Thursday, May 26, 2016

FTC Disclosures for streamers

What streamers need to know about FTC Disclosures


The FTC a couple years ago released a guide on .com disclosures which you can find on the following URL:
https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/plain-language/bus41-dot-com-disclosures-information-about-online-advertising.pdf

Here is my opinion on what streamers need to know about FTC disclosures. Also a important disclaimer note; DaOpa is not a lawyer.


Instances that generally require disclosure:
  • Sponsors / Giveaways
    • If a company is giving you a product to giveaway on your stream
    • If a gaming company / developer gives you a free copy of a game to review / play on stream
  • Affiliate Programs
    • If you have links and or images going to affiliate related programs
  • Twitter / Facebook / Social Media Promotions
    • If a company is paying you to play their game or show their products
    • If a entity is paying you to tweet a message
  • Loyalty Systems / Programs
    • Similar with sponsors and giveaways
  •  Employee of Company
    • Talking about your companies products and services

Here is my Twitch Panel Disclosure notice that I currently use because I have affiliate links on other panels.

Twitch also discloses sponsored streams and advertisements by using a special badges and coloring.


 Check out their blog with more details of "Transparency in Sponsored Content and Promotion".

Also remember as per Terms of using Twitch: "You, and not Twitch, are solely responsible for any endorsements or testimonials you make regarding any product or service through the Twitch Service."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bandwidth Testing tool

Twitch Bandwidth Testing Tool

How to test your bandwidth to Twitch.tv's ingest servers.

Step 1.

Download the following app
Twitch Bandwidth Test
Created by OBS Developer R1CH

Step 2.

Unzip the zip file, go to the folder and click on the TwitchTest.exe application file.

Step 3.

Enter your steam key in the provided space.

Step 4.

Click off the nearest Region, remove all others.

Step 5.

Press the start button.

After the test is completed it will show you, the ingest server name, the max bandwidth to the server, the rtt and quality.

Start up OBS or whatever streaming software you use and select the ingest server that has the best quality, highest bandwidth and lowest rtt.



RTMPSockBuf_Fill, remote host closed connection

OBS Pop up message:

Could not access the specified channel or stream key. This could be because the key/channel is invalid, or because the server still thinks you are logged in.

RTMPSockBuf_Fill, remote host closed connection


Steps to take to fix this issue:
  • Reset your stream key
    • Go to Dashboard on Twitch and click on option "Stream Key"
    • Click button "show key", then "I understand"
    • Copy the new stream key
    • Go to OBS, Settings, Broadcast Settings
    • Paste the key into Play Path/Stream Key section, then apply and ok
    • Try go to live and see if that worked
  • Disable all firewall programs
    • Sometimes firewall programs will block obs from working correctly
    • Disable any firewall / malware program and see if it works
  • Make another Twitch account, use other key
    • Create another twitch account and use that key in obs
    • This will determine if your main account is locked up
    • Locking up is rare to happen but it has occurred a couple times for my account.
  • Verify your network connection / Internet is working correctly.

     

Monday, May 23, 2016

8400+ Streamers for Overwatch Launch

Overwatch Launch had over 8,400 concurrent streamers on Twitch.tv!


A mind blogging 8,400+ streamers at the time of this post were live streaming Overwatch on Twitch TV for launch day. And over 230,000+ viewers are watching the streamers in a impressing showing for a new game  title.

Here is snip showing some of the many streamers on the directory:
Click on image to enlarge! 

DaOpa's Opinion
Overwatch launch is total streamer cannibalization, I never seen this many people streaming a single game on Twitch before. The question I would have to ask is how long will this hype train last?


Usually when a new triple A title comes out, viewership spikes then slowly dies out after a week or so. And with a majority of the top tier streamers all joining the bandwagon, floating viewers will get soaked up fast.

Observing the directory, showed some interesting tidbits:
  • Many top tier streamers are working together, forming teams and battling against others.
  • Tons of click bait titles
  • Lots of questionable giveaway's and promotion advertisements by streamers
 This is just really bad news for a small time streamer like myself, which is a reason why I wont be streaming this game anytime soon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

One streamer telling another "Your doing it wrong"

This is going to be a opinion piece on the latest twitch.tv drama. A popular twitch streamer starts to go on a rant on twitter about donations and overlays.

He notes the following:
  • A new streamer should not have donations
  • Should be doing streaming for "fun" 
  • Should be doing it as a "hobby"
  • Don't quit your job or whatever else.. 
First question right off the bat is why would this caster all of a sudden care about other streamers and what they do, especially new broadcasters on twitch.tv?

My answer would be he doesn't care one bit and is using this rant to generate free PR.

There is nothing wrong with having donations, layouts in your setup. If you are choosing that way to monetize yourself go for it. And there is nothing wrong with making your stream a business from day one. Do not let anyone saying "Your doing it wrong" discourage you from streaming.

Lately on Twitch.tv I've noticed alot of the Top Tier streamers make a change from game related content to more drama driven (talking badly about other streamers, make false accusations, break twitch tos / roc constantly etc). It seems the novelty of twitch + gaming has worn off and they are seeking ways to drive viewers into their channels. The more elaborate the gimmick or rule breaking the bigger the buzz and viral spreading it will get which results in a positive viewer boost for them.

Also take in the factor of twitch's growth rate. It's not the same as it was in the past couple of years. Things are slowing down alot and consolidating. The following screenshot is concurrent viewers on twitch from 2013 to 2016, if you see the growth rate from 2015 to 16 viewership is going more sideways then up.


Click to enlarge image
Perhaps many top streamers are peeking out and in order to gain anything anymore they need to create drama, a narrative to get people talking about them (good or bad).

I've said to myself, use Twitch as a service, Twitch needs you, you do not need Twitch. There are many other streaming platforms out there just as good as twitch. The different between them and twitch is currently twitch is more popular which may provide more floating viewers boosts.

I think alot of new broadcasters are relying on twitch to bring viewers in the door when you should be doing this exact thing externally from twitch. The way Twitch.tv is setup, its layout, its directory only really benefit the streamers on the top of the lists. 

If there is anything to take away from this broadcasters rant, its that you can see how a rant can create buzz and go viral which will further increase a streamers brand recognition. Which in turns brings in more viewers to their channel on twitch.tv.