How to promote your music on Twitch?

Reading time: 6 min

When it was created in 2011, the live streaming platform Twitch was designed for video game players. Since then, all content creators have taken advantage of it, including musicians who want to strengthen their fanbase. The reason: its features allow people who stream to promote their content, but also to actively interact with their audience. As a bonus, Twitch offers its creators several easy ways to get paid. However, you need to know the rules of the game and its particular culture to gain notoriety. Ready to stream your beats battles and composition sessions? Let’s go!

What is Twitch?

Twitch is a social network that connects creators who share their content via live streaming sessions with enthusiasts who join these sessions as viewers. The twist: both parties can interact during the broadcast (the session) via chat, emotes, feedback and monetary support. Broadcasters regularly interrupt their performances – of video games, cooking, drawing, concerts – to respond to viewers who are reacting to the live broadcast.  

A Twitch broadcast can last up to 48 hours (if you feel like it, we advise you to eat and drink water). It’s a network where lives invite users to share a moment – almost to hang out together – but online and through a common interest embodied by the person broadcasting.

Twitch is therefore a friendly community, where it’s good to share and promote your activity, but it’s still important to know the requirements of the Twitch culture if you want to build a fanbase – these rules are the key to the quality of exchanges between broadcaster and viewers.  

A nice detail: the Twitch blog shares many accessible tools to help you get started, such as free or cheap softwares and tips on sound quality.

Twitch is a social network that connects creators who share their content via live streaming sessions with enthusiasts who join the sessions as viewers. Viewers can support the artist with kind words and funny emoticons, paid subscriptions or one-time donations. Twitch is therefore a great tool for promoting your music and gaining notoriety!

How to create a Twitch channel?

As for all your online profiles, the first step for a successful promotion is to carefully fill in the info on the Home tab of your Twitch channel: a nickname that resembles as much as possible your stage name, a profile picture that reflects your visual universe, a clear description of your proposal (eg: acoustic live sessions, jam enthusiast...). By the way, music is a category of its own on Twitch and the lives are sorted by genre, so it is a good idea to fill in this category if you want to appear in the search results.

Then, we recommend that you add panels to your About tab, which you can consider as very short blog posts and where you can talk about whatever you want: the latest streams/artists/concerts you liked, the recording equipment you’re dreaming of, why you created a Twitch profile, a short bio...  

Then the next 2 tabs – Schedule and Videos – are to be filled in once you’ve established what you want to stream and when. Here, it’s up to your creativity, your resources, your needs and your desires! Beyond the live concert option, you can promote your music on Twitch in many different ways: collaborations with another artist to jam with, simply discussing your creative process and your musical favorites, question and answer sessions with your subscribers, music lessons, beatmaking demonstrations...  

As far as content is concerned, the key is to enjoy broadcasting these moments of life: your audience will see you live, and is there not only out of curiosity and the desire to discover your work, but also to have a good time with you and the other viewers.  

As far as features are concerned, don’t forget to specify your streams schedule in the schedule tab of your Twitch profile and to notify your subscribers on all your other profiles. Don’t forget the information Twitch offers to share before starting a broadcast, in the Stream Manager. These are hashtags to be updated at each session and they allow referencing by their search tool. There is also an option to notify your subscribers that your live broadcast is starting via a personalized message.

Camila Knight's home page

The first step to promoting your music on Twitch is to take care of your profile and build your streaming offer, so that you are recognizable by the people who already follow you on social networks, to visually stand out to the Twitch community. Before launching a broadcast, take the time to follow the Twitch steps to be well referenced by the site’s search tool and make yourself visible.

How to build and strengthen your fanbase on Twitch?

Now that you’ve created a nice profile, thought about content that fits you and explored Twitch’s features, you can promote your brand new account! First, get familiar with the community by attending sessions, encouraging other broadcasters you like via chat or subscribing to their accounts. The main thing is to be sincere. Forget about the commercial aspect; you are there to share your passions and your work, not (only) to earn money.  

By making some friends on the network, you also gain allies who in turn can participate in your lives and maybe even advise you when you start out. One last thing on the bonds to create with other Twitch streamers: there is a Raid feature where you just type /raid and then the nickname of your friend in the chat of your live to invite your viewers to join his session when yours ends. A good way to create alliances and increase your fan base!

Then, schedule your lives and go for it! This is the best way to learn. Since your Twitch audience usually follows the rules of the community, they are mostly the caring and supportive type. It is extremely advisable to be transparent with them during your stream, to share your doubts, to ask for their opinion, what they would like to experience with you (for example, you can cover tracks according to the requests of your audience). It’s also common practice to tell your followers about your metrics. It’s OK to tell them “Thanks for being 10 for my first time on Twitch – that's great. Tell me how we can aim for 50 people for the next session!”

Once you’ve launched, it’s worth digging into the career paths Twitch offers. Once you have accumulated 8 hours of stream on at least 7 days during the last 30 days, with 50+ subscribers and an average of at least 3 viewers per stream, you can access their Affiliate program. The advantage is to allow its audience to support your live streams with  

  • Access to your videos without any interruptions from advertizing
  • A subscription donation
  • Recurring donations
  • Bits and Cheers, i.e. visible reactions on your chat and stream, such as an applause sound (you earn $0.01 per Bit sent on your chat).

The level above is Partner. To access this you have to reach thresholds of broadcasting (25 hours over at least 12 days), views (75 viewers on average) and subscriptions, and also apply (which is not the case to become Affiliate). The benefits are similar, with a higher degree of customization of Bits and Cheers, such as badges that you create yourself and that your fans can use as emoticons to promote your work. The main advantage is that you can insert advertizing breaks whenever you want during your sessions. This new revenue stream is of course not mandatory. It’s up to you to see if you are comfortable with it.

The trick with each of these interactions is to personalize them and sort them by “tiers”: they are all available, but you decide if only subscribers have access to them. It is also smart to propose exclusive sessions with the most loyal fans, or to create a private chat for your supporters to thank them, to give them special attention and thus encourage them to promote your work. To make your fanbase-interaction logic visible, you can describe the “reward” levels in your About section and take the time to talk about it in some of your live shows.  

To confirm your intuitions and the reactions of your viewers, you can check your Channel analytics, a dashboard that summarizes the performance of your videos in particular and your Twitch account in general.

SuperStarO's stream

Promoting your music on Twitch is all about interacting with your audience thoroughly, regularly and transparently. To do so, announce your broadcasting schedule (including on your other RS profiles), chat during your live shows, offer loyalty programs with rewards such as exclusive chat or music on demand to your most loyal fans. Don’t hesitate to share your doubts and even ask what you can do to make them want to come back and talk about you – although be subtle about this!

What do I need to remember?

Twitch is a live streaming platform where you can promote your music by highlighting your daily life, your personality, your professional background, your way of creating... You can, for example, film yourself creating music, talk about music, jam with another artist, play tracks at the request of your viewers... The principle is to interact in a creative and enthusiastic way with your audience. It’s an opportunity to create warm and special moments with your fanbase. In exchange, they can pay a subscription that will cover the cost of your promotional work.

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