1. #1

    Becoming a streamer/content creator

    I'm looking for some info or guidelines that could prove helpful in getting into streaming on one of the popular sites, and possibly creating content on Youtube. Obviously I'm rather new to it all, so please bare with me.

    I've had the interest for a while now. Atleast once a day I find myself on Twitch jumping around Diablo and MOP streams. I'm curious as to how some of these more popular streamers make enough to make a living off of going live as much as they do. A good majority of the SC2 and Diablo streamers are pretty much always live. Does it really pay that much to be popular among these games? I don't think I would want it to become a full time thing for me, though I am online maybe 3/4 of a weekday. When I'm not in class or hanging out with my girlfriend, I am glued to my PC so time would not be an issue.

    My main concern would be getting the partnership itself. I know you don't have to have a partnership to stream, but it's what I'm looking for. How could someone new and upcoming get exposure in such a crowded atmosphere? How do I get my number of viewers to increase? That's what I'm looking for the most insight on.

    Lastly, what hardware do you suggest I upgrade in order to smoothly stream 720p+ content lag free? My specs are as follows:

    Windows 7 64-bit
    8.00 GB Ram
    Intel Quad Q9650 3.00GHz
    GTX 560 Ti 4050MB
    700GB HDD
    250GB SSD

    Speedtest:
    Ping: 25ms
    28.60Mbps download
    4.93Mbps upload

    I would run a second 1440 x 900 monitor alongside a 1920 x 1080. I am looking to upgrade the GPU around Christmas. Probably go big and get something in the 600 series. I think my CPU would be able to handle it. I'll look into purchasing an XSplit license when I get some more concrete ideas.

    All advice and critique is welcome. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    In all honesty, Lord Bale, getting really big in the streaming area is a mix of equal parts luck and getting yourself out there. The biggest issue most people come across in internet streaming is actually their upload speeds. You need to have a crazy high upload speed to send out a good quality stream.

    Most independent streamers don't make it very far, try to find a network to stream in, I know that JTV and a few others have a few networks ( whether or not they are looking for new streamers is another question). If you are really wishing to make your channel a HUGE thing, then you need to be ready to suck it up and play something you may not actually have an interest in. A happy audience will attract more numbers.

    You are going to need, no matter what you decided, a good screen capture device. If you decide to stream ( which does have a smaller audience size than youtube) then you want to also download Flash Media Encoder. (FME)

    A couple good screen capture devices for just doing youtube videos are programs like Fraps and (my personal favorite) Bandicam. I would recommend Bandicam just because it requires less work to go from recording to uploading, although you will also need a good video editing program to add in commentary and the such. Screen capture drivers and programs that work well... are hard to find, really. I think your best bet in this case is to use Xsplit.

    And finally, the best way to attract a large audience is to play something new and refreshing that you don't see a lot of. So lets say you see a ton of WoW streams, maybe you should pick up something like X-Com or some kind of single player game to get people to come in and take a look, get to know you, and become an established core fanbase. from there, its all just word of mouth, and not much can be done about it.

    I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Herald of the Titans starkey's Avatar
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    Have you tried talking to a popular streamer or even going to Twitchtv forums, if i had the upload speed id definitely stream, id work it around my work schedule, people want too see entertaining content and of course giveaways.
    Too make it as a job though you have too establish a good viewer consistency having people come back every day is the start, remember some people arent just for the games alot of people come for the streamer as well, if you can entertain your viewers then maybe it can work.
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  4. #4
    Pandaren Monk Nirawen's Avatar
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    MikeB put some videos up a few weeks ago on this subject, not necessarily exactly what you may be aiming for but I'm sure there will be some useful information. Can find part 1 here.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Shamanic's Avatar
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    I don't watch a lot of streams so I'm more commenting on creating content for youtube. The thing with youtube is you've got to make good footage sure, but you've also got to be selling yourself. It's an entertainment medium and you can have all the gaming footage in the world but the people who actually make a living off it, with millions of hits on their channel are the ones that have a personality that makes people keep wanting to come back and pay attention to them. Or you can be the best at what you do. Streaming or making footage of top-level games is popular because then people are looking at your footage for your skills and for the excitement of watching you play (most popular with FPS, PvP, MOBA matches, etc).

