Niches in Streaming: What makes a Stream Popular?

Dan Westrop
Dan Westrop
7 Min Read

Why are we interested in the streams that we watch? As viewers, we spend countless hours watching a person (or persons!) but don’t usually take the time to think about why we enjoy the stream. Like television or other forms of media, we run with what we’re innately interested in.

However, there are things to learn about streaming and gaming if we look closer at the kind of content we enjoy consuming. Unlike Netflix, streamers are always engaging with the viewer. So what really keeps us coming back to the same face?

Skill Expression

Streaming, specifically on Twitch, is dominated by video games. It’s been this way for a long time, with games rising and falling in popularity. The same can be said for streamers. As games come and go, so do streamers.

The streamers that have viewership directly related to the popularity of a game are primarily considered extremely good at the game. They’re sometimes on an esports team. Dizzy, for example, started off as this 15-kill-per-game warlord on Apex Legends.

This is a recent clip of dizzy showing his skill:

Watch NRG dizzy gaming warlord | !twitter !youtube !instagram !discord | follow @dizzy on twitter for updates from dizzy on

He streamed games before, but Apex is where he shines. Dizzy was widely considered the best Apex Legends player on release. His skill with the powerful Wingman revolver was unmatched, letting him wipe squads in a 3 on 1 situation with ease. Esports team NRG quickly picked up the player as a streamer and competitor for the game.

This story happens often with newer games, albeit less now that esport teams and game companies use streaming as a form of advertising. A player or a few are just amazing at a game. Most of the time larger streamers, like Shroud or Doublelift, play with or talk about that highly skilled player. They give the skilled player exposure and the chance to grow!

Entertainment as a Weapon

You don’t have to be the best at the game you play in order to grow as a streamer. In fact, you don’t even need to be close to the best. There are streamers who grow in popularity without being anywhere close to the best.

An important note to make here is the level of success achievable with different streaming styles. Streaming is a difficult business to get into that requires time and effort. It is difficult and rare for a streamer to rise to a high popularity strictly being an “entertaining” streamer.

Still, it can be done. The entire section titled “Just Chatting” has streamers all around the globe that hang out with their chat and mostly talk. This is primarily known as IRL streaming and people like Jakenbakelive live their life as a streaming experience. Streamers showcase their artistic talent or comedy skills for enjoyment.

Jake doing something funny during one of his streams:

Watch Tokyo, JPN – RAINY DAY? w/ !Water and !Lucas jnbOK – !YouTube !Jake !Discord – Follow @jakenbakeLIVE from JakenbakeLIVE on
The Middle Ground of Streaming

Like most things in life, a combination of entertainment and skill are ideal for the highest quality of streaming. This balance can be mentally taxing, as interacting with chat while focusing on the game is almost impossible to do 100% of the time.

Streamers like Yassuo are highly ranked and entertaining at the same time. They constantly interact with chat, able to quickly read and play the game. These streamers are high-energy players that don’t hold back how they’re feeling.

Fun clip of Yassuo showing her personality:

Watch League Has No Issues and No Bugs People hate for no reason league is perfect the way it is from Yassuo on
Interaction with Twitch chat can be done in plenty of ways. Some streamers allow their donators to pick the next, although this leads to banned VODs and complications with copyright. Most large streamers avoid this now and use free music in order to use their VODs as video content.

Plenty of streamers moved to variety streaming after their initial success in one game. Single player games are excellent to optimize viewer interaction. If you stream Dark Souls, not only can your chat laugh at you when you die for the tenth time, but you can laugh with them.

What about Growing Streamers?

Chat interaction with consistent gameplay is a skill that needs to be practiced. If you’re a new streamer, you should try to speak out loud as much as possible. Otherwise, streaming is a grind that you need to commit to.

It is essential you find your niche if you want to grow steadily. Finding a new game or style of streaming could be a breakthrough into the industry. You can also replicate streamers and their styles if you need inspiration.

Common ground among all streamers is a clean and clear stream set-up that is easy to digest as a viewer. There are free ways to customize your stream that don’t require much of a set up. Alternatively, you could look for designers who designed your favorite streams!

No matter your streaming niche, understand the reason we watch what we do can help us find potential in other areas of media. You might explore some smaller streamers that have an awesome personality you love. It’s worth taking the dive into the deep streaming community to find your new favorite streamer.

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Dan Westrop, founder and Executive Editor for GadgetGang. Loves getting hands-on with the latest tech and only writes true, honest, and unbiased reviews.
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