The Anatomy of a Twitch Stream (And What Each Part Means for Brands)
This article is the 6th installment in our blog series teaching you everything you need to know about Twitch influencer marketing. Want to be updated when we release new additions? Sign up for our newsletter here.
You’ve probably heard about Twitch by now.
You know the site revolves around live streaming, you have a general idea of what a streamer is, and you know brands are working with streamers to promote their products.
But what does a stream actually look like? And more importantly, how can you as a marketer maximize your campaign results using each part of the stream to your benefit?
Let’s dive deeper into the anatomy of a Twitch stream, starting with the stream itself:
The Video Player
The video player is the first thing you’ll see when landing on a stream, and it typically receives the most attention from viewers.
Any video the streamer sends to Twitch will appear here, whether it’s gameplay or something else:
The Twitch video player, boxed off in red.
Above the video player, you’ll see the streamers follower count as well as links to view their previous broadcasts and clips:
The “videos” button allows you to view past broadcasts. The “followers” button allows you to see how many people follow the streamer.
You can use a streamer’s follower count to determine their potential reach on Twitch. Their past broadcasts allow you to get a sense of their streaming style if they aren’t live when you first land on their page.
There are also some important metrics viewable below the video player.
If a streamer is live, you can see their current viewer count from the red-colored numbers. Directly to the right of the viewer count, you can see the total number of people who’ve landed on the streamer’s page since their account was created.
In this example, Lirik has 20,203 people currently watching him, with 281,130,632 total channel views.
While a streamer’s follower count is a useful piece of information, their average concurrent viewership (ACV) is a much better determinant for their reach. You can calculate ACV by recording a streamer’s average viewer count over a period of 7–14 days, then averaging all those numbers.
Since the video player receives the most attention out of any section on a streamer’s page, they’re careful in what they choose to show there. The most common things you’ll see on-stream are:
- Gameplay/Camera footage
- Webcam footage
- Activity feed for new subscribers and donations
- Social media links
And most importantly, sponsored graphics.
The video player is one of the best places to advertise your brand. Placing your logo on the video player ensures your branding will be visible to new viewers who didn’t get a chance to hear any of the streamer’s previous promotions.
Sennheiser, a sponsor for “imaqtpie,” requires an on-stream logo for their sponsorship.
The Chat Section
The chat section is (you guessed it) where viewers can chat with the streamer and with other viewers.
At the top of the chat section, you can see the most recent bit donations a streamer has received:
Bits are a virtual currency created by Twitch that viewers can donate to streamers. Streamers can then later “turn in” these bits for real money. Viewers can acquire bits by purchasing them directly from Twitch or by watching ads.
In the middle, of course, is the chat section. This is where you can see all the messages viewers are sending to the streamer and each other.
While not all of a streamer’s viewers will send chat messages, many viewers will watch the chat along with the video player, as it serves as another method of entertainment.
Note: A streamer’s chat section is a great way to determine community engagement. If a viewer has 500 viewers but is only receiving 5 chat messages a minute, this indicates an inactive community. Be sure to check whether the chat is in “subscriber-only mode” before making any assumptions about their community engagement (subscriber-only chat tends to move much slower than regular chat).
The chat section is an extremely powerful tool you can use when promoting your brand on Twitch. And it’s all thanks to chatbots.
Chatbots are robot “viewers” streamers can place in their channels to automate tasks (like displaying social media links or banning people who send offensive messages). You can trigger a chatbot response by sending pre-set commands in the chat:
In this streamer’s channel, the !yt command will cause their chatbot to post a link to their YouTube channel.
Chatbots can also be used to serve sponsored links to viewers.
Most chatbots have “timer” functionalities that allow streamers to automatically post branded chat messages on a timed interval. These messages are an effective way drive traffic to your site during sponsored content.
SypherPK, a Fortnite streamer, has a command that displays sponsored messages from MVMT Watches, one of his sponsors.
Furthermore, each of the streamer’s chat commands (ex. !freegear) are listed in their stream title for all viewers to see.
The Info Section
A streamer’s info section is the section directly below the video player. This section allows streamers to display important long-form information to their viewers that they wouldn’t be able to fit in their chat or on their stream.
The most common information you’ll see in the info section is:
- “About me” sections. You can use these to learn more about specific streamers when scouting talent.
- Social media links. These can be extremely helpful for determining a streamer’s reach across their social network as well as for finding email addresses.
- Donation links
- Merch links
- Stream rules
And most importantly, sponsored graphics.
Many brands will require their sponsored streamers to include branded graphics in their info section. Since viewers cannot click branded graphics directly from the video player, the info section serves as a method viewers can use to go to a sponsor’s website without having to type it in on Google.
This type of requirement is most common in monthly deals (i.e. when a brand pays a streamer monthly to include their graphics on-stream and in the info section), but they can also be used in one-off promotions as well.
We’ll go over the benefits of each of the sponsorship types in a later article. If you’d like to receive email updates when we post new articles, be sure to subscribe here.
And that’s it!
We’re releasing new articles every week teaching you everything you need to know about working with Twitch influencers — from finding the right influencers, running successful campaigns, increasing conversions on Twitch, and more.
Thanks for reading!