When people begin to stream on Twitch they often wonder how long their streams should be. After researching the topic, this is what I have found.
How Long Should Your Twitch Streams Be?
Twitch recommends your streams be at least 2 hours long and no less than 1 hour long. Twitch has found that streaming at least 2 hours gives you enough time to get going as a streamer and for other people to find your streams.
If you are a full-time streamer then obviously you will want to stream for longer than this, but when you are just beginning to stream, 2-3 hours is the perfect stream length.
Let me explain why.
When you begin a stream it is not uncommon to run into technical difficulties such as your camera not working, game not loading, your mic sounding off, etc., etc.
So if you spend 30 minutes fixing these things on stream, then only stream for an additional 30 minutes, what kind of experience is this providing for your viewers?
It’s much better to get all the technical stuff figured out at the beginning of the stream, or before the stream if possible, so that way you and your viewers can then enjoy a few hours together without any disruptions.
I also think your streams shouldn’t be too long either.
If you stream for 8 hours, but are only really exciting for 4 of those hours, then that means half your stream was low energy and probably turned some people off.
Not to mention the fact that when you are new to streaming you will probably not have a ton of people typing in your chat and so it is up to you to engage your audience the entire time.
When it comes to streaming quality is always more import than quantity. It is better to have shorter, more entertaining streams rather than longer, boring streams.
How Often Should You Stream On Twitch?
Unless you are streaming full-time, you should plan to stream at least 3 days a week for between 2 to 3 hours a stream if you want to grow on Twitch. This amount of streaming will still give you a good work to stream life balance while still allowing your stream to grow.
This also gives you enough time to be live so you can engage with your viewers, but is not taking so much of your time that you are unable to work and create content on other platforms such as Twitter or Youtube to help grow your stream.
As you probably know, growing as a live streamer can be challenging and so it is best to create content on multiple platforms to help extend your reach beyond just Twitch.
Myself and many other streamers will tell you that creating content outside of Twitch is ironically the best way to grow on Twitch.
With this being said you will often see streamers do things such as 24 hour streams on their channels. Is this allowed and how effective is it?
Are 24 Hour Streams Allowed On Twitch?
24 hour streams are allowed on Twitch. Twitch does not have a rule that limits how long a stream can be however, a single broadcast can only last 48 hours. So a streamer who wants to stream for longer than 48 hours will have to restart their stream at or before the 48 hour mark.
Now we get that 24 hour streams are allowed, but are they effective?
I think that if you do a 24 hour stream as a reward for your viewers, or if you promote the 24 hour stream as a “special” stream then it can definitely be effective.
Too often I see streamers just randomly do a 24 hour stream for no reason and nothing special. They don’t hype it up. They don’t post about it. They just do it.
If a streamer does stream for 24 hours for no special reason then I think that it is actually ineffective and a waste if time to be honest.
However, if a new game is coming out and you spend several weeks hyping up a 24 hour stream that you will be doing when the game drops then this can be very effective.
Or if you set a goal for your stream to hit (average viewers, subs, followers, etc.), and they hit the goal, a 24 hour stream is a sweet reward.
This is what I did. I set a sub goal of 50 subs and if we hit the goal as a stream I was going to do a 24 hour stream. And to my surprise we actually hit the goal.
The 24 hour stream was very difficult, but we made it through and tons of people from my community popped in the stream to show support for my efforts.
In my opinion 24 hour streams are great for strengthening your community but are not necessarily effective at pulling in new viewers.
Especially since you will be half asleep towards the end of your stream and new people in the stream will be confused as to why you look like a zombie.
If you wan to know Twitch’s rules regarding sleep streams then check out my article here.
So what is the final take on longer streams?
Are Longer Streams Better?
A streamer with a large following will find that longer streams can be effective because it gives them more time to engage with viewers. For those new to streaming, or those with a smaller following, longer streams are less effective as they pull you away from creating content on other platforms.
When you are still trying to grow it is better to create on other platforms where your content is more likely to be discovered.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to get discovered on most live streaming platforms, not just Twitch. This is why many streamers recommend that you also create content on platforms such as Twitter, TikTok and Youtube.
Ending a stream a little early or taking a day off from streaming to work on these things could go a long way.
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.