What are the best times to stream on Twitch?

Timing is everything.

Image via Twitch

You’ve set up your streaming equipment, crafted creative branding, and have every element of your broadcast dialed in. Now all you need to do is execute. 

But when should you stream? There are numerous strategies for maximizing your viewership on Twitch by scheduling your broadcasts in a particular way. Some articles and websites will use statistics to try to tell you that you should broadcast at specific times of the evening when there’s a particularly strong ratio of viewers to active streams.

The theory seems sound on its surface. If you want to get viewers, you need to go live when there are the most people watching. You also don’t want to be buried in a sea of channels in the directory.

Looking for times with the highest number of viewers per channel has some issues. Typically, when viewership on Twitch is at its highest, it’s because of just a few specific esports channels or personality streamers who vastly skew the average number of viewers per channel.

While going live toward the end of the evening might seem like a great idea, you may not be increasing your potential exposure because you’ll be streaming at the same time as a highly popular content creator with an already established schedule.

There’s no universal “best time” to stream on Twitch. If someone has ever told you that, they’re mindlessly looking at general statistics without an understanding of the context behind them.

The key to finding the “best time to stream on Twitch” is to find the best time to stream on Twitch for you.

Maintaining a consistent streaming schedule

Screengrab: xQc

First and foremost, you want to set up a streaming schedule that you can execute consistently without fail. The most important part of streaming that any top content creator will tell you is to have a schedule that you can stick to.

If you go live at the same times every week, it’s a lot easier for viewers to continue to follow you.

Avoiding competition when streaming on Twitch

Screengrab via Shroud on Twitch

When you’re just getting started, it will behoove you to look at the viewership of the top influencer in whatever game or form of content you’re looking to stream. Basically, don’t stream when they stream.

If you want to become an Apex Legends streamer, for example, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by going live while guys like NICKMERCS are online during the day. It’s better that you find a time when many of the top personalities are offline.

A lot of viewers have a few specific channels that they’ll automatically go to if they’re live. But when they’re not, they’re more likely to spend a little bit of time perusing the directory. That’s when your channel name, imaging, and creative stream title can come in handy and potentially reel in some viewers.

In the same vein, scheduling your airtime so that it doesn’t conflict with high-profile esports events for the game you play is likely a smart idea as well. Oftentimes, competitions like the LCS or OWL will dominate the viewership for a game when they are live. Refraining from competing with them could help you boost your viewer count.

Regardless of when you stream, the key is to have an executable gameplan and be mindful of other streamers who might soak up some of your potential viewers. As long as you can do those two things, you’ll be maximizing your chances of success.