transport.
External equipment for streaming setup
Technically, you are already good to go with your online journey. Although, there are few things you may want to consider adding to make sure your viewers get the best experience.
As stated in previous paragraphs, people are visuals. They will pay more attention to images and colors than just text. You want to create connection with your viewers, make them feel like he is close to you and you can both talk like real life friends. This type of bond creates the most commited community.
While laptops have in-built camera, desktop PC is required to have it implemented externally.
The price of webcams varies from 20$ up to 300$. You should get the best quality/price ratio by purchasing device in range of 70$.
Here is the link for comparison of most popular webcams.
You want to communicate with your viewers to make them feel somehow important in your community. This can be done via live chat, but it’s even better to talk to them in person.
The situation is similar to webcam, as these two are usually integrated. Check out the link for microphones ranking
For more info you should visit our previous post on this topic: How to start YouTube live streaming and why You should be doing it [5 quick tips]
Streaming on twitch is fairly easy and free. When you got your equipment ready, go on twitch.tv and create an account.
As you have it done and activated, make sure to fill your bio info and add a nice banner and avatar. People always enjoy visuals more than plain text so keep that in mind. You can try to create something on your own or pay for a professional job.
In the bio tell people something about you. Really short story of your life and your hobbies, motivations. Make it funny. Also it’s a great place to link your social medias in there.
Live streaming is probably the best way to interact with your community (except real life interactions, of course). Having other ventures and social media on my back, having live stream with my viewers always got me the most comments, sharing and engagements. The small mind-trick here is to disable recording the replay, so people will have the sense of “I have to watch the 7PM stream or I will miss the content”.
The interface is fairly easy to understand and very intuitive. The good thing is that if you already have a YouTube account with some number of followers, you can easily transition to streaming without having to inform people about you streaming on other platform, as they will instantly see you and get a notification.
Facebook is the most popular platform in whole social media world. With 2 billion users it’s also most popular place to watch live streams. 78% of online audience watch Facebook live and 90% think that video quality is the most important part of it.
Facebook streaming service is probably easiest to use. I don’t know a single person in my environment who isn’t using Facebook. If you have an ap on your phone you are good to go.
Few words on the rules
There are general rules that may get your stream shut down or even your account banned.
This comes down to violence, heavy drinking (drinking a beer is not a problem), suicide threats – this one is a problem recently, as people often don’t realize how hurtful is when you say “go kill yourself” as they state “for fun”. Telling someone to commit a suicide is not fun and will never be. Everything comes down to common sense. Just use your brain and you should be fine.
Virtual set background
To make your work look more professional, you can use a virtual set background.
It’s a simple background that is put behind your profile. It may look like news-studio, forrest or even a campfire.
To achieve that effect it’s recommended that your real background is in one color with contrast to your body and clothes colors.
This way, the software is able to differentiate you from the background, and switch it with image of your choice, this may be anything.
You are ont obligated to use only the websites I’ve provided previously.
There are numerous popular applications that allow you to stream and personalize it however you want.
The two most popular are Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and XSplit which unfortunately requires paid subscription to use its best features.
Whether it’s paid software, or free Facebook streaming, the steps are the same: pick the source of video, your screen, specific window or whole camera, sync up your account and then go for the content.
If by any chance you own a console, PS4 or Xbox One, you can start streaming with no additional equipment required.
On Xbox One, go to the store and download the Twitch app, set up account or log in if you have one already and follow the steps on screens.
PS4 is even easier to use, just go to Share menu on the device’s system and you are good to go. It’s also recommended to use camera and microphone while streaming the console content.
Why bothering to stream on console? Well there are few exclusive games that are made for specific device. There are many people who are not decided on console or game purchase and they want to see it on screen before. It’s common and you can use that knowledge to hook new audience to your content.
Since the beginning of 2011 live streaming became incredibly popular, thus it’s recommended for everyone in the digital world to make use of it. It’s easy way to interact with your viewers or even customers and make them feel like they are important and their opinion is relevant.
This type of activity is also great for self development. By talking to your fans and viewers, answering them and keeping the stream interesting you learn how to use your social skills, improve on storytelling and voice emission. There are only benefits for this
Try to schedule at least an hour to stream every week. Make a commitment and stick to it for examply every thursday at 7PM.