Picture this, you have hundreds of people watching you play League of Legends for a few hours! So, you decide to take a quick break and play a match of Hearthstone and BOOM, everyone goes away! (Even though you have a solid deck and an above average rank)
You are trying to give your audience a little more variety, usually in the same genre but they don’t respond.
What Can You Do…
The first thing to realize is the goal of your channel.
Are you trying to be a variety streamer?
When you play your “main game” what are you trying to be? (Competitive, Informative, Exclusive, Entertaining?)
When you play your second game, what are you trying to be?
It appears the most common thing is people get a new game (GTA, The Show) that is a big release and want to play it. They figure that they might as well stream it. It is exclusive for a week or so (BF Hardline) but then people don’t care anymore.
The toughest thing to remember is streaming isn’t about what games you want to play, but what games your audience wants to watch. The view count is often a big indicator of that, but not the final verdict. Make sure to poll your audience and talk to those in the chat to see what they are interested in.
Splitting The Crowds
Alright, you have decided to play two games like my man @iGreenTreeFrogg but now feel like you have an identity crisis. When you play Madden it goes well and Destiny too, but the crowds don’t mix. Often the Madden guys get disappointed when they log in to see Destiny etc.
Ultimately, you won’t see tons of overlap in these crowds if they are coming to watch the game specifically. If they are coming to watch the streamer, that is something different, but that is rare in Sports/FPS genre. I find they mainly come to hang out with everyone else in the chat, but even those viewers are dependent on the game being played.
Should You Make Two Channels?
Making two of anything is a challenge. No matter what, one always takes a little more attention and energy and builds a little faster. As someone who has managed multiple twitters, youtubes and twitch pages, you always end up with a favorite and the other one slowly dries up. I would avoid this action at all costs. While it makes sense, there is always something in the back of the brain that feels like you are losing out by not just having one big channel and it makes it tough to commit to building both.
The month old streaming principles still apply and are even more crucial when playing dual games on a channel. How are your graphics branded? Do you have separate themes for each game?
Scheduling will now be more important than ever. It will prevent viewers from showing up and EXPECTING one game and seeing another. Setting their expectations will prevent them from feeling upset. If you always stream the new raid on Friday nights, they will come to expect that. Use your titles to set up the next stream time with game title and time. (Like Lirik a top 10 streamer, one of the few who plays multiple games consistently)
Newer streamers have done well in Madden this year by joining together which takes lots of time and research to figure out who is worth teaming up with. Make sure you have enough time to do this for both games and become a part of the community in both genres. This is very time consuming, however the rewards of building that strong streaming foundation and community pay off in the end. If you can’t commit to doing both titles, it may have to be let go or your expectations reset. There is nothing wrong with only playing one game or having one be a little bigger than the other.
Think about your goals, are you doing this to have fun or to make a million dollars? Depending on how you answer is how you should treat your streams and respond accordingly to the views/followers/subs. If Madden gets 10X more views then any other game, you should play it if you care about numbers. If you are just playing for fun, then play whichever game is more fun for you at the time, even if it means less views. If big numbers mean more fun to you, then go for the bigger game or try to figure out exactly why it is better and bring it to the other game.
The TV Show Method
The lead-in method has been used to pump up TV show ratings for years. Got a big show that you want people to see, advertise it but also put a great show on before it. How about the Super Bowl? Even with today’s instant gratification and multiple options, some people simply won’t change the channel or X out the window. How many times have you meant to pop on a stream for a minute but ended up watching an hour?
Ideally, you don’t want to bring the same audience to a new game unless they are super similar, but you will find it easier to have some people carry over, rather than having to generate an entirely new one. However, this is the biggest difference from network TV to streaming. Niche audiences that really care about the game/content/streamer/community that are going on. While you may never be the biggest in two games, you just have to find your crowd for each game. By setting expectations and being super clear on your branding, you can find a way to keep all your viewers happy.
What is the biggest challenge you face when playing two games? Leave it in the comments!