Most important data to find how your game performs on Twitch and YouTube
When it comes to getting your game out there, there’s nothing better than having content creators play it and share it on their preferred platforms, be it Twitch, YouTube, or any other service.
The best thing is that if someone likes your game, they’ll play it and stream or make videos of it without you having to invest anything. This helps promote organic growth for your game, as the more people that see it, the more will buy it, then more will make videos, which will result in more seeing it and so on.
You can also run promotions or influencer marketing campaigns to help encourage and speed along this process. Although, regardless of how your game makes it on these platforms, you’ll want to track its progress and keep an eye on how it's performing.
This can be helpful in a variety of ways, from assisting you in choosing when and what kind of updates to release, to deciding on the number of marketing activities required and their timeframe. For example, if you’re noticing a steady downtrend in viewership of your game, it may be time to spice it up with a new update to draw content creators back to the game. Or, if that is not possible, step up marketing activities to fill the gap of your game no longer being as viewed.
All the information you need to make such decisions can be found in the data or metrics of both platforms like Twitch and YouTube, as well as individual creators. Finding the data can range from easy to difficult, as it all depends on what you’re looking for.
There are many different numbers to consider and some may not even initially come to mind. It can range from something as easy as heading to the front page of Twitch and finding your game, to using third-party websites to break down detailed stats.
Although to make things easy for you, we’ll pick out all the most important stats one by one and tell you exactly how to read the data to find out how your game is performing on Twitch and YouTube.
Most important Twitch and YouTube data for game devs
The vast majority of stats that we’ll be looking at, especially on Twitch, will relate directly to viewership. This is, after all, the main thing that matters on these kinds of platforms. YouTube does offer some extended stats, such as subscribers, although they aren’t really too relevant to your game.
It’s also quite likely that you have your own channels, but, once again, this isn't super important as we are looking at the grand scheme of things. Having your own channel for your game gives only some specific insights, but they largely only relate to the channel, rather than the overall game.
To make things simpler, let’s split them up by website.
First up, let's take a look at all the most important metrics on Twitch. Keep in mind that Twitch is a live streaming platform so things vary heavily hour by hour, and it’s vital to look at an overall view, rather than what’s happening at any set moment.
A bread and butter stat to look at on Twitch is average viewers. This breaks down how many people on average are watching a stream of your game at a time. For example, if your game had between 10,000 and 15,000 viewers for one hour, the average viewers would work out at around 12,500.
This is amazing for figuring out how much interest there is in your game. It accounts for any peaks and troths, meaning that you’ll always be able to figure out the general interest in your game. As a bonus, the games with the most average viewers stay at the top of the Twitch front page, which helps attract even more viewers.
Total Hours Watched
Total hours watched is another great metric to track as it shows an overall interest in your game. The more people that watch your game, and for longer, the more total hours and the more interest.
There are of course a lot of factors that play into this, from popular streamers playing the game, to other releases, and even times and days. Still, it’s important to keep an eye on this stat, and if it starts to dramatically drop it may mean that content creators are starting to drop your game, or that it is becoming stale for viewers.
This is quite similar to total hours watched but directly relates to the streamers instead. As you can imagine, this stat is all about how many hours of your game are streamed over a period of time by every streamer combined.
This mostly relates to creators, but viewers can also have an influence here. Once again, if it begins to drop it means that streamers are starting to drop your game. There can be a variety of reasons here, such as other releases, a lack of content or replayability, or simply players finishing your game.
It’s important to consider what the factors that are leading to a drop (if there is one) are, and act accordingly.
Number of Streamers
These last two stats aren't the most important, but still very good to know. First up, the number of streamers shows a general interest in your game.
Every popular game has a ton of streamers flocking to make it big in the game, and if you see your game has many streamers, there’s a good shot people are willing to watch it too. Similarly to hours streamed, if this starts dropping, it may mean people are losing interest in your game, but this can be for a variety of reasons.
Last but not least comes followers gained. This can apply for both streamers of your game, as well as the game category itself, but either way isn't a huge deal.
Followers gained is more of an indication of the potential popularity of your game. Usually, when a new release is added to Twitch, it explodes in followers gained and then drops proportionally to its popularity. The more popular it is, the more followers it retains, or even gains, while a less popular game will just drop followers.
Again, this doesn’t directly relate to viewership or success, but more to the potential interest of your game on Twitch.
How to find Twitch data
Unfortunately, getting your hands on all of these metrics can be difficult. Some, like followers, are available straight from the platform, but you’ll either have to track changes yourself, or check in every now and then for estimates.
Others, like hours streamer and average viewers, are sadly not available on Twitch and require tools to extract.
Luckily, that’s where we come in. At Lurkit we specialize in content creator data, and if you’re interested in finding out more about all of these stats, as well as how you can get your hands on them and more, contact us here.
When it comes to YouTube, the data is unfortunately quite a bit more limited. That isn’t to say that there aren't some very handy stats regardless, but not as much as Twitch.
One of the biggest drawbacks is that it’s not really possible to break things down game by game like on Twitch. Additionally, with live stream and video views combined, it’s also impossible to know the more in-depth details, like if your game performs better as a live stream vs video, for example.
As such, the best thing you can really do in relation to stats is either tracking a game category channel, if it exists, or individually looking at content creators playing your game and tracking their stats. Let’s take a look at some of the most important metrics to keep in mind.
Game views are, as you can imagine, the number of views of your game. This will vary heavily from creator to creator, so the best thing to do is compare it to the average of their other videos. It’s best to look at the bigger creators since their views are more likely to be somewhat consistent.
Remember to keep in mind that these things can vary a lot regardless, with YouTube having a complicated algorithm that promotes certain videos over others. Still, as an overall thing, if you see your game is getting more views than other usual videos from a creator, it’s doing well.
Number of Videos
The number of videos is again something that varies largely from channel to channel, but looking at the averages can be a good indicator of how your game is doing.
This is something where you can look at either individual creators and see how they’re doing, or can even look at the overall data through YouTube’s game categories. However, the game categories are auto-generated and still seem rough around the edges.
At the very least, you’ll be able to get an idea of how popular your game is depending on the amount of videos you’ll see.
Last but not least comes likes. Again, there are quite a few variables here and like followers on Twitch, this isn’t the biggest indicator of a game’s performance, but keeping this in mind helps.
The more likes you see videos of your game have the better, although, they can vary widely from channel to channel. This is due to many reasons, from a creator trying out your game for the first time, to a subpar video, or even a disgruntled fanbase. Don’t take likes to heart too much, unless you see an overwhelming amount over a large sample.
How to find YouTube data
Much like with Twitch, it’s very tough to get your hands on this kind of data, and even more so on YouTube. Without proper categories for games like on Twitch, some videos can go by the wayside, and even then the game collections are very cluttered and difficult to wrap your head around.
It’s really not easy to find anything without diving deep and dedicating a solid amount of time to it, and even then there are a lot of loose ends.
This is once again where we come in. As previously mentioned, at Lurkit we specialize in content creator data and if you want to find out more about getting your hands on some YouTube metrics, contact us here.
Now that you know what to look for to see how your game is performing on Twitch and YouTube, all you need to do is get out there and find out. It may seem as easy as looking at some stats and if there are more views, it’s all good, but there’s more to it.
Remember to keep in mind the importance of each stat, and think about the reasoning behind any changes. Sometimes, it may be to do with your game, other times, it may just be factors that are out of your control. Twitch and YouTube are both very fast-moving platforms, and games sometimes fly in and out of popularity multiple times a week.
Unfortunately, it’s tough to stay on top, but if you keep all this data in mind, you may just be able to stay ahead of the curve.