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Best Time to Stream

Bim Barbieto
November 11, 20195 mins read

Out of all the streamers in the world, not very many are doing it full time. Not everyone can stream their content for 16 hours a day because of just life generally getting in the way – whether it’s a full-time job or just other hobbies. There are non-full time streamers who still want to take their content to the next level, and they’re the same people who might want to optimize what little time they have to stream.

We took the liberty of taking a look at the data to try and give you some insight so you can choose the best time that works for you. Please take note that these times are all based on the UTC timezone, so adjust accordingly.

When are there the most viewers on Twitch?

To maximize your streaming time, it might make sense to take a look at when there are the most viewers on Twitch. Since Twitch has the most available data, let’s take a look at when their viewers are on.

According to TwitchTracker, over the last week, viewer behavior and peak times are different for weekdays and weekends.

On the weekdays, peak viewership is usually at around 6PM to 8PM at an average of 1.6 to 1.75 million viewers. It’s very likely because this is when adults just get back from work or kids just finish their homework and start to wind down. At around 8:30 – 9PM, it starts tapering down.

On the weekends, when more people have time in general. Peak times come earlier and there are generally more people watching. The most number of viewers are on from 4PM to 6:30PM with around 2.3 to 2.7 million viewers. However, during the weekends, you’ll also see that there are just generally more people starting 11AM and it just ramps up until the peak hours and then viewership tapers down at around 6:30PM.

Interestingly, regardless of the day of the week, the lowest viewership is usually in the morning, at around 7AM to 9AM.

So, just based off this information, it makes sense to just start streaming as soon as you get home at around 5PM and stay on until 9PM, right? 

Well, not so fast. There are a lot of other factors to consider.

When are there the most other streamers?

There’s only so much time each viewer has to give. With more choices, you will have to compete with more streamers for eyeballs. It’s very likely that those streamers who have full time jobs or school will also have the same stream schedules. It might not be the best thing to try and jump in when there are the most number of people competing for attention and views.

And again, the streamer behavior is different for weekdays and weekends. 

Unsurprisingly, the peak times for viewers are also the peak times for the streamers on weekdays. The most number of live channels are live 6PM to 8PM with around 60k live channels, except for Friday mornings! For some reason, after people stream on Thursday night, people come back on really early morning on Friday – the peak starts back up at 1AM to 2AM with around 63K live channels. 

On weekends, when people generally have more time, the peak still starts at around 8PM, but with way more live channels at 72k to 73k live channels.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have those times when there’s barely anyone streaming. And surprisingly, no, it isn’t the wee hours of the morning. Across all days of the week, the time with the lowest number of live channels is 9AM. On the weekdays, there are about 22k to 23k live channels and on the weekends, there are 27 to 31k.

Basic logic would dictate that if there are very few live channels in the mornings, then it makes sense to stream then, right? Well, not exactly. Remember, viewership is also lowest at around those times.

What you should be aiming for is an ideal ratio between viewers, the demand, and the live channels, your competition.

When is the best viewer to streamer ratio?

See, if you consider the viewers as the demand, then the streamers are the supply. You, as a streamer, are part of the supply. You should consider all other live streamers are competition. When there are way too many live channels, and not enough viewers, each channel will have fewer viewers – assuming, of course, the viewership is equally divided, which we know isn’t really the case. But for the sake of just finding a good equilibrium, let’s just say the nuances of popularity and relevance are moot for now.

According to SullyGnome, the most viewers per channel on weekends is at 28 to 29 viewers per channel. It happens at around 4PM to 6PM. This is true for Mondays through Thursdays. It’s a little different for Fridays, where there are about 38 to 40 viewers per live channel at around 6PM to 7PM. 

On Saturdays, peak viewers per channel happens usually at 12NN to 2PM with 40 to 45 viewers per page. It goes gangbusters on Sunday, though. It happens at the same time, from noon to 2PM, but with a peak of 50 to 60 viewers per page.

On the other side of the spectrum, the worst viewer to live channel ratio is usually at 1AM to 3AM on weekdays, with 18 to 19 viewers per channel from Monday to Thursday and 20 to 21 viewers per channel on Fridays.

On weekends, this happens a little later at around 3AM to 4AM with about 18 to 19 viewers per page.

Armed with this knowledge, we can see that some complexities and nuances starting to form. Do we stream when there are the fewest other streamers or do we follow the best viewer to live channel ratio? Not so fast, there’s quite a bit more to take into consideration.

Other factors to consider

If you look at purely just the numbers, then it looks like there are cut and dry answers, but each streamer is different and there are a multitude of other minute factors to considers. 

One of the things you have to determine is who your audience is and what is the most likely time this type of person would be down to watch some streams.

Here are some things to consider:

What is the type of content you stream? Know your audience.

If it’s usually content for students, it might be best to stream after school hours. Working people? Might be good to go after working hours? It’s really hard to tell because an audience can get very varied. 

Who is your main competition? 

If you’re a Tekken streamer, maybe it might be good to pick a time that the most popular Tekken streamers aren’t on. Or maybe you can pick a time when your content complements the content of similar streamers. It’s up to you to devise a strategy.

What’s the most convenient time for you?

Your own schedule is going to be the most important factor, too. You’ll need to make sure whatever time you decide to stream fits your own lifestyle. 

So what is the best time to stream?

After considering all these factors, the best time is going to be very specific to you and your schedule. There isn’t going to be a clear cut answer, but at least now you’ll be able to make a more informed decision.

If you have to hazard a bet though, you should at least give 4PM to 6PM UTC on weekdays because you’d have the most number of viewers with the least competition, and then work your way from there.

Bim Barbieto

Marketer of digital things. Lover of burgers.More from this Author