Streaming full-time on Twitch can be an exhausting affair. You are expected to sit in front of a virtual audience for hours, donning the entertainer’s mask.
Being a digital celeb can drain you quickly. So, how long should you stream on Twitch? Should you stream more than 10 hours a day? Or can you stream for an hour here and there?
In this article, I want to show you how long I think you should stream on Twitch to achieve the fastest possible channel growth.
I’ll talk about:
- How long a Twitch stream should be.
- How often you should stream
- Creating a stream schedule
Let’s start with the first section: How long should a Twitch stream be?
How long should your streams be on Twitch?
Twitch recommends that each stream should be at least 2 hours long. This is because 2 hours gives you enough time to build streaming momentum and for viewers to find your stream. A stream should not be less than 1 hour long.
However, you can stream much longer if you have the time. Generally speaking, the longer you stream, the greater the chance that viewers will find you. As a rule of thumb, the more content you create, the greater the chance it will be found and the faster your channel will grow.
In the subsections below, I have listed some of the best lengths I would recommend for your stream. Let’s take a look.
1 hour: minimum stream length.
One hour is the absolute minimum recommended by Twitch for a stream. However, I can not recommend streaming for just one hour unless you are short on time during the week.
A one-hour stream does not give you the time to get comfortable and warm up. That may sound crazy, but streamers need to warm up just as much as sports stars.
It can take time to put on your entertainment mask. I know it takes me a while to get chatty when streaming.
Not only that, but 60 minutes is not enough time for viewers to find you on Twitch. Most viewers who visit Twitch are watching their favorite channels. But, as streams stop and start, viewers often jump off a favorite channel and start browsing new channels.
An hour is not long enough to be discovered by these wandering viewers.
As I said above, you can generally gauge how fast a channel will grow by seeing how much content it creates. And if you are only streaming for an hour. You will naturally grow far slower than someone who streams for five hours.
However, if your life schedule does not allow you more time to stream, then an hour is definitely better than nothing.
If you only have one hour a day to stream, then stream for one hour. Use that hour to learn and practice the art of streaming. Then, when you find more time to stream, you’ll already be well on your way to mastering this particularly tricky art.
3 hours: Ideal stream length
If you are serious about growing your Twitch streaming channel, I’d recommend building your streaming stamina to the point where you can stream for three hours.
More content equals quicker growth. It’s a simple equation, but it holds true in all content creation. The volume of content you stream will directly affect your chances of success. If you stream for three hours, your channel will grow exponentially faster than if you stream for just one hour.
Streaming for three hours comes with several benefits.
First, streaming for three hours allows you to stretch the entertainer muscles in you, and get into your rhythm. Most people who stream do not just jump on the computer, turn on all the cameras, and radiate charisma. It takes a little time for their engines to warm. This is especially true for new streamers.
Second, three hours of streaming will not burn you out. I have watched a lot of streams over the years, and you’ll find that most streamers lose energy after 3 to 4 hours. Initially, they are entertaining, loud, and eager to please. But after the fourth hour, and the 10th Red Bull, they look ready to fall into bed, not play another round of Black Ops.
5+ hours: Striving for Growth
The previous section stated that three hours is the perfect length for a stream. So why would anyone want to stream for 5 or more hours?
Remember the equation I mentioned above? The equation that more content means faster growth? Many Streamers strive to stream (Say that five times fast!) more hours because they know more content means more cash in their pockets.
If you can stream for 5 or more hours, you may see very rapid growth in your channel.
However, streaming for a long time can harm your physical and mental health.
First of all, it’s really not good for you to sit all day. I am a professional writer and content creator and I sit 90% of the day. When I started writing content full-time, I quickly became fat and gained weight. Harsh, but true. To battle back obesity, I found it important to take breaks often, and get up and walk.
If you sit all day, your body will deteriorate from lack of use. Believe me, I’ve been there, done that, and bought the size XL t-shirt to prove it.
