Hey there, everyone. We need to have a talk about a trend I’m seeing among certain streamers in various Facebook groups that is deeply troubling to me because of what it is doing to the community as a whole. It involves the perversion of something that started off both innocently and as something that was quite useful… Stream Teams.
You’ve probably seen them if you’re a streamer. They’re communities within communities that originally were meant to be a means of streamers being able to find other streamers to game with who shared similar interests and played similar games. But, as with all things, someone had to find a way to gum up the fucking works and do something to change that in order to succeed at the cost of other people being used in the process.
So this article will be a combination dealing with ways to tell if you’re being lied to/scammed and also explaining why these methods that they’e roping people into simply… don’t… work. Let’s get started.
The Host And Raid Game
So first, a few things to look for… Whenever you see someone offering to share their vast networking experience and drop massive hosts and such on you, it may not inherently be a scam, but it also might be.. so be diligent. Do your research. If you see people talking about how close they are to partnership, or how they can help you get to affiliate if you come check out their stream, etc. Understand that there are tools out there to help you make informed decisions about who is on the “up and up” so to speak, and who might just be straight up lying to you.
The best one I’ve found is twitchtracker.com
All you have to do is go there, plug their Twitch channel name into the search, and check out just how legit their claims are. If someone is telling you they are “Close to partnership!” and offering to help you learn how as well if you just come to their channel, go make sure they actually are. If someone tells you that they regularly have huge crowds and get massive hosts and raids and such, you can verify that. Don’t even trust pictures if they post them! Go look for yourself! You’ll be able to find those raids and hosts with detailed information for each stream they had, down to the times of those raids and even see how many people stuck around for longer than 10 minutes.
If that information shows as true on twitchtracker, then they may well be legit and worth listening to. If it doesn’t, well…
However, be aware of a few things.
You should Never PAY anyone to teach you how to grow your stream. If you’re here on my website, then you know that this information is available for free. Any information that is worth listening to is out there for free. There are also partnered streamers who have made videos on YouTube to help streamers just starting out that are excellent views full of worthwhile information. It only takes a little effort to find them. Don’t spend your money paying someone else to do the research for you. All it takes is a little google-fu and you got that sweet info gratis.
Underhanded people will lie to you about their stats to look better so that you will come to their stream to learn from them, when really, the reason they want you to come to their stream is to bump their views, and concurrent viewer numbers. They have little to nothing to offer aside from common sense, if even that. Twitchtracker is great for identifying these people.
Remember that the threshold for even applying for Partner is an AVERAGE of 75 viewers, among other stats. If someone isn’t showing those numbers(or close) on twitchtracker, they aren’t “almost partnered”… Beware. Even if they are showing those numbers, they may not be close. Twitch reviews each application independently and makes decisions that way. They see where views are coming from. Who they are. They look at stream content as well. Just because a person has numbers doesn’t mean they’re going to make partner. I’ll explain more about why later in this article…
People lying to make themselves look better are trying only to look better in the eyes of others and not trying to improve as a streamer. They are only fooling the uninformed. Don’t be uninformed. That’s what tools like twitchtracker do for you. They keep you informed.
There are streamers out there who use illicit tools to manipulate stats, using things like bot follows and bot views to make their numbers look better than they actually are. Alternately, they belong to groups who will drop a massive host on one of their members but only stay for about 5-10 minutes before moving on to the next member. It creates the illusion of traffic and artificially inflates viewcounts. This is no more worthwhile than Follow4Follow but it allows the streamer to claim they don’t use F4F as long as they participate in the drops themselves. Do not fall for this tactic. ( This is a HUGE part of this article and what we’ll touch on in a second, so stay tuned… )
Now… about that last part.
The Myth of Support 4 Support
Ultimately, growth on Twitch needs to be Organic. You have to build your base around a community that likes you based on who you are and what you do, and found you mostly on their own or through links and advertising. Artificial inflation will not help you long term, and short term will only skew you oddly and will be noticeable. It’s not hard to see when someone has an odd ratio of follows to views as a small streamer ( a good number to shoot for is generally at least 10 or more views for every follow you have or pretty close).
But there are stream teams out there recruiting members in order to artificially inflate numbers and give the illusion of growth, popularity and success. If you’re in the Facebook groups, you’ve probably seen the ads…
People promising you that they will “help you make it big!” are using you to “make it big”(spoiler: they aren’t) themselves. No matter what they’re saying, no matter what they’re offering, what they are doing is getting you in their streams in droves because they’re promising that one of you is going to get a big fat raid at the end, and it’s gonna help you succeed. They’re promising to help you and support you and and…All you have to do is come support their channel first…
So maybe 50-100 of you show up and his/her numbers look great…All those juicy concurrent viewers and skyrocketing views. People throwing bits and maybs subs hoping to get a leg up on the competition. Active chat room. Exactly what they want. And of that 50 to 100, you suddenly have a 1% chance of being the guy/girl that gets that raid. And then, for every new person that joins in, your chances go down, while their numbers go up. And…depending on exactly how trustworthy the person in question is(spoiler: they aren’t)… that chance may actually be… ZERO percent as they may well know exactly who they’re going to raid well before it happens, and the whole thing was pre-planned.
