Once you’ve started streaming, one of the biggest questions you might have is: how do I grow on Twitch?
Everyone’s journey on the platform is different, but there are a few ways you can work to improve your stream.
For example, you might want to figure out the best times to go live on Twitch, which games to stream and which games to avoid, or maybe you even want to identify other streamers you could collaborate with (or who might be your competition!)
There are many tools available to provide Twitch analytics, aside from Twitch’s own dashboard. We’re going to go through the most useful Twitch analytics tools, and how you can use them to grow your stream.
Sullygnome’s homepage hits you right away with a ton of information and statistics about the current state of Twitch. It gives you a good overview of:
However, what’s more useful to you will be the individual stats pages.
Searching for yourself or another streamer brings up a stats page with some interesting Twitch analytics:
It is worth noting that these kinds of stats are exactly what brands will look at when deciding whether to work with a streamer or not.
Websites like SullyGnome are great for getting a visual representation of how well your streams have been doing, and whether a particular game is working well for you or not.
All the graphs are color-coded, allowing you to quickly compare the success of a particular game or category.
There’s also a great tab called “Long-term” that shows you a handy, easy-to-read graph for all of the different stats you might be interested in. This one is particularly good for giving you a high-level overview of your growth, especially if you feel like maybe you have been stagnating recently.
While Twitch’s own dashboard gives you all of this information as well, there’s something to be said about the visual way websites like SullyGnome and TwitchTracker present the data, and in many ways they’re more user-friendly.
SullyGnome can help you decide what game to stream on Twitch right now, with a Game Picker tool that predicts roughly where you’d land in the category based on your viewership.
You can decide whether to select only games you’ve streamed recently, or any game at all. This feature is still in beta so it’s not super accurate, but can give you an idea of what to try.
It’s worth adding that TwitchStrike is a little more useful for this particular purpose. You can also use the Teams page to research teams that are active, or have good viewership. Keep in mind that many of the top teams will be esports organizations, or large communities, which might make it difficult to join or be discovered in them if you do become a member.
TwitchTracker has a sleek design and presents users with a bunch of stats right on the homepage.
Like SullyGnome, TwitchTracker provides you with information on how many streamers and viewers are currently active on Twitch, as well as a rough indicator of what time most viewers watch. It also lists top streams in the past week, as well as top currently live channels.
In the top right, you can search for yourself or any other streamer. This page gives you an instant snapshot of your stream’s performance, with little colored arrows to indicate whether the stat has improved or degraded in the timeframe you selected.
One particularly useful section is under the “Streams” tab, where you can see a comprehensive calendar of your streams, and can click through to any specific week for more details.
The days are color-coded: brighter days mean higher viewership, so you can get a great overview of which streams have done best.
From here, you can select a particular stream to see what time your viewership peaked, which can be helpful if you’d like to see what game has worked best for you.
If you streamed multiple games or categories in one day, you can see which category brought the most average viewers or followers, or which game or category resulted in the most clips being taken.
Where TwitchTracker really shines is if you want to compare yourself to other streamers.
You may want to do this if you and another streamer stream very similar games, or stream at similar times. While we don’t recommend comparing yourself directly to someone else -- once again, everyone’s journey on Twitch is different -- it can be used to inform you on areas you could improve.
For example, maybe another streamer is streaming the same game as you but gets more viewers because they stream at a different time. You could use this information to dig deeper and identify if there are more people watching that category at a different time, or perhaps the other streamer is doing something unique on their streams that brings in more viewers.
StreamElements Stats is a little different to the others here, as it only tracks chat stats. However, this is incredibly useful and shouldn’t be ignored.
First of all, it’s a great way to find out who your top chatters are, which can help you identify your biggest supporters. Rewarding your most active community members is a great way of engaging and connecting with them, so you could use this tool to decide on who should be given a VIP badge in your chat.
You could also use it to figure out which community members might be good mods as well, if they’re there all the time and very active in your chat.
Another great thing StreamElements Stats does is lists the emotes that are used most in your chat. This can be helpful for Twitch partners and affiliates, as it helps you understand which are your most (and least!) popular emotes.
Aside from that, though, it can also show you what kinds of emotes your community likes. For example, if you don’t have a laughing emote and see that one of the most used emotes in your chat is LUL, perhaps you should consider making a custom laughing emote for your community to use.
StreamElements Stats also shows what commands and hashtags are commonly used in your chat, though many bots will have similar tracking for this kind of thing anyway, so it might not be as useful.
Both StreamElements and Streamlabs can send you reports to your email address immediately after your stream finishes, and they give an excellent snapshot view of how your stream performed. You can use both, or just one, but they’ll both provide roughly the same type of information.
Streamlabs gives a great overview of monetary success of a particular stream. For example, its report will tell you how many donations (or tips), subs and cheers they tracked, along with some viewership information and a little plus if your stream performed better than your previous one. It also gives you an average view time, giving you an idea of how long people stick around in your stream.
StreamElements provides much the same info, grouped in a slightly less easy-to-read format (but with handy graphs!) What they do better, however, is if your stream performed particularly well on that day, they’ll include a stat in the subject line of the email (eg. 150% more subs today).
Again, Twitch also provides a report after your stream, and you can find it in your own dashboard, but if you’re using external tools for alerts and monetization of your stream these stats reports can be handy.
TwitchMetrics has a lot of the same features as websites like SullyGnome and TwitchTracker, with an overview of Twitch as a whole and in-depth insights for individual games and channels.
The landing page for games is actually pretty useful here, compared with the same page on other sites. It gives an overview of recent activity in the category, viewership over time, most watched clips, and fastest growing and most watched channels.
