What is the best time to stream on Twitch to get the most viewers, follows, and subs?
Does it matter what day of the week it is? Does the size of your channel make a difference?
We dove into the stats to answer those questions. Keep reading if you want to find the ideal time to Go Live on Twitch, without the trial-and-error, even if you haven’t even created your channel yet!
Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.
What is the best time to stream on Twitch?
When it comes to maximum viewership, the best time to stream on Twitch is between 11 AM and 2 PM PST. That’s when viewership numbers hit their peak and you have the highest number of potential viewers available.
But that doesn’t mean it’s the best time to stream on Twitch if you’re trying to grow your channel’s audience!
With high viewership comes high levels of competition. On Twitch the small channels can’t compete with the big names.
If you are a new or smaller channel looking to grow your audience, the best time to stream on Twitch is between 12 AM and 4 AM PST.
This is when the number of other live channels drops, meaning you have far less competition for viewers.
So we’ve narrowed down a block of time, but what difference does a day make?
The best days to stream on Twitch
The best days to stream on Twitch are Saturday and Sunday.
However, the days with the lowest amount of competition are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Don’t worry if you can’t stream during these days and hours!
If you are a smaller channel you should cater to your specific audience. Not only in terms of content but also in terms of schedule. So let’s look into how to do that.
How to find the best times to stream on Twitch for your channel
One of the biggest appeals of Twitch is being able to connect with people in a particular niche.
Maybe it’s the top-tier players in your favorite FPS, people learning how to create Digital Art for the first time, or literally anything in between.
Give some thought about who will be watching and when.
How to pick the right time to stream for your time zone
Remember those Twitch golden hours we went over above? They’re great, but depending on where you live they might not be the perfect fit for your local audience.
And by “local audience” I mean people in your current and surrounding time zones.
You just need to ask yourself one question: When will your audience be free to watch?
To answer that question, you need to ask a few more:
- When are they going to be free to watch (awake and not at school or work)?
- Should I stream one longer broadcast, or do a “split shift”?
Now that you’ve narrowed it down to some local time slots, it’s time to focus on what you’ll be streaming!
How to pick the right time to stream for your category/game
The next step for finding the best time to stream on Twitch is to look into the viewing habits of the category or game that you’re streaming.
This way you can plan your content ahead of time by knowing exactly what time on what day will get you the best results!
Step 1: Visit sullygnome, a Twitch statistics and analytics aggregator.
Step 2: Search for your specific category by typing the name into the search bar in the top right corner.
Step 3: Select your category from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: Expand the Summary Data to 180 or 365 days and apply a language filter.
Step 5: Focus on Average instead of peak (to avoid special events messing with the numbers).
You want to find the days when the Average Viewership is closest to the category’s average viewership numbers.
Average viewership stats can be skewed by big events, but you really just need to spot the trends for the peaks on the chart. Try and find one or two days of the week to focus on.
Step 6: Narrow the Summary data down to 7 Days and find the hours when the Average Viewership is closest to the category’s average viewership.
Using the examples above, you can see that for Minecraft, the highest average viewership tunes in on Friday and Saturday between 8 PM and 1 AM in our timezone.
How to pick the right time to stream for your audience size
How large your average viewership is has a big influence over when you should broadcast. This is due to how people browse on Twitch.
By default, Twitch sorts the channels in a category by current viewers, largest to smallest. This means that the more channels that are live, the harder it is to be found if you are a smaller channel.
Unfortunately, most people assume popularity = quality.
But don’t worry! Here’s how to determine the perfect time to increase your chances of letting new viewers find you:
Step 1: Head back to sullygnome and select your category again (if you don’t still have it open).
Step 2: This time, focus on average daily channels and look for a trend in the low points. This is when you’ll have the least amount of competition.
You may want to set the data to display 180 or 365 Days to find the day of the week with the lowest competition.
Then set it to 7 Days to find specific hours.
For this example, 7 AM and 11 AM have the lowest amount of active channels, regardless of the day of the week. Thursday has the lowest competition.
Isn’t data analysis fun?