    There are thousands of mediocre youtube channels (including my own), and generic streams of similar content out there... it is the people playing it, their personality and their ability to entertain who actually make the difference. By entertain I don't mean you necessarily have to be funny, although a lot of youtubers are... you can be entertaining in a factual way too but personality, confidence, charming your viewers... making them actually like you, and want to listen to you, is still a big factor, or entertainment by showing some serious skills and exciting footage that the vast majority of people aren't offering.

    Otherwise... streaming massively new content around the clock is always popular. Especially new MMO content since that has such a big fanbase. A lot of the big MoP streamers for example were pretty much streaming 24 hours a day on channels (by sharing the load between a few people) when beta was released. If you're not online and streaming when someone wants to see this brand new content - they will click over to someone else. If that person continues to stream decent content, they're not going to switch back to you in a hurry.

    I wouldn't worry about a partnership before you've created content... you can make money off youtube and twitch by enabling advertising, but at the same time, people looking at a new channel and getting stuck with a 30 second advert may switch to someone else. I'd recommend building up some content, building up a fanbase and a reputation, to make people actually be willing to sit through ads. You need to get your fans and you need to keep them, then you can worry about making money off them.

    Hardware wise I'd recommend upgrading everything you can afford to but then I tend to go overkill anyway. Fraps is a pretty cheap program and you'll soon be able to tell if whilst running it you're experiencing any serious issues with gaming. If you're making a lot of static footage for future editing, I'd recommend another (or a bigger) hard drive, especially if you're going to take several hours of HD footage and then edit it later. The single biggest complaint I see (and I get a lot myself) is problems with sound, if you actually want to make any sort of decent commentary, invest in a really good mic too
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  6. #6
    Your processor won't be able to handle streaming, I've currently got streamers running i5 2500k's clocked to 4.4/4.6 and they struggle with 720p SC2

    If you're really serious about streaming that 560 is perfectly fine, you'll want to be pumping your processor up to an i7 2600k or the i7 3770k, either of those will handle 720p without a problem and you'll be able to run anything processor intensive at the same time (ie WoW) also while you're there you might as well chip in to double that ram if you can, you shouldn't need it but xsplit (recommended streaming program) can sometimes have memory issues so you might as well go overkill since its so cheap

    As far as Youtube goes you should be fine on that rig, specially if you only plan on doing Blizzard games as they're pretty poor requirements wise, the biggest thing there would be get yourself a good mic, I'd recommend the Snowball or I believe Totalbiscuit recommends a Samson one which is also very good, both fairly cheap (specially compared to PC upgrades) and they'll vastly improve your video quality
    If you're buying a mic as well try to make sure your room is decent for recording, if you've got solid floors or a small bed in a large room those can cause some problems, but if you've got carpet it should be fine, just do some tests with as little background noise as possible and see if there is any reverb

    Lastly as for getting on the streaming systems, that is the difficult part, I'm going to quote Jesse Cox here and say you need to be prepared to advertise yourself like a shameless whore when you're starting out, that means posting on reddits, telling all your friends, spamming your facebook, making forums hate you (but try not to get banned) and anything else you can do to increase your numbers. As far as youtube goes once you get a few 1000 subs it becomes self sustaining as long as you keep the content going, and you can easily get that if you do some colabs with bigger names (they're not as hard to get hold of as you'd think, just make a reasonable proposal and a lot of them are very reasonable and willing to help a new guy out) but just make sure your channel isn't based entirely on colabs with names, or you'll end up with a very difficult job to keep your subscriber base watching.
    As far as partnership, twitch can be a bit of a pain as they tend to shit all over smaller people and suck the dicks of bigger people, Own3d are quite good for the little guy and as an all round partnership you can look at Curse (Youtube partnership) they'll also help to promote you on bigger sites like this one, or Diablo fans that are in their network.

