I just read this super interesting article by Seth Godin. In it he talks about how popularity spreads and how it decreases over time. This is something that I’ve observed on many different channels—and it’s probably something you’ve experienced as well.
When you hit the right number of conversations, the buzz creates its own buzz, popularity and usage creates more popularity and usage.—Seth Godin
The above statement is something that we clearly can observe on Twitch. Specially since we have the popular tab where things are ranked by the most viewed to the least viewed. It quickly becomes “Oh I’ll check it out”—it’s at least something that I do. On top of that every game category is also ranked by most viewed to least viewed.
So to say that this is something that might happen is an understatement. It is something that is almost guaranteed when there’s a structure like this. Even the streams that we follows are organized after most viewed.
In a way it makes sense to think that the most viewed is the most popular. Still Twitch have taken steps towards machine learning in chat so why not do an attempt to do the same for the follower feed. Instead of random (horrible idea) have it ranked by most likely to watch. If you spend 5 hours a week on a smaller streamer and only 1 hour on a larger streamer. Then that first streamer should rank higher, related channel should be recommended and be ranked higher as well.
Anyway back to the topic.
When we get an influx of viewers at the start—be it from doing marketing and hyping up the launch—or anytime during our streaming career. It’s important to understand that this isn’t really an increase towards that critical mass. It’s not an additional 10 people it’s instead a number that will from that moment decay. Leaving you standing there not reaching the critical mass due to an influx.
An influx is of course great but it’s blip. It decays over time and that’s not going to give you an sustained buzz. It’s about building something that’s instead attainable no matter if or if not you get an influx of viewers.
Seth Godin brings up Facebook as a great example. As they started with 100 people at Harvard that then took the entire campus, then to other Ivy Leagues and eventually all of us.
Yes, of course, sometimes the route to popular is random, or accidental. And betting on lucky is fine, as long as you know that’s what you’re doing—Seth Godin
Seth then lists three ways to increase the chances. Let’s look at two those from a Twitch perspective.
- What needs to be done is have something worth talking about. By nature a stream should be something that when there’s more viewers it makes the experience better for existing audience. At the same time there’s always a trade off with the amount of interactivity that is possible as a channel grows. That’s when the focus ends up being more on the community—on your channel—as a whole becomes more important.
- It’s not about reaching everyone. It’s about focusing on a group that are not only each to reach but also important to reach. Think about your target audience and what matters to them.
You can read the Seth Godin article here.
I hope you liked this article. If you’re looking for your own Twitch branding—why not check out my Twitch branding services and get in touch.