Regardless…. you’re being used. You are being used to boost up the numbers of someone else on a wing and a prayer promise that you might be the guy/girl who gets help if you just support them. It’s 100% win for them. 100% gamble (and ultimately loss) for you, as you could have spent that time building your own stream organically or networking the real way. Oh! But don’t fret because, well, you didn’t get the raid this time, but probably next time, right? Just gotta come back again… and then it doesn’t happen again.
Alternately, another method going around is a round robin approach wherein they support each other in a rotating manner at different times on some kind of managed schedule. This one is at least slightly more honest, but is ultimately just as useless, as donation and subscription and view trading is no more productive than follow for follow. They get raided, the raid stays for 5 minutes to give a “view boost” and then they all leave. Sure, they had a max view count of 105 people… but really, they only had about 5 people watching most of their stream. The boost looks good, raises their average(kinda), and if they’re smart enough to screenshot it, they even get to claim they had that many people watching with evidence.. But it’s still scummy and misleading.
In fact, subcription trading is a net-loss all the way around if using real money and not amazon prime subs because you’re paying 5, but getting 2.50(variable depending on your country of origin). So trading them is…literally a bad idea. And subs do nothing to boost stats or rank anyway so I have no idea why people do this but… they do.
So here you have two examples as to the way “stream teams” are promising to help people that ultimately help no one. One is entirely self serving and the other helps no one long term whatsoever.
Actually, either method will serve absolutely ZERO long-term success for any streamer who uses it. Why? Because they have no community base. Their entire community is built on the premise of helping other streamers, meaning by correlation that their entire community(or the vast majority of it)… IS streamers. Now… if most/all of your community is other streamers, do you expect them to sit and watch YOU stream all the time and be successful…. or work to be successful themselves by streaming? They can’t really do both.
Now… I know what some of you are thinking. “But my Stream team helped me get affiliate in a week!“
Great! But…Why did you need it so bad? If you didn’t have the audience to get you to affiliate already on your own, what makes you think you’re suddenly going to develop an audience worth paying you money to subscribe to you? Do you think those same people will? Why would they if they weren’t supporting you before?
Now, please don’t misunderstand. Stream Teams aren’t all inherently BAD. Support teams that promote each other by retweeting streams going live and drop in to say hi and do actual real networking or game together are fine… There are great groups out there of like-minded people who just group together because they want to be friends. Those are great! Join those! THAT is a form of networking!
But the ones who are in this together to try and boost each’s others numbers to success will ultimately ALWAYS fail because the audience they have is each other. And that isn’t going to work long term, unless they’re willing to sacrifice the success of most for the success of one or two(usually the person/people who started it). And they won’t succeed either because they’ll find they have no audience once people realize it’s a scam.
Now, how do I know this? Well let’s break it down with some good ole’ fashioned NUMBERS.
Every month, Twitch has over 100 MILLION unique visitors now. This number is going up quickly. Every day, this number is around 15 million unique visitors with an average of 622,000 people active on Twitch at any given time(as of the end of February 2018… probably higher now). There are around 2.5 million active content broadcasters(STREAMERS) on Twitch.
Basically those numbers mean that of the total market share, less than 3% of all viewers on Twitch are also streamers themselves. So if your entire viewerbase is other streamers, you’re reaching almost NO ONE. Your entire viewerbase comes from less than 3% of all possible viewers on the platform. But that’s how these Stream Teams work. That’s where their views and their hosts and raids all come from. They call this success and support for support. I call this artificial number inflation.
Either way? It doesn’t work. It won’t make you a partner. Sure, it’ll get you to affiliate and you’ll have no audience to make affiliate worthwhile.
Here’s some headline breaking news for you:
Realistically? THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS
There are exactly THREE ways to “instant Twitch Stardom”… If you fall into one of these categories you stand a shot. If you don’t, you’re gonna have to put the work in, the time in, the effort, and grind and build organically like the rest of us…
- Already be a Celebrity of some note.
- Be one of the best in the WORLD at the game you play and be able to be at that level consistently.
- Get really, REALLY lucky with a host/friendship by someone like Doc, Ninja, Timthetatman, Lirik, summit1g, etc, and hope it sticks like glue. It might! It has for several streamers that play with big names.
That’s it. Those are the three magic keys to instant twitch stardom.
Do any of those sound like you?
If so, awesome. Message me, seriously.
If not, you’re going to have stop believing these people who promise you worlds and offer you grains of sand. You CAN do this. You CAN find success on this platform if you do it the right way. Yeah, it’ll take longer. It took Ninja 7 YEARS to get to this point. But look what he’s accomplished. Look at guys like CohhCarnage… He’s not a pro gamer in terms of skill, but he’s damn fun to watch and he’s gotta be one of the nicest guys in the world. And his community is huge and so great. Do you think he got there because of Stream Teams? No. He got there because he worked his ass off and built something the right way.
Now, I know none of this is what you wanted to hear. I’m sorry about that. But unlike these people promising you the world, I actually WANT you to succeed… to make that happen, I have to be honest with you and give you the tools to do so. That means that when I see people taking advantage of others within the community, I have to say something. I’m not pointing fingers. You’re all smart enough to see who’s doing this. What I’m doing is arming you with information. Use it how you want. I cannot stop you from still joining these teams. All I can do is tell you that if you do, no matter your short-term results and how good it might seem? They won’t last.
And you want this to last, don’t you?