Ever since COVID-19 started, a lot of countries have been placed in a lockdown leaving offices, school buildings, malls and other establishments empty. Even cities looked like they’d been abandoned. Since then, students, working adults and even senior citizens have come across the world of gaming and streaming.
The history of live streaming started way back in 1999 where they held the first-ever presidential webcast in George Washington University in Washington D.C. YouTube also held its first-ever live stream that was live streamed from San Francisco and Tokyo simultaneously, they called the event Youtube Live where they invited well-known artists such as Katy Perry, Smosh, MythBusters and Bo Burnham to perform. But YouTube’s push for live streaming was slow and it wasn’t getting that much recognition yet.
When Twitch was released in 2011, the idea of this new streaming platform at the time was designed to showcase or live stream video games. 2 years later, Twitch had more than 45 million viewers per month. Because of Twitch’s success, YouTube had also put up their live streaming option for their users by the end of 2013, other platforms like Restream.io, Twitter and Facebook have also published their live streaming services as well.
How to get started on streaming?
Build your own computer. But first, you need to have a budget for all the parts you need. It’s possible to get cheaper parts but you need to be aware if the parts you’re planning on getting are good for the computer you’re building. Get a friend who knows about building a computer or ask one of the people in the store to help you out. Is streaming from your laptop possible? Yes it is. But it’s better if you use a computer.
Next, get a microphone (or headphones with a microphone), a webcam, and a mic stand. You can also get ring light if the lighting in the place which you will be streaming isn’t great but you don’t have to get it right away.
Stable internet connection. We highly recommend it if you connect your computer to your router using a cable. Your connection will be faster than being connected to wifi.
Lastly, download streaming softwares. OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS and Xsplit Broadcaster are usually the softwares that most streamers use. If you want to stream from your console like Playstation 4 or Playstation 5, they have the option to directly stream on Twitch just by connecting to your account. After downloading any of the softwares mentioned above, you can watch tutorials on YouTube on how to set up your webcam, how to fix your audio, how to show the games you’re playing and creating your own stream overlays. There are also articles on the internet if you don’t want to watch a tutorial about setting up your stream.
By following the instructions from the videos you’ve watched or articles you’ve read, all you have to do next is find the streaming platform you want to live stream in.
Where to live stream?
The places you can live stream in are Twitch, Facebook and YouTube. However, it still depends on where you feel the most comfortable in going live. Twitch is known for live streaming video games. As they grew, streamers are now also streaming their art, music and other content that works with Twitch’s terms and conditions.
Facebook joined in to have their live streaming services back in August 2015 and it was exclusively for the U.S and for celebrities with verified pages. Later on, Facebook Gaming was launched on June 1, 2018 which catered to streamers who stream video games.
Although YouTube has been around for quite a long time, their live streaming services weren’t released until 2011.
All these websites or streaming platforms are the places where you can live stream and grow your own community. Easy to sign up and free to use.
What softwares to use for streaming?
There are also several streaming programs or softwares you can use, the common ones that most people use are OBS, Streamlabs OBS and Xsplit Broadcast. OBS and Xsplit Broadcast is a bit more complex whereas Streamlabs OBS is pretty user friendly. These are all downloadable from their websites and it’s for free.
If you do plan on using Streamlabs, they have a variety of choices for your stream overlays, alerts and widgets that will be useful for streaming. Some features in streamlabs would need you to purchase their prime membership but most of the things on there are free and ready to use.
Do I need stream overlays, alerts and widgets right away?
No, not right away. All of these can follow once you get the hang of the software you’re using. To get stream overlays, you can create your own or use the ones from Streamlabs OBS that are for free. You can also hire artists who create stream overlays or buy from the artists. As for the alerts and widgets, those are also available in Streamlabs OBS which you can export in OBS. The designs for it are also available there or in some websites that sell stream overlays.
Once you’ve got everything set up all that’s left is to go live. Set up your stream key or log in to whichever streaming software you’re using and it will automatically set everything up for you that all you have to do is click live.
Just a few tips once you’ve started your journey in becoming a streamer:
- Consistency is key. Especially if you’re doing this full time.
- Have a stream schedule. This one is important so that you can balance your time from your streaming life to your personal life. Also, your viewers can look forward to your next stream.
- Spreading out to YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Having any of these will increase your audience and they will eventually become a viewer of your streams. You can post game clips or funny clips from your stream, and share a bit of your personal life but not too much.
The journey to becoming a full time streamer is quite tough and many streamers have felt tired that eventually led them to burning out. Always make sure to take breaks in between. Go on a trip or go on a vacation somewhere far just to get out there especially when things are starting to overwhelm you. Head on over to Slingo.com and plan out your next trip when you want to take it easy after streaming for so many days.