Many who are trying to break into streaming often wonder “when should I stream on Twitch?” Using websites such as Twitch Tools and Twitch Tracker we are able to see what times have the most viewers and fewest channels to watch.
When is the Best Time to Stream on Twitch?
The best times to stream on Twitch are between 12 midnight and 9 A.M. PST. During these hours you will face fewer competition from other streamers while still being able to attract new viewers from around the world, in particular the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.
When you begin streaming, it is better to stream when there are fewer channels rather than when there are more viewers.
Also, streaming between these times allows you to attract viewers from different parts of the world, not just those in your geographical location.
Streaming When There are Fewer Channels
As was mentioned, when you begin streaming I would highly recommend streaming when there are fewer channels rather than when there are more viewers.
Why? You may be a gaming GAWD, or you may be funnier than the “Legitness Kid” (watch a clip of him on Youtube if you don’t know who I’m talking about rofl), but if nobody knows about your channel it really doesn’t mean anything.
If you stream during peak viewing hours (between 11 A.M. and 11 P.M.) you are literally competing head to head with big name streamers who have thousands of loyal followers.
If you watch Twitch, even if you only watch Twitch occasionally, you know that no big name streamer streams through the night consistently.
That is because they don’t need to. They are the main attractions and will appear at the top of the list of channels every time.
Occasionally some of the big name streamers will do 24 hour streams where they stream through the weeeee hours of the morning, but these are rare and usually only done under special circumstances i.e. for a promotion of some kind or while they are participating in a special event.
Streaming when there are fewer channels and fewer names to scroll through gives your stream a greater opportunity to be noticed and supported.
Rather than scrolling through literally hundreds of channels, potential viewers will only be scrolling through twenty to thirty channels if you stream late at night and in the early mornings.
If you listen to how some of the popular streamers started, you will learn that many of them began by streaming during odd hours.
It is while they streamed during these odd hours that they were able to gain recognition and support for their stream.
Once they were able to gain enough support for their stream through follows, subs, donations, etc., they transitioned to a more competitive stream time.
Streaming In The Late Night, Early Mornings And Weekends
As a new streamer, you should focus on streaming during nights, early mornings, and weekends. Specifically, streaming between midnight and 9 in the morning will give your channel the greatest chance of being noticed.
This is especially necessary during the weekend when Twitch sees a major spike in viewership (all them dang kids staying up past their bedtimes mmmmk).
While it may be difficult to stream consistently during these times, especially if you are in school or working, streaming during these times will give you an edge over streamers who only stream during peak hours.
If streaming through the night is not possible for you, then I recommend streaming either late at night or early in the morning, whichever works better for your schedule.
For example, if you have to be to work by 10 A.M., consider going to bed early and waking up at 5 A.M. so you can get four hours of solid stream time in during those prime hours when there is less competition (between 12 A.M. and 9 A.M.).
Or, for example, if you don’t have classes until 2 in the afternoon, then you may consider streaming until three or four in the morning.
Streaming at odd hours of the day may seem like a grind, but if you are serious about growing your channel it will undoubtedly take dedication and sacrifice.
Many of the popular streamers got their start by streaming during unconventional times.
Through dedication and sacrifice, they have grown their channels into what they are today.
Even reputable streamers with a decent-size following host early morning streams to grow their channel.
Streamers with over a million followers still get up early to stream. Despite these large followings, streamers may still have difficulty competing with the most popular streamers during peak hours.
You may have noticed that the viewership of certain streamers tends to dwindle in the evening where there is more competition.
Since even popular streamers have a hard time being noticed during Twitch’s busy hours, you can imagine how crucial it is to begin your channel by streaming during off-peak hours.
What If You Can Only Stream During The Busy Streaming Hours?
The schedule I mentioned may be the best way to attract viewers, but that schedule will not work for everyone.
If you are unable to stream late at night or in the early mornings then you have to do something to make your stream stand out among the other big name streamers. This may be dressing a certain way, playing with followers/subs, or having giveaways for subs.
There are many creative people on Twitch who are average at the game they play, but they make their streams enjoyable by dressing up and entertaining their viewers.
Dressing up and having some kind of unique personality while on stream could make you stand apart from other big name streamers.
Another thing I have seen up and coming streamers do is play with followers/subs. When you first begin to stream you will probably not have many viewers, yet alone followers and since you have few followers you probably won’t have subs (not trying to burst any bubbles, just serving a little humble pie :))
For this reason it is crucial that you try to capitalize on anyone who comes in to view your stream. Offer to play with these people and really try to make them feel like they are part of a community.
Many people like smaller streamers because it is more personable and they feel more connected to the streamer and this could be a major advantage that you have over many of the big name streamers.
Lastly, giveaways can be a great way attract people into your channel. Giveaways may cost you some money, but in the long run it could help you gain many followers and subs.
Who wouldn’t like a gift card or V-Bucks just for following or subscribing to a channel?
It is best to avoid going up against the Big Boys when you begin streaming, but if those times are your only options for streaming then the above mentioned ideas will help you to stand out and attract viewers to your channel.
How Long Should You Stream For?
Another key factor to consider when beginning to stream is how long you should stream for. If you are eager to get recognized, then you should plan for each of your streams to be at least 3 hours long.
Obviously, if you can stream more than this then perfect! The more time you spend streaming the more chance you have of getting recognized.
I go into more detail about how long your streams should be in this article here.
Although it would be ideal that these hours are done between the hours of 12 A.M. and 9 A.M. as mentioned above, any time on the stream gives your channel the opportunity to be recognized.
Again, you must be consistent. You should set a schedule that everyday between the hours of blank and blank you will be streaming.
Having a specific schedule makes you and your channel dependable and much easier for viewers to follow. You think people would keep up with the Kardashians if they didn’t know what time they were on? Same goes for you.
If you want to stream more than three hours in a day, just not all at once, then I suggest breaking up your streams.
For example maybe you stream from 6 A.M. to 9 A.M. in the morning and then from 8 P.M. to 11 P.M. in the evening. Stream times will be different for each individual and that is fine, the key is being consistent in order to gain the trust of whom you are streaming for.
As always, if you have any questions or just want to hang with me, stop by my Twitch channel here and say what’s up!
In short, starting a new streaming channel on Twitch is a difficult endeavor. To be successful, you’ll have to implement an effective strategy that helps you stand out.
Remember, the “golden hours” of streaming are from 12 A.M. to 9 A.M. and you should try your best to get in as many streaming hours as you can during these times.
During these times there are less big names to compete and less people streaming overall which gives you a far greater opportunity to be recognized.
Next remember to be consistent. Set aside the times you want to stream and for how long and STICK TO IT. Being a streamer that viewers can rely upon is crucial.
Streaming can definitely be a grind, but if you are dedicated enough you will be able to create a living doing what you love.
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.