    As far as money goes, both the streaming sites are fairly open about this so I'm free to talk about it, they both offer the standard CPM of $2.5, now what does that mean? well it means for every person that views an advert you get 0.2 cents (yes, point two of a cent) ofcourse that only counts if you're a partner and people that don't use adblock, but thats a fairly good way to calculate it, but Own3d tend to have a better fill rate and don't give you bloated numbers so you'll get a more realistic amount from them (Curse are also partnered with them, so that'd be who you'd get if you went with them for a YT partnership)

    If you're really interested in this and want to do it (note passion) then it won't be easy, you'll probably need to stick at it for months even years before you get something that will go anywhere, and even then you might just be another mediocre streamer that just does it as a hobby, but you have to stick at it, keep creating content and never give up.

  7. #7
    The advice is greatly appreciated. I'm going to upgrade some hardware first before I start making decisions, but for now it's an interesting idea I have. Even if profit wasn't an outcome from it, I still think I would enjoy streaming.

    As far as upgrading the CPU goes, I have the money to spend and my eyes are on an i7 which shouldn't give me the slightest trouble. Now my only concern would be my upload speed.

  8. #8
    Not to gate crash your party or anything but be prepared for a long and winding road. You ain't going to achieve overnight success.

    Most importantly you will have to target something new and different as in either a brand new game or IP if you really want to make it. If you look at the current streamers, they have built a strong customer base over time. People like Towellee (one of the most enjoyable streamers out there) have been doing it for a very long time. They started way back before WoW went mainstream. It is what you would compare to an "underground rock/punk band". I think WoW is completely bloated with streamers and there ain't too many that offer anything different. The reason I prefer Towelliee is cause his streams are really high quality and I mean pretty damn high and he is pretty entertaining.

    Secondly, I agree what everyone is saying about having some personality and all which is important but most importantly you actually need to be "good" at the game you choose and need to make significant progress in that game; it could be raiding, multi player, etc, but you have to be there up competing with the best. Taking WoW for example, you can't be hoping to clear Heroic Dungeons or Normal Mode Raids and hope to have a fan base. You need to be there clearing Heroic Modes and having them on farm mode ASAP. Or if PVP is your thing, you need to be in the 2.4+.

    But I couldn't stress enough on streaming a game that is new or really not out there. Keep an eye on upcoming IPs, MMOs, RPGS, FPS, etc. If I were you I would look and start building around "The Elder Scrolls Online". TES has a pretty big and loyal fan base. And secondly TES has already gone mainstream with Skyrim and it isn't really looked down like WoW was at one point of time. So you don't really have to be a closet TES player like most WoW players were not too long back.

    There are so many wannabe WoW streamers currently, most of them ain't even taken seriously.

    Another reason, I mention TES is cause they have an amazing bunch of moders which is something you could look into if you are looking for a partnership, etc.
    Last edited by wynterlyn; 2012-11-06 at 09:09 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nirawen View Post
    MikeB put some videos up a few weeks ago on this subject, not necessarily exactly what you may be aiming for but I'm sure there will be some useful information. Can find part 1 here.
    I was going to suggest MikeB's video too. I think Crendor has a blog somewhere which is pretty insightful. I think it's mostly just him answering questions though, but there's some good stuff on there.

    The main part though, is that you need to recognise that it's going to take a lot of work on your part, and it's not quite as simple as "play a game with a camera and reap in ad revenue."

    There's all of the effort of coming up with good ideas for the video, then you'll probably record yourself and realise, you're not as funny as you think you are. If you're not really going for a big comedy approach, you'll probably still find that you're actually not as good at playing while you're recording, because you're having to split your mind into trying to be entertaining/insightful, while still playing to a good level. A lot of videos you'll see the comment sections filled with "You were supposed to do X at Y" and that's why. Alternatively, at difficult parts of the game, you'll find that you're not being as entertaining, not talking to the stream/video as much, that kind of thing.

