Being an international streaming platform, Twitch attracts audience 24/7. There is no a single rule when it’s the best time to broadcast on Twitch: each game has different followers with different schedules. However, there are some tricks you should know when choosing the right time for your stream.
Use Twitch Strike to Find Your Time
Twitch Strike aggregates data from different directories and let you know how many people are streaming at the moment, what the ratio of viewers to channels is, what the trends of the last weeks are. To see what is the best time to broadcast your favorite game on Twitch, enter the game name in the search box and Twitch will generate statistics and heat maps for the chosen game. For example, this is the viewer statistics for Heatherstone fans:
Twitch Strike data help distinguish the right directory in which to stream your game and are especially useful, if you aren’t set on a single game. You can search for almost any existing game. However, don’t automatically follow Twitch Strike’s recommendations. Study the information, investigate the games that are consistently at the top of the list to have a better idea of the current trends. If you just play what the website says, you may attract many first-time viewers, but they’re unlikely to return to your channel. Twitch Strike is probably not the best solution (as the stats are not always accurate and can be delayed), but it can be a good starting point.
N.B. You can also use an alternative services like sullygnome.com or Twitch Tools to find out a detailed Twitch statistics and analytics.
Is It Worth Broadcasting in Prime Time?
An approximate prime time on Twitch is 7pm in the evening, when most people are free of their daily work and come back home. But, in reality this is the time when Twitch system usually gets too overloaded, because everyone loads up their channels and turn on OBS. So, if you want to stream within the prime time, it’s better start broadcasting an hour or two later. However, you should understand that prime time is not always the best time to broadcast on Twitch. Everything depends on the demographics of your target audience. For example, young people are likely to watch your stream right after school, while older people can watch it after work or in the late night. The game you play also influences the perfect on-air time: people that enjoy arcade games watch them at a different time to people who enjoy first person shooters. So, your main task is to figure out which time is best for your favorite audience and stick to it.
N.B. Organizing two shorts streaming sessions per day can be more beneficial than trying to make it right in prime time. Weekends are statistically the most active days, when people have nothing to do, so they watch Twitch instead.
Should You Stick to Twitch Peak Time?
Twitch peak time falls within 8 am to 7pm PST – the time when there is evening in Europe and morning in America. But, if believe the statistics, traffic and viewership are very high during all 24 hours a day. Due to the worldwide Twitch nature, there are no real dead zones. What is midnight in your country may be a prime time in Asia or a dinner time in Europe. So, some people are always awake and are eager to watch somebody play their favorite game.
On Twitch Strike, you can find out the peak time for your chosen game. The darker color means the higher concentration of viewers per broadcaster. Theoretically, the higher number of viewers means better opportunities to attract audience to your channel. But, in reality that’s not always true. Thinking that streaming in peak time is beneficial can be wrong. Because everyone is thinking that. Try to pay attention to multiple factors (your own schedule, game, peak and prime time) and find the best time niche for your stream when the overall competition is lower. If you are a beginning streamer, broadcasting in the quietest time gives you a chance to stand out for a smaller audience.
Consistency Is More Important Than the Right Time
As you have already heard multiple times, a consistent schedule is a key to successful streaming. Indeed, even if you choose the best time that cover your target audience, but are doing your broadcasts sporadically, you won’t achieve the desired viewer base and return visitors. Online viewers want to know what and when to expect. Most people have a consistent schedule, and when they find you stream, they do this for a reason: that is the time in their busy day when they have some spare time to watch you.
So, set a schedule that best suits you and not necessarily coincides with prime time. In the beginning, you can try to stream at a certain time for several weeks, then change the time and experiment until you find the best time that works for you and your game. In the end, what matters more is the amount of time that you put into streaming and not so much when you stream. The more you stream, the more chances for you to be noticed.
Be Aware of Other Streamers
While a consistent schedule is important, flexibility also matters. Be ready to change your streaming time, depending on what is going on in your niche. Notice which days and hours are more crowded with streamers playing the same game. If, for example, nobody streams your game on Monday evenings, you can try to fill this gap. However, the situation can be opposite. Imagine that you are playing a small game and a very popular streamer comes along and starts streaming at the same time as you. It’s likely that your potential viewers will choose the big streamer, not you. So, the only thing you can do is to be aware of other streamers who play your game and adjust your schedule accordingly.
Your Own Life Should Be A Priority
Along with streaming, you have your daily routine, obligations, family, relations, etc. And if you are not a full-time streamer, you should be able to pay your bills first. So you schedule comes in priority. You can try to adjust it, if it’s possible in accordance with Twitch peak time. But, don’t fully sacrifice your sleep and personal life. Build your streaming schedule around the main things – work, family, hobbies, social life – and keep a healthy balance. Whether you choose to stream in the evenings after work or on weekends, when there is nobody home, it’s completely up to you. And one more tip: it’s better stream for longer hours and miss some days during a week, than doing short 1-hour streams every day.
With all that said, we could state that there is no the best time to broadcast on Twitch that suits everybody. You should actively investigate Twitch tools and other channels and do your own research to find the time that best fits into your daily routine. Once you figure out what the busiest and the quietest times are for your game, along with the “big names” that are streaming the same game, you can make a decision.