[Answered] When is the Best Time to Stream on Twitch?
Written by: Hrishikesh Pardeshi, Founder at Flexiple, buildd & Remote Tools.
Last updated: Jan 19, 2023
If you’re new to streaming and are just starting out as a novice in the space, you're probably wondering when is the best time to stream on Twitch. Like many streamers, you likely have other jobs to do other than streaming - and hence, have a limited number of hours to play around with. However, you’ll want to make the best possible use of your limited time to strike the right balance and maximise your chances of getting more viewers.
The same holds good if you’re a hobby streamer - unlike the pros, hobby streamers can only afford to give a few couple of hours daily for streaming. So, they’ll want to make the best of that time. Even if you’re a pro streamer, it helps to study your viewers’ behaviour to identify the best way to optimize your views and earnings. In this article, you’ll learn how to identify common user behaviour on Twitch and use those learnings to tailor your streaming regimen.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What time of the day is viewership the most on Twitch?
- When do most streamers stream?
- When is the best viewer to streamer ratio?
- Identify your audience behaviour
- When’s the best time to stream on Twitch?
What time of the day is viewership the most on Twitch?
According to the online Twitch stats platform TwitchTracker, here’s the distribution of the concurrent viewership on Twitch on a given week. In other words, this chart tells us when there’s a high number of viewers on the platform, and when there’s low viewership.
As you can see, the chart peaks at around 00:50 to 02:00 AM UTC on any given day. Note that this is for global viewers - and is aggregated data for viewers from all parts of the world.
This translates to around 5:50 to 7:00 PM PT. This is understandable, as people typically return from their jobs/ schools around this time, and kids are done with their studying, so they’re free to tune in and watch some streams.
However, you can make out that on weekends, the peak is a bit more wider and flattened than on weekdays. This is because people have more free leisure time to watch streams on weekends than on weekdays.
So on weekends, the approximate time when most viewers are watching streams every day lies between the range of 22:30 PM to 03:30 AM UTC. This is around 3:30 to 8:30 PM PT.
However, note from the chart that around 11:00 to 16:00 UTC (or 4:00 to 9:00 AM PT), the viewership is at its lowest. So, as expected, not many watch streams on Twitch early in the morning.
From the above chart, it makes sense for you to consider streaming in the evenings to reach the maximum number of viewers. However, you should also consider the competition (other streamers who are streaming at any given time).
Furthermore, from the above chart, we can see that the average number of concurrent viewers are consistently more on weekends compared to weekdays.
When do most streamers stream?
So as we saw, evening times in the US attract the highest viewership on Twitch, but now, let’s understand the average stream timings of other streamers. This is important to consider because when there are a lot of creators streaming, viewers have a lot of choices to watch. And hence, the more the choices, the lesser the chances of any given viewer tuning into your stream.
So in this chart, we see that the number of concurrent streamers, interestingly, peaks twice - around 00:00 to 03:00 UTC, and 06:30 to 08:00 UTC. This is around 5:00 to 8:00 PM PT, and 11:30 to 1:00 AM PT. We’ll come back to why this might be so later on.
On the weekends, we again see that the graph’s peaks are wider and more flattened. This is because, just like viewers, streamers - most of whom have other full-time jobs - have more free time during the weekends to play games and stream on Twitch. Furthermore, streamers know they have a larger audience on the weekends, so they stream more.
From the same graph, we see that the least number of streamers on Twitch occurs during 14:00 to 18:00 UTC - which is 6:00 to 11:00 AM in the morning, at PT.
When is the best viewer to streamer ratio?
The best way to increase your chances of grabbing more viewership is to ensure that the number of viewers to the number of streamers at any given point - is ideal. In other words, you have to target a high viewers-to-streamers ratio. This essentially means that if viewership is equally divided among channels - which is not entirely the case, as popularity and relevance matters - then channels will have more viewership when there are a lot of viewers but not enough streamers.
In this chart, the concurrent viewers and streamers graph have been superimposed on each other. You need to target those timings when the blue line and the top of the green area cross each other, or are very close to each other.
This means that there are fewer choices for viewers at those times, and hence, they’re more likely to tune in to your channel.
As seen from the graph, the time period just before the viewership peak - 17:00 to 20:00 UTC - has the highest viewers to streamers ratio. This is around 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM PT.
Further, we see that on weekends, the ratio is at its highest - implying that you’ve got a better chance of maximising your viewership. So, weekends may be the best time to stream on Twitch, generally speaking.
However, note that these stats are just meant to give you an idea of typical streaming activity - and doesn’t consider some crucial factors. So, to find the best time to stream on Twitch, you have to consider these factors first.
Identify your audience behaviour
First and foremost, you have to determine who your target audience is - their likes and preferences. What time do they watch streams on Twitch? For instance, if it’s kids aged below 16 - you have to stream after schooltime - otherwise, you won’t get many viewers. You’ll also get a lot more viewers during the summer vacations - when kids are free.
You’ve also got to consider your specific competition - when do most of your game’s streamers stream on Twitch? Once you find that out, you can try and target time slots when there aren’t many streamers who play the same games as you.
You can identify these patterns by looking at TwitchTracker - Games and SullyGnome. Once you do, it’s just a case of devising your own strategy - by factoring in your own schedule, highest viewers-to-streamers ratio, and the watch times of your game - to figure out the best time to stream on Twitch.
What streamers say about the best time to stream on Twitch
Here’s a collection of advice from streamers on what has worked from them, so you can make informed decisions:
“Depends on the game, viewers, and other streamers.”
“Consistency is key.”
“Experiment and learn.”
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