    Also, I forgot to mention that you'll have to make sure to get your name out there (another thing, need to have a simple and easy to remember name, not lolwarrior32) by using Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, just not here though, I'm pretty sure mods don't like that, although, even if you're frustrated with lack of views, you shouldn't spam too much.

    ---------- Post added 2012-11-06 at 11:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by wynterlyn View Post
    But I couldn't stress enough on streaming a game that is new or really not out there. Keep an eye on upcoming IPs, MMOs, RPGS, FPS, etc. If I were you I would look and start building around "The Elder Scrolls Online". TES has a pretty big and loyal fan base. And secondly TES has already gone mainstream with Skyrim and it isn't really looked down like WoW was at one point of time. So you don't really have to be a closet TES player like most WoW players were not too long back.

    There are so many wannabe WoW streamers currently, most of them ain't even taken seriously.

    Another reason, I mention TES is cause they have an amazing bunch of moders which is something you could look into if you are looking for a partnership, etc.
    Just to add on to this, videos on new releases get quite a lot of viewers regardless of how established that YouTuber is. People will look for videos on that particular game if they're interested in it, rather than just checking what their subscriptions have put up. I'm pretty sure Jesse Cox's YouTube really started off when he was covering the WoW Cataclysm Beta, and then snowballed on from there.
    Last edited by Erto; 2012-11-06 at 10:24 PM.

  10. #10
    Brewmaster Chry's Avatar
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    Networking.

    Just like in the real business of media, you have to know people who will take you to the top.

  11. #11
    To be successful streamer, you need an 'angle'. Lets take wow: Kungen used to be high end PvE, Towelie is like everyone's fat friend, Soda is the class clown, Ducksauce is a struggling actor (he kind of does life-streaming more the gamer....ie talks about his life and stuff), Reckful is high end PvP etc. Some girls like tease are legit pvp gamer while others get attention for life-streaming like duck or just being pretty.


    You cant predict if you will be successful...there is no good formula. ie. Plenty of high end pvp guys stream but Reckful gets a LOT more viewers


    As for making a living...running ads and a few donations can get you some money but not be the sole source of income. (working 8hrs still gives you 9-10 to stream and 6 to sleep) The bigger streamers like Kung, Tow, Reck and Soda can get upto 2-5k donations a month plus another 2-5k from adds and/or subs a month. Towlie has almost 2k subs @4.99$...Twitch keeps 50% so thats 5k $ a month from subs....and his channel usually has 2.5 to 4k viewers. Kung has a ton of viwers but lot less subs. Soda and Reck get a shit ton of donations.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Xs View Post
    Your processor won't be able to handle streaming, I've currently got streamers running i5 2500k's clocked to 4.4/4.6 and they struggle with 720p SC2

    If you're really serious about streaming that 560 is perfectly fine, you'll want to be pumping your processor up to an i7 2600k or the i7 3770k, either of those will handle 720p without a problem and you'll be able to run anything processor intensive at the same time (ie WoW) also while you're there you might as well chip in to double that ram if you can, you shouldn't need it but xsplit (recommended streaming program) can sometimes have memory issues so you might as well go overkill since its so cheap
    That's not 100% true. You can always get a capture card and offload all the incoding to that vs your CPU and not have your CPU work as hard to do that. It really helps tbh if you've seen a streamer with one.

    http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=598...ure=BlackMagic Yes it's 250 bucks. But it's worth it imo.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Enhshamanlol View Post
    That's not 100% true. You can always get a capture card and offload all the incoding to that vs your CPU and not have your CPU work as hard to do that. It really helps tbh if you've seen a streamer with one.

    http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=598...ure=BlackMagic Yes it's 250 bucks. But it's worth it imo.
    I was looking around earlier and seen a very nice one from Roxio which even came with editing software. But I still think I'd prefer the diversity of something like XSplit. Also, I don't really play my console anymore so it would only be used for my PC.

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