As a side note, unlike some other sites, TwitchMetrics only includes streamers in this list if they are considered to primarily stream that one game, and they differentiate between one-game streamers and variety.
TwitchMetrics could be really useful for diving deeper into details on games you’re streaming or interested in starting to stream. You can see what kinds of content people find most entertaining from the most-watched clips, and find other streamers who stream in the same category and are experiencing growth if you want to look for some inspiration.
If you’re curious about the quality of your stream, R1CH’s Twitch Analyzer is a robust tool for the job. By entering the name of your channel, or any other channel, while you’re live you get back a condensed report that provides you with a few data points to consider.
First of all, you’ll see whether or not your bitrate is stable. While you can usually see this in your streaming software, it’s useful to see if there are any drops you might have missed.
You’ll also see whether you’ve had any dropped frames.
Dropped frames cause a kind of “laggy” appearance to your content, so you’ll want to avoid them as much as possible. It’s often caused by internet issues such as packet loss.
Keyframe Check is another section, which will let you know if you are having any issues with video compression.
Twitch has its own built-in “Twitch Inspector” tool which has a lot of that information available, but something that R1CH’s Twitch Analyzer does differently is that it gives you a more personal user-experience overview of your stream.
You can find near the bottom some information on your audio levels, which will help you understand if you are hitting the right audio balance or if there’s an issue with your content being too loud or quiet. It also gives you a simple report on whether your bitrate seems appropriate for the quality settings you have.
The only downside for R1CH’s Twitch Analyzer is that it only provides reports for streams that are currently live, so you can’t get any information on past streams.
However, if you’re concerned about your quality, it can be super useful to go here and enter your channel name and get a quick report to review and make changes as necessary.
TwitchStats is another metrics provider that shows some Twitch-wide statistics on its home page, with more detailed individual stats if you search for a specific streamer or game.
Self-described as “the most comprehensive Twitch.tv live analytics and statistics” tool, TwitchStats doesn’t really bring much new to the table versus the other sites listed here, and its layout is a bit messy and confusing.
It does, however, have an estimate of how many subscribers bigger streamers have. Not all streamers are included in this, and the numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt as they’re never going to be completely accurate -- accurate subscriber numbers are only visible to streamers and potentially their teams or organizations -- but it can be interesting to gauge how viewership links to subscriber numbers, and how that might vary depending on the games streamed or the type of community the streamer has.
They also provide information on newest stream teams created, as well as older teams and their creation dates. If you’re looking for new Twitch teams that you could approach for membership, this tool could come in handy.
All in all, TwitchStats is a little less user-friendly than SullyGnome, TwitchTracker, or TwitchMetrics, and provides much the same information with a few extra bits that might be interesting to some.
TwitchStrike is a unique and incredibly useful tool for variety streamers in particular.
Have you ever wondered what’s the best game to stream? Or perhaps you’ve wanted to know what’s the worst game to stream?
If so, Twitch Strike is the site for you.
It works out recommended games based on how many channels are actively streaming a game versus how many people are watching it at that time. This ratio of broadcasters to viewers is a great way of figuring out what games might be more successful on your channel.
If you sign in with your Twitch account, you’ll also get a list of games that are recommended for you specifically to stream at the current hour. While none of these are guaranteed to be a good choice, it can give you a little bit of inspiration if you’re struggling to decide what to play, or if you’d like to experiment a little for channel growth.
The “What Not To Stream” section isn’t surprising, as it mostly lists the big games that are known to be oversaturated with broadcasters, like Fortnite or League of Legends.
Even so, it can still be useful to have a look through the list and make sure you’re not picking a game that doesn’t have a good broadcaster to viewer ratio.
You’re probably most familiar with SocialBlade for its live follower count feature, also commonly used by YouTubers for live subscriber counts. This particular page updates every second, so if you’re approaching a milestone it can be pretty exciting.
What sets SocialBlade apart, however, is its ability to track your growth across multiple platforms.
Discoverability on Twitch is pretty difficult when you’re getting started, but bringing in people from other platforms is always going to be hugely helpful. For that reason, it’s in a streamer’s best interests to be present on multiple social media platforms, be it YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever works best for them and their audience.
SocialBlade allows you to track your follower and view count over time across all these platforms. You can use this information to check specific dates against your content.
Did you get a lot of views on one day, or a lot of new followers? Great! Go back and look at what you were doing differently on that day so you can see if it’ll be possible to replicate that in the future.
Remember that content on Twitter or YouTube might drive traffic to your stream, which will result in growth on Twitch too.
SocialBlade also gives estimates for your future growth. While this is all based on historical data, and therefore won’t be totally accurate, it can be interesting to have a look at how its predictions change over time and see what you can expect for future growth of your channel.
There are many different tools available for streamers to track analytics. We recommend using these tools to supplement the existing Twitch dashboard, allowing you to figure out what you’re doing right and what areas you can improve.
You can also use each of these tools to compare your own stream to other similar streamers, perhaps people who stream the same games as you or who have a similar audience.
However, always be careful when comparing yourself to others: as we’ve mentioned a few times here, everyone’s journey on Twitch is different, and Twitch is incredibly unpredictable. Use the data to inform you, rather than to define you.
You could also use the information provided by these tools to identify streamers who might make great friends you could learn from, or even find a team of streamers to work with.
All of these tools should be used wisely. While they’re not completely accurate, third party tools are often used by brands to decide whether or not to work with a streamer or content creator, so it’s great to be familiar with each of them so you’re well-equipped when talking with a potential sponsor.
We chose not to include Twinge here, as it hasn’t been updated in a few months. Twinge is another tool that shows average viewership and growth over time of streamers and categories on Twitch, and has been historically used by brands when reaching out to streamers, however as it’s not being updated at the moment we’ve left it out.