Streaming for long periods can also be mentally tiring. Not only have you pulled away from all your loved ones while streaming, but you also have to deal with the mental pressure of performing hour after hour.
This can be too much for most people, especially new streamers.
My recommendation is to stay away from long streams as a new streamer.
Build a consistent habit of streaming that you can maintain. If you stream six hours a day from the start, you’ll probably find that you never want to stream again after your first week. So it’s better to start small.
Try to start with one hour of streaming daily and slowly increase by 10 minutes a week. Build your time streaming slowly, like this, until you consistently stream for 3 hours.
Yes, you can stream for five hours occasionally. But only if you have more experience. Build up your streaming stamina first.
I know you want to do more. I know you want to stream as much as possible. Becoming a streamer on Twitch is so exciting. You can feel it in your gut. Your heart is pounding at the possibilities.
But please hear me when I say this: start small, grow slowly, and increase your streaming stamina gradually to the point where you are streaming your desired daily amount. Your mind and body will thank you in the future.
Remember that you can stream for 3 hours, take a break for an hour or two, then stream for 3 hours again. That way, you get to stream for more than 5 hours, but you are not sitting down all day.
In this section, you learned that your streams should be at least an hour long. However, I recommend that you increase the length of your streams to three hours and no more.
In the next section, I’ll discuss how often you should stream on Twitch.
How often should you stream on Twitch?
In the last section, you learned how long your stream should be. As a new streamer, you should start small and build up your streaming stamina. Then increase the length of your stream slowly.
In this section, I’ll review how often you should stream on Twitch.
How often you stream on Twitch depends mostly on how much time you have during the week to stream.
For example, if you are a CEO, you probably only have an hour or two a week to stream. But if you have a typical 9-to-5 job, you might have time to stream every night.
Again, it’s important to point out that the more content you create, the faster your channel will grow. This does not just apply to the length of your streams. It also applies to how often you stream per week.
Generally, the more times you stream per week, the greater the chance that people will find your stream and watch it.
Below, I present several possible weekly streaming plans suitable for different people depending on their circumstances. Let us take a look.
Streaming Sundays/Saturdays (1 day per week).
The first one is a simple streaming schedule for once a week. For the schedule, I recommend you stream once a week on your weekend.
This can be a Saturday or a Sunday, depending on your availability.
Streaming once a week is the bare minimum. And I’ll be honest, you should not expect your channel to grow if you only stream once a week. I know that might sound a little harsh. But that’s the game with streaming: the volume of content matters.
However, I strongly believe that a single weekly stream is a good start if you are very busy.
If you are determined to build a streaming channel, streaming once a week is better than not streaming at all. That one hour of streaming per week will teach you much about the streaming process and allow you to practice how you want to act on camera. Even if streaming once a week does not grow your channel directly, it can indirectly help you develop the skills you need to grow your channel in the future.
Streaming on odd days of the week (3 days per week).
I would say that streaming three days a week, i.e., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is an ideal advance over streaming once a week.
I would say that streaming three times a week is the ideal streaming volume for a beginner streamer.
If you stream three times a week, your channel will grow because viewers have enough time to find your channel. You will, if they like you, build a following.
Yes, you could stream more and grow faster. However, I think streaming three hours, three times a week, is an excellent goal for new streamers. Streaming more than 3 times a week is something the full-time streamer should aim for.
Also, you can comfortably stream for 9 hours a week alongside a full-time job.
Streaming 3 times a week also means you should have enough time to promote your stream. I will not go into promotion too much in this article, but promoting your stream is crucial to growing your channel. Without promotion, you are relying on people stumbling across your channel on Twitter. That’s not its strategy for growth.
Instead, promote yourself on social media and to your friends. Take controllable actions to grow your channel, such as posting on Twitter and Facebook 5 times a day, or writing a keyword-targeting blog post twice a week.
Streaming every weekday of the week ( 5 days a week).
