I’ve recently embarked on an experiment with my Twitch channel. Up until recently my dalliance on twitch (which began in 2011) has been that of a hobbyist. I’ve used my work skills to constantly improve the quality of the channel from an audio/visual point of view, but little time has been spent making something more of that content.
In my nine to five (which in TV/Film industry is more like six to eleven) I spend all of my time creating content for clients, delivering to Online and Broadcast, so sitting down on a day off to cut highlights, or to re-purpose content for other platforms was something I’d avoid. That was my me time, and time with my son.
Well here we are in July 2019 and my 18 year old son is about to embark on a new adventure, studying Engineering at university, which is leaving me with a great chasm in my schedule. So why not put that to better use?
After FINALLY clicking the affiliate button and, to my great surprise, gaining actual monthly subscribers; I feel a responsibility to give some bang for those bucks. A stream every Sunday just wasn’t going to cut it for me, it just didn’t feel like it justified the cost to those who kindly clicked the sub button. Furthermore what could I do better with all this looming free time?
Enter Travis Shreffler, one of the founders of Bottlespark, a company that connects content creators with sponsors and advertisers. Travis is the kind of guy who wants creators to do better, be better, and to get paid for it. He takes the time on twitter and twitch to encourage professional approaches and compliance with FTC regulations, as well as dropping seeds of ideas and concepts into the fertile minds of those paying attention.
As has been often remarked, my brain is brimful of fertiliser (at least that’s what I take from it when people say my head is full of shit) so it wasn’t going to take much to get me raking over the soil and taking one of those seeds of an idea and formulating a “strategy” to improve the channel, encourage renewed growth, give value for the subscriptions, and ultimately give something back to this fledgling industry.
Last month Travis posted this video on his twitter account:
The best way to grow your Twitch channel:
— Travis Shreffler (@TravisShreffler) July 16, 2019
After watching this, the germ of an idea began to formulate, but didn’t solidify until watching the Travis’ stream the following day. The concept is simple; treat Twitch as the core platform wherein you create your content, recording it live, and outputting it to other platforms in order to create interest and drive viewers from those platforms back to Twitch.
This was exampled with a look at another streamer SoloRenektonOnly, a League of Legends Streamer, who plays troll builds of characters and gets some amazing footage of those builds in action for edit and upload to YouTube; all live on his Twitch stream. It’s not just creating a highlight reel, but setting out to create the footage specifically for another platform which has it’s very own style and best practises. The Twitch feeds the YouTube content which drives audiences back to Twitch to join in the live experience, and only requires one recording session which in itself is content that is monetised before it even hits the edit suite.
That got my brain churning. There are certain things that need to be in place in order to successfully transpose content on one platform to another. The first being that a lot of streamers perform with music underneath their gameplay and commentary. As they are recording the end stereo mix of that audio there is no way to extract the music, or the streamer mic, from the game audio. This causes a number of problems, not the least that you are stuck with what you recorded at the time and no way to extract sources. Thankfully there are ways around that with software that I will go into in another article.
So once I had figured out the technical approach next up was deciding on content. Now I’m lucky that I have an audience who watches me less for the games I’m playing and more for the incessant babble and pontificating, as I’m wont to do when I have an audience and a microphone. Knowing this I looked at formats across YouTube and other platforms and realised that I could put together shows in three additional formats that could all be streamed live to a Twitch audience and then be re-purposed easily for delivery and consumption elsewhere.
So along side the regular gaming content I’ve put together the technology to produce a “Talk Radio” show, Dogg Barks, for Saturday evenings, which includes viewer call ins, and a “Conversational Interview Show” called Who The F@&k is..? (the censoring is so that the title will be compliant with Twitch, YouTube, Spotify and iTunes terms of service) that is a long form interview/podcast format.
Finally I will be creating a series of “How to” videos showing step by step how to set up, and utilise, all the technology I use so that other content creators can have a free resource, stop tearing their hair out over the tech, and get on with being creative.
By live streaming the recording of the “How to” videos on Twitch, wherein I use footage I’ve recorded to show how to edit, sound mix, and create graphics for content then delivering them as structured videos on YouTube, BitChute, Vimeo etc. I can literally turn the post-production process of my ancillary content into MORE content, and at the same time give the live audience a sense of exclusivity, and an opportunity to have input by asking to elaborate on specific concepts which in turn can be processed as short snippets or “Top Tips” and delivered as their own unique supplementary content.
By doing this live AND delivering edited versions to other platforms I get to create my content for ancillary platforms while at the same time creating another format for delivery and essentially monetising the post-production process. (As you will see in the chart below my intention was to have the “How To” streams as sub-only streams, this idea has been tossed in favour of keeping all Twitch content free to access for everyone)
Add to that articles on expanding on the videos which will be posted on this blog can also expand audience reach to those who don’t want to sit and watch a video, but still direct them back to Twitch and YouTube should they want to see the process in action, and hopefully be part of the live experience too.
All of these formats I have dipped into over my 8 years on Twitch, admittedly kind of halfheartedly, so this is a distillation of my professional experience in Film and TV, coupled with embracing all of the content delivery platforms, opening up my content to more diverse audience demographics.
Shit, I went all market speak with that last paragraph, but really it’s the only way to express the benefits of embracing different formats; and by embracing this diversity of content you open up new channels by which to attract more audience and with this specific strategy, funnel that audience back to the core platform. All roads lead to Twitch.
To conclude; by using Twitch as the core platform for content generation and re-tasking that footage for delivery platforms, one 3-4 hour stream can produce between 5-10 pieces of processed content for those ancillary platforms, all feeding back into Twitch and thus creating that Holy Grail of Internet Content Creators… Growth.
Whether this experiment works or fails, the journey is going to be one hell of a ride, and I’ll be documenting the whole thing here, so stay tuned!
So, who wants to ride shotgun?