How to keep up with Twitch trends and spot the next big thing

Lurkit Team
January 12, 2021

Twitch is an incredibly popular and powerful tool for businesses and individuals alike. The potential for growth and exposure is almost unmatched anywhere on the internet and with such a massive user base it has become a core hub in the gaming and online world. 

Millions of viewers and thousands of creators interact with Twitch every day and there’s really no better place to reach gamers than on the platform. As such, it has also become a vital element in businesses’ marketing strategies in just about every sector, from retailers to game developers. 

Utilizing Twitch is a key to success in the modern era and to do so successfully, you need to be able to keep up with current trends and always interact with a relevant position on the platform. Things change fast on Twitch, so it’s impossible to keep a list of what works and what doesn’t, however, there are a few ways you can track and predict the next big thing. 


How to keep up with Twitch’s fast-paced content stream

There are a few key ways to stay on top of Twitch’s trends. As you might imagine, all of them require some consistent commitment and start-up work. However, once you figure it out and are able to fully capitalize on Twitch content, you’ll have a huge advantage when it comes to effectively reaching an audience. 

Here are the main ways to keep up with Twitch trends and spot the next big thing:

  • Research and focus on key events (Game releases, updates, events, etc.)
  • Identify trends using data
  • Find and avoid ‘fads’
  • Don’t be afraid to rely on the trusty classics

Let’s break these down one by one and take a look at exactly what they mean, as well as how you can go about actually doing them.

twitch name logo

Research and focus on key events

Researching and focusing on key events is definitely one of the most important and best ways of being able to keep up with Twitch trends. This can apply to a ton of things, so it’s impossible to cover everything, but you should always be on the lookout for what’s coming next, and be ready to capitalize on it. 

This can include things like game launches, expansions, major updates, events, etc. Essentially, anything that will gain traction. Some obvious ones immediately jump to mind here, like a triple-A game, such as Cyberpunk, launching. The game is sure to be popular on Twitch and if you’re selling peripherals, for example, it would be a good time to theme your marketing around FPS. Similarly, if you’re a game dev, plan your game launch or update around a huge title like Cyberpunk, to avoid clashing with it. 

Then, there are also events. A great one to look at here is Escape From Tarkov. Every year around Christmas to the new year, the developers launch a special celebration where players can receive items for watching. 

Tarkov then dominates Twitch for around a week or so, making it another great time to focus on marketing or promotions that could capitalize on Tarkov being one of the most viewed games. This example also shows why it’s important to do extensive research - don't focus on just recent things and the big games, but look at the whole calendar year and see if any events like this one usually pop up. 

tarkov event

Identify trends using data

Another huge point to consider is using and interpreting data to identify Twitch trends. Usually, this wouldn’t be possible due to the bulk Twitch data being widely unavailable or very difficult to obtain. However, thanks to Lurkit, it’s quite simple to gather any data you might need, and apply it to predict the next big thing. 

There are quite a few things to consider here, mostly relating to the types of data to focus on. Here are a few examples:

  • Most watched games
  • Most streamed games
  • Changes in hours watched and streamed
  • Fastest growing channels

You should focus on looking at which games are the most popular, both in being watched and streamed, as well as which games have seen the biggest swings in hours watched and streamed. This will tell you what’s currently the most popular and you can then compare those numbers to games with the biggest changes in watched and streamed time, to see how they stack up now. 

It’s also important to look at the fastest growing channels on Twitch and then see which games they stream. This can be a very good indicator of a game’s performance and future. 

As previously mentioned, it can be quite difficult to access this data by yourself, so if you wish to find out more about data curation and how to utilize it, make sure to contact us

lurkit data

Identify and avoid ‘fads’

Another very important thing to do is identifying and avoiding ‘fads’ - games or categories on Twitch that are set to have a very short lifespan of popularity. 

This can sometimes be difficult to figure out, especially when a certain event boosts an unpopular game, but you can figure it out. The best way to stay on top of fads is to always research any rising games - sometimes the biggest streamers play a game on a day off and drag in their friends. This makes a game popular for a few days, but then it crumbles when those streamers go back to their usual broadcasts. 

Similarly, there can also be ‘fad’ events, such as OfflineTV’s Rust server. In case you missed it: a big team of Twitch streamers created a server on a survival game called Rust, where they are all playing together. It led to the game being the most viewed on Twitch as a ton of the biggest streamers were playing it, however, it’s already clear that it will be another fad. 

This is because the game was never hugely popular on Twitch and the majority of streamers have never shown any interest in the game. A few of the biggest streamers, like Pokimane, even quit after just a couple of days, simply due to the nature of the game, and it won’t be long until the others follow. 

otv rust

Don’t be afraid to rely on the trusty classics

This point isn’t massively related to trends, but one to keep in mind nevertheless. It’s always a good idea to rely on the trusty classics of Twitch. These are games like Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Dota, Fortnite, etc. 

They’ve always been popular and will be for a very long time, all of these games have a dedicated fanbase both in-game and on Twitch and will always be a good option when it comes to influencer marketing. 

Additionally, they can always be used as a benchmark when looking at some of the other points. Chances are if a game is struggling to beat (or even come close to) some of the numbers of these games, it likely won’t be the next big thing. 

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