After all of this, what you have now is a guideline of days and times for your streaming schedule.
If you’re looking at these time blocks and can’t clear your entire schedule to hit the ideal times to stream, don’t worry!
How to create a successful Twitch streaming schedule
For new and small channels on Twitch, there is a very high possibility that you won’t be able to stream during the golden hours.
But I’ve got good news: hitting the ideal hours isn’t actually essential!
Here’s how you can create your perfect streaming schedule for growth.
Keep your schedule consistent
Note that consistency is more important than time slot because it creates habits! You want the viewers you do have to know exactly when to find you.
Think of it this way, going live at the best times might bring people in once, but going live at consistent times is what keeps them coming back.
Find a block in your schedule that you can stick to, and commit to it!.
Stream 3-5 times per week
Speaking of creating viewing habits, going live between three to five times a week does exactly that.
Streaming every single day may seem like the best way to grow, but that isn’t the case for smaller channels.
It’s better to dedicate that time to some off-Twitch activities that can grow your channel (more on that below).
On top of that, doing anything non-stop is a recipe for burnout. There’s no faster way to lose that fire than to turn it into your daily grind!
Stream for at least 2 hours per broadcast
According to statistics directly from Twitch, it’s best to stream for at least two hours per broadcast. The ideal stream length is between three and four hours.
Now, what if I told you that the best way to grow your audience isn’t about finding the absolute best time to stream on Twitch?
Even if you do everything above right, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find new viewers.
So, how do you bring people to your Twitch stream, regardless of when your broadcast goes live? Two words: Social Media.
The chances of being found on Twitch are low even at the best of times. Unfortunately, the platform is just built that way.
The truth is that growth can best be achieved outside of Twitch!
Social media promotion can be used to overcome inconsistency and not being able to stream during the golden hours.
Twitch lacks the algorithmic discoverability of other social media platforms.
So why not use those networks to bring your Twitch stream to your potential audience?
Here’s how you can use other social media networks to bring new viewers to your Twitch channel!
Use existing content for other platforms
Video content is king online, no matter where you are. Use that to your advantage!
Take clips or stream highlights and post them elsewhere! Just make sure to include a link back to your channel.
Download the best clips or highlights from your last broadcast, edit them if necessary, and re-upload them to other platforms. It’s as simple as that!
Short clips work best for TikTok and Instagram (actually pretty much every platform loves videos that are 60 seconds or less these days). Longer highlights for YouTube.
Make sure you put in the appropriate hashtags for your category or game. Then let the mightly algorithms do the legwork.
Become a member of your category’s community
Engage anywhere and everywhere your audience spends their time online:
- Facebook groups
- Discord servers
- Online forums
Share tips, ask questions, post memes. Don’t just spam them with promotions for your Twitch channel. Nobody likes that. Instead, include a link to your Twitch channel in your bio.
If you’re active in these communities then other members will naturally find that link after engaging with you. If they like your content off of Twitch, chances are far higher that they’ll check you out on Twitch!
Funnel your audience to Twitch through other channels
Letting people know when they can catch you live let’s them adjust their schedule, instead of you having to adjust yours.
- Post your upcoming schedule for the week
- Create going-live notification posts
- Include proper hashtags for more reach
- Always link to your Twitch channel
This is ideal for networks such as Twitter and Instagram. Here you can post content for people who are following you specifically for content.
Of course, this opens up a whole other rabbit hole of social media concerns:
- When is the best time to post on each platform?
- What’s the fastest way to post across multiple networks?
- How can you stay on top of feed mentions and post engagement?
Well, it turns out all of that can be done quickly and easily with Hootsuite! In fact, you can learn to do all of that in 15 minutes (or less if you increase the playback speed):
If you’d like to learn even more about how to find the biggest audience for your stream, you need to read our in-depth guide to Twitch marketing!
You might want a way to streamline your social media promotion so you have more time to actually stream. With Hootsuite, you can edit and schedule posts across all networks, monitor sentiment, engage your audience, measure results, and more from a single Dashboard. Try it free today!