The first livestream happened in 1993, but the events of 2020 have thrown livestreams into the spotlight. From farmers in China livestreaming daily from their orchards to sell directly to consumers to producer Kenny Beats showing the next generation of music producers how to make fire beats on Twitch to Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo hosting conservation tours on Zoom—more people are watching live-streamed programming more than ever. 

Livestreaming’s use cases are diverse and seemingly endless, but there’s a common theme in this new generation of streamers:

Successful livestreams are contingent on the number of concurrent viewers in the stream.

And if you want to monetize your livestreaming, a consistent viewership is key. 

Consider the music equivalent: Top artists are successful due to active listenership on platforms like Spotify and Apple music. Top streamers are successful when they keep their viewers coming back for every stream. Yet unlike audio streaming platforms, livestreaming platforms offer a variety of ways for streamers to generate revenue, including donations, memberships, sponsorships, and ads. 

Sample Revenue Breakdown for Livestreamers

But there’s a catch. Twitch and YouTube require streamers to hit a certain average number of concurrent viewers before they can generate revenue from their viewers through ads, subscriptions, and in-app purchases. What’s the solution? Building a concurrent viewership.

Building a large, consistent, and concurrent viewership

Streamers can build a viewership almost anywhere they can host a livestream. Twitch has about 55 million monthly active viewers consuming live content. Instagram TV: 1 billion monthly active viewers, YouTube: 2 billion monthly active viewers. And the list goes on. The biggest social platforms make it easy for streamers to go live with one click, allowing them to reach a massive audience hungry for live content.

But livestreaming still has a discovery problem. If streamers want to maximize concurrent viewership, they need to make their streams easily accessible and platform agnostic. 

To consumers, searching for and finding a live stream to watch is often a shot in the dark, the modern-day equivalent of going to Blockbuster and renting a video based on nothing more than the poster. And even fans who know when their favorite creators can get frustrated. Look at Twitch’s homepage. Count the livestreams in your Instagram app. There’s a massive amount of content, which makes it harder for fans to find what they’re looking for.

Although social platforms have provided creators with great audience engagement tools and broadcasting features, creators are left looking for ways to get more viewers in the first place.

Streamers face two fundamental challenges when it comes to building a consistent and large concurrent viewership:

1. Discoverability: How to get an audience to your stream when you’re live 

2. Retention: How to build an audience of consistent viewers 

Most streamers have felt the pain of having no viewers. While speaking to an empty room might do wonders for your public speaking skills, it’s not ideal when you go live. This is known as the “zero viewer problem.” 

On the flipside, it’s pure exhilaration when viewers surge during a stream–which makes it all the more when a subsequent session doesn’t draw the same crowd. We call this “stream-to-stream drop-off.” 

At ToneDen, we knew we had to build a solution to help creators meet these challenges, especially with the number of streamers growing every day. We envisioned marketing tools that would let streamers create, manage, and grow a repeat audience of viewers. That’s why we built StreamLinks.

Introducing StreamLinks: The Key to Avoiding Zero Viewers and Stream-to-Stream Drop-Off

A StreamLink is a universal marketing landing page for all of your upcoming streams. It helps you get more viewers and followers across any platform.

Twitch Partner RAC uses StreamLinks to promote his weekly streaming schedule.

Get more followers and viewers with RSVP Gating

A StreamLink is a single smart URL that provides an easy, gorgeous way to keep viewers in the know about when and where you’re going live. Easy to track and share, StreamLinks allow viewers to RSVP for notifications, whether your stream is a repeating event or a single date.

The StreamLink RSVP experience is friendly and straightforward, making it easy to build and grow an audience of loyal viewers. Fans provide their email address when RSVPing, allowing you to turn anonymous viewers into real people you can reach for upcoming broadcasts.

More RSVPs = More Viewers

Fans can follow you on the social/streaming platforms where your upcoming streams will be available, too. They’ll receive an app push notification on their preferred streaming app, helping drive mobile viewers directly to your stream when you’re live.

Fans can stay organized by adding your upcoming broadcast to their Google, iCal, or Outlook calendar. These features save viewers the frustration of having to hunt for the details of your upcoming streams.

Instant email notifications when you go live

StreamLinks take your viewers’ RSVP experience one step further by sending instant email notifications to viewers before you go live. Avoid the “Zero Viewer Problem”: more RSVPs mean more viewers when your stream goes live. 

Anyone who RSVPs to your upcoming broadcasts through a StreamLink automatically receives two email notifications before you go live:

• An email reminder 24 hours before your broadcast

• An email reminder 30 minutes before your broadcast

Automated Email Notifications

Remember: Though livestreams and live events both have “live” in their names, they’re unique experiences for fans. Fans arrive at concert venues or festivals on time—maybe fashionably late. Attending a livestream, on the other hand, is more like getting to a Zoom meeting: very easy to forget! StreamLinks bring streamers peace of mind. If 50+ people have RSVP’d to your event, you can rest easy knowing that they’ll get email reminders right before your event starts.

StreamLinks tackle the “stream-to-stream drop-off” problem, as well. StreamLinks will remember a fan’s preferred streaming service and automatically route them to their preferred streaming service on future visits. This is ideal for streamers that simulcast—improving overall viewer retention. 

We’re excited to see how livestreamers use StreamLinks to grow their audiences. StreamLinks are a marketing building block for anyone building a viewership and a solution that we hope to expand in the coming months. 

Learn how to create StreamLinks. They’re free to create and take just minutes to set-up!

Want to learn how to promote your livestream? We share our marketing strategy live on Twitch every Thursday at 10:00am PST. RSVP here.

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