Does Streaming on YouTube Hurt Your Channel?Nov 21, 2020
As time goes on, live streaming is becoming more popular on YouTube. But have you ever wondered- does streaming on YouTube hurt your channel? Should you live stream on a different platform and only publish videos on YouTube? Or, can streaming on YouTube be a good option in certain scenarios?
Streaming on YouTube can hurt your channel if viewers do not watch your live streams for a long duration. You see, you run the risk of decreasing your average view duration and audience retention metrics when you live stream. These metrics are important for growing a channel, so depending on how long you stream for, you might harm your channel.
While live streaming offers some significant drawbacks, there are also a few large benefits to streaming on YouTube. At the end of the day, you will have to decide if the drawbacks are worth the benefits. Some channels see increased growth when streaming, but some see decreased growth.
Does Live Streaming on YouTube Hurt Your Channel
Does live streaming on YouTube hurt your channel? It certainly can depending on how well your streams are received by your audience. If the majority of your audience only watches your live stream for 2 minutes, this will hurt your channel. However, if the majority of your audience watch your live stream for an hour, your channel will benefit greatly.
Many content creators livestream in an attempt to increase their watch time minutes. It makes sense when you think about it. When you live stream, you typically do so for a long time. This allows you to accumulate a lot of watch time minutes when viewers watch your stream for a long duration.
A big problem many content creators run into is that many viewers do not watch their live streams for a long duration. Most viewers pop in for 5 to 10 minutes and then leave. To YouTube, it doesn't look good when viewers only watch 5% to 10% of a video. This tells YouTube that the video wasn't "good" in the eyes of viewers.
Ultimately, live streaming on YouTube is a balancing act. Live streaming offers the ability to make money and accumulate a significant amount of watch time minutes. Along with this, however, streaming also offers the ability for a channel's average view duration and audience retention metrics to decline rapidly.
Should You Stream on YouTube
At this point, you might be wondering- should you stream on YouTube? Are the benefits worth the drawbacks? Or, is it safer for content creators looking to grow an audience on YouTube to simply post videos like normal? The answer to this question depends on your audience and your needs.
Certain audiences will respond more positively to live streams. For example, younger audiences in gaming niches are used to watching longer live streams. On the flip side, older audiences in niches such as health and fitness will not be used to watching longer live streams.
Depending on how your channel is growing, live streaming might be a good idea. If you struggle to accumulate watch time minutes, then live streaming can help you do so. However, you must keep an eye on your average view duration and audience retention metrics. When these metrics drop too low, this hurts your channel.
The best course of action for most content creators to take is to test out live streaming for a month or two. This way, results can be judged accordingly. After streaming for a month or two, if a channel's average view duration hasn't declined and its watch time minutes have increased, then it can be safe to continue streaming. If not, streaming should be stopped.
Examples of Successful Live Streaming YouTube Channels
Since YouTube first introduced the ability to live stream on their platform, many channels in a variety of niches have grown large audiences by live streaming. These YouTube channels can serve as case studies for any content creators who are looking to grow an audience by streaming on YouTube.
Joe Rogan is one of the most popular podcasters in the world. For many years, Joe Rogan live-streamed his podcast episodes every single weekday on YouTube, and many of them were viewed by millions of viewers. PowerfulJRE is a great example of the importance of live streaming consistently if you wish to grow an audience.
Valkyrae is a popular gaming live streamer on YouTube. Her streams attract thousands of viewers and her videos attract hundreds of thousands of viewers. Valkyrae's channel clearly displays the importance of being able to pivot. Over time, she has switched the games she streams, and this has led to massive growth for her channel.
Live streaming can be a great way to increase your watch time minutes. It is important to recognize, however, that you also run the risk of decreasing your average view duration and audience retention metrics by streaming. So, does streaming on YouTube hurt your channel? It certainly can depending on your audience and the quality of your streams.