Digitalk: Stream your dreams

Recording and broadcasting video, which used to be limited to big business, has now become the playground for anyone with a creative spirit who wants to entertain.

Live streaming is rapidly becoming one of the largest forms of video content creation out there and is accessible to everyone at minimal cost.

There are hundreds of different platforms out there to publish on, the most popular being Twitch and Youtube Gaming. Getting started couldn’t be easier. You can start up completely for free!

All you need is a free account on a streaming platform like Twitch and some capture software, the most commonly used being OBS Studio which is also completely free. While the software looks complex there are plenty of online tutorial videos of how to use it so you’ll soon get the hang of it.

One of the only limitations to streaming is that it is quite an intense process for your computer. If you have a fairly powerful computer, you’ll be good to go. Otherwise you may need to consider upgrading as you must remember that your computer has to deal with the media you’re using as well as the task of broadcasting it.

You can also get a video capture card such as an Elgato, which takes away the task of recording and streaming your video from your CPU and graphics card allowing you to record and stream better quality content without affecting your computer’s performance.

The biggest decision to make is what you want to stream. There is a demand for every conceivable form of content you can think of. There are people who stream video games, hair and makeup tutorials, daily video blogs of their lives, artists working on paintings, drawings and sculpture. You name it people stream it.

You can stream just for fun, but you can also earn money through it. It may never be much, but if you work hard at it and have a bit of luck, you can earn a living through it.

It’s basically high tech busking. If people are enjoying your content they can donate money or cheer “Bits”, which is Twitch’s own digital currency you can purchase to support and encourage the streamer.

My good friend Stephen Spinas is an incredible artist and illustrator who has started to stream his work through Twitch, partly for fun, and partly to help fund his goal of being a self employed artist. It works for him in three ways: extra publicity for his work, builds a network of like minded artist friends and generates some income. He’s an example of hard work paying off. He streams most days, for long periods of time and really engages with his audience as he works. The picture above was drawn whilst he was streaming. 

He’s even come up with a way of rewarding those who donate. The stream has a boss with a health bar, every donation does damage to the health of the boss. And when the boss runs out of health, the person who donated the most has the new boss drawn for them to their design.

All this hard work has started to build a good community of regular viewers that is attracting a larger audience as he goes along. Check him out at www.twitch.tv/artofscs

There are of course those who have become famous through streaming; as in all forms of entertainment there are celebrities who make fortunes. One such streamer would be Ray Narvaez Jr A.K.A Brownman, who has nearly half a million followers and 60,000 subscribers.

I recommend everyone takes advantage of this platform even if it’s just for fun. Even I’m having a go, aiming to do a regular weekend stream at
www.twitch.tv/marfa1con

Ross Tibbles

Author: Ross Tibbles

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