How to get started on Twitch, according to the experts

For the uninitiated, Twitch is a livestreaming platform that first launched in 2011 and really picked up in popularity around the time it was purchased by Amazon in 2016. The service is best known for live gaming content, as you can find the top Fortnite and Call of Duty players in the world streaming their online matches, or tune in to high-stakes professional tournaments for titles like League of Legends and Counter-Strike.

But Twitch is much more than a gaming platform these days — especially in light of the global pandemic. You’ll find everything from podcasts and live cooking tutorials to NFL games and wrestling matches on Twitch, and popular musical acts such as Code Orange and Trivium’s Matthew Heafy have embraced the platform as a means of playing for their fans at a time when in-person concerts simply can’t happen.

“In 2020, we saw the broader entertainment industry migrate to the platform since the performing arts, from concerts and stand-up comedy to drag shows and DJing, could no longer have in-person events due to the pandemic,” says Doron Nir, CEO of livestreaming services provider StreamElements wired condenser microphone.

Citing data from Arsenal.gg, Nir says that Twitch fans watched 1.7 billion hours of content in December 2020 alone — that’s a whopping 109% increase over the previous year. Heck, even politicians are getting in on the fun, as congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently teamed up with some of Twitch’s biggest influencers for a hugely popular Among Us stream that was done to help get the vote out. Long story short: Twitch is a bigger deal than ever, and now is a great time to try it out for yourself.

You don’t need a ton of expensive equipment or a high-end pC to give Twitch streaming a shot. The latest playStation and Xbox consoles let you go live with the click of a button, and the Twitch mobile app for iOS and Android makes it just as easy to start broadcasting no matter where you are. Here are some simple ways to start going live.