What’s in a Name? – A Look at Stream Titles
Recently, there was someone on Reddit asking about how important the title of your stream is and how to come up with catchy ones or at least some that aren’t super generic and that got me thinking.
First, lets look at what we are talking about. Your Stream (or broadcast) title is a string you can set which will show in the Browse- and Following-Directories underneath your Stream’s thumbnail. It is the first thing, other than the aforementioned thumbnail, people will see of your stream so having a good title can definitely help you to draw in more people.
If you have a look at the Image of the Fortnight directory – Don’t worry if yours looks slightly different, I am using some thrid Party Extensions – You can see some different approaches to naming your Stream. There are informative titles, which can be divided into Stream information and Caster/Channel Information, and creative titles, which can be jokes, memes and the like.
So, let’s talk about informative titles for a bit. A couple of titles from the Fortnight Directory might have caught your eye for this, for example “Actual #1 U.S. Player (9.7 KD) – 19,000 Kills”, “Trying to improve :)”*, or “Minigun shenanigans”* (* I shortened these two). Our first example shows likely a skilled player of the game so if we’re interested in seeing someone who’s experienced in the game play, or have some newbie questions this one would be a prime channel to join. Our second example shows a player who just started with the game. If we want to see the New Player Experience, are a new player ourself, or a skilled player who’d like to offer help if needed or wanted, this would be a prime channel to join. Also, similar to Example 1, if we’re a new player with quesions, chances are we could find someone to answer them here. Example 3, on the other hand, informs us about what the focus of the stream is. Fortnight recently released a new weapon in form of the Minigun, and this streamer apparently is trying to mostly use that weapon. so if we’re down for something a bit more laid back and fun, this could be a good channel to join. Some other channels set their Stream Titles to the form of queue type the caster is in (Solo, Squadplay) or Win-Amount, Rank and other statistics. All these can help drive viewers who are looking for a specific form of content – For example I might be looking for a high KD-ratio Squad player – to your channel.
Creative Titles on the other hand might try to lure you in by being funny or the channel is big enough to not need to really have a relevant title. Some examples include the top Stream, “Rose Goku | Follow my Twitter @ninja”, “Why a mini gun? Who wants a really tiny gun?”, and “Camping Harder than anyone ever!@!”. As you can see, the top stream has, despite having a pretty much nondescriptive title, half of the entire directory’s viewers. If you have a channel of that size, you don’t really need titles anymore as you should have enough regular viewership to entice more viewers to drop in. Our other examples go for the Fun angle, and try to charm you into joining by being funny.
Both kinds of titles are perfectly fine and can bring you success and you should never stubbornly stick to one or the other. Even if you usually have more success with informative titles, there will be days, or games that just won’t cooperate with you on finding informative titles. Same with creative titles, maybe there are days or games where you explicitly want to progress towards something and being upfront about that might help to bring in more viewers, whether they want to see how you do it, want to help you do it or for other reasons. Sometimes, you will also see people putting dates for Events, or Bot Commands into their titles, regardless of the title being informative or creative. Getting the word out about these can proof positive as well, so you should never underestimate that possibility. Just don’t try to fit half a dozen dates and commands in the title. Cluttering it up will end up with people not paying attention to stuff or outright skipping your stream.
Also, you should keep in mind that informative and creative titles pull in different demographics. Sure, there are lots of people who will join whether your title is informative or creative, but you should never forget that some people might be looking for one or the other and you won’t be able to please everybody every single time. There is no simple “Please everyone” option.