The next step from streaming three times a week is to stream 5 to 6 times a week. At this point, you are probably working full-time as a streamer. So congratulations!
I would say that this is the maximum you should stream. Never stream seven days a week. Take at least one day off from streaming, one day away from the computer.
However, I would go one step further and say you should only stream five days a week. That way, you have two days off per week, one day off on the weekend, and one day in the middle of the week. That way, you have enough time to recharge your batteries and be ready for your next stream.
Consistency above all.
Consistency is crucial if you want to develop your streaming career.
If you are not streaming consistently, you will not be successful. You need to stream consistently for the same amount of time, at the same time, and always on the same days.
If you do that, people will know where to find you on Twitch and when.
No one will watch a Twitch channel regularly if you occasionally stream on Mondays and Wednesdays. I’m sorry to tell you this, but that’s not how content creation works. People want consistency. Your viewers want consistency. They want to know that they can tune into your channel when they get home from work at 5pm on a Tuesday.
If you are not consistent, you simply will not grow.
Take a look at any sports star, such as Usain Bolt. If he did not consistently show up for practice every day, he would not have become the greatest 100-meter sprinter in history.
If he sometimes showed up for practice on Mondays, often skipped Tuesdays and Wednesdays, was late on Thursdays, and forgot about Fridays, he never would have achieved what he did.
Instead, he consistently worked out at the same time every day, every day, with the same exercises. Consistency pays off.
Find an amount of weekly streaming you can consistently complete, and then increase from there. Consistency first, volume second.
Do not try to stream six hours, six days a week. You will not be able to be consistent. And you will fail. Instead, start small, enough to be consistent, and then grow from there. You’ll know if you are growing too fast because you’ll become inconsistent as your body and mind struggle against the accelerating load of work.
Your stream needs to be small enough that you can easily be consistent every week.
In this section, you have learned about different ways to design your streaming schedule. You also learned that it’s better to stream a small amount regularly than a large amount irregularly.
Staying on the topic of streaming schedules, in the next section, I will talk about how to create and share your streaming schedule so that your viewers know when to tune in.
Create a streaming schedule and share it with your audience.
I think it’s safe to say that knowing when you’ll be streaming can be very helpful to your stream’s viewers. Knowing when you will be streaming next lets your viewers better plan their day and tune into your stream on time.
I know that I personally try to plan my day around my favorite streamer.
If I know that a streamer will be streaming for three hours on Monday between 7pm and 10pm, I can ensure that my schedule allows me to watch their stream.
Most streamers have a published streaming schedule for their viewers. This schedule is important for your audience because it gives them the information they need to watch your stream regularly.
Therefore, you must share your streaming schedule. You can create a streaming schedule to share with your viewers in several ways.
Use Canva to create a streaming schedule.
First, you can use a free tool like Canva to create a schedule infographic that you can upload to your Twitch channel. In this infographic, you can list the dates and times you stream.
It does not have to be complicated. You do not have to spend days creating it. You can use a Canva template and then simply indicate which days of the week and times you stream. And that’s it.
Use Google Calendar to create a streaming schedule.
Another easy way to share your streaming schedule with your viewers is to create a public Google Calendar. You can add all your scheduled streams to this calendar and then post a link to it on your streaming channel. This way, viewers can add this Google Calendar to their own Google Calendar or iCal calendar to know exactly when you’ll be streaming next.
Summary of the article
Ok, that’s a lot of information about how long and how often you should stream on Twitch. Below is a summary of the key points from the article. Enjoy!
- The more content you create, the faster your channel will grow.
- New streamers should stream for a short period.
- This will help increase consistency.
- As a part-time streamer, you should slowly increase to streaming 3 days per week and 3 hours per stream.
- Once you are a full-time streamer, you can stream more days per week. However, I recommend having 1 or 2 days off per week. And no stream should be longer than 5 hours.
- You can stream several times a day. Just take a break between each stream.