Twitch has become the most popular platform for games and streamers today. At any one point in time, there can be well over a million viewers online searching through thousands of gaming videos. In June 2022, peak viewing figures hit 6,642,217, and August saw 1,939,755,464 hours of video streamed.
One of the areas that Twitch has tapped into is that gaming has become a spectator sport in many ways. Instead of just playing games, fans want to watch entertaining streams and see other players in action.
The 18 to the 34-year-old age group is the most likely to stream. 20% of the members of this age group watched streaming video every day in 2021. And it is live video that is becoming the most popular. However, once live video streams have finished you might wish to see it again, which means downloading as it runs. Is this possible, and is it allowed?
Why download Twitch streams?
Anything that has been streamed on Twitch can be saved for viewing later. This VOD, or video on demand, feature lets streamers and viewers download streams that they missed or that they wish to see again.
Sometimes fans cannot log in at the time of a broadcast so this lets them catch up with what they missed afterward. It is a useful feature that helps content creators grow their channels. But, it has some limitations.
One reason for saving your own streams could be for promotional purposes. They can be uploaded to other platforms and social media apps to reach a wider audience. You can download other users’ videos to watch on another occasion, or for educational purposes.
For example, if you want to become a content creator then watching successful streamers will help you to understand influencer marketing works.
Streams saved for VOD will have an expiration date on them. Depending on the membership that is held, VOD will be saved for up to 60 days. However, some membership options only allow streams to be stored for 7 days.
How can you download and save Twitch videos?
Downloading videos from Twitch is straightforward and a third-party app such as 4K Video Downloader makes this easy. If you want to download Twitch videos then you can open up this app, paste the stream’s URL, select format and quality, and hit download.
Downloading a live stream is somewhat more complex but it can be done. Twitch DL and Streamlink can help users download live content directly to VLC or to be saved. However, some slight understanding of commands and coding may be needed for Streamlink.
An alternative would be to use OBS Studio which is free and capable of recording live streams from Twitch. Some free recorders can be laggy so you may need to experiment, but any recording software should be able to cope with Twitch as long as your PC has a reasonable tech spec, and your broadband is fast enough.
Are you allowed to download Twitch videos?
Of course, there are copyright concerns when recording any content. Yet, as long as you are using the video for personal use then recording someone else’s video should be of no concern.
Twitch has a Terms of Service in place, and this is there to keep users safe, and to discourage certain practices such as buying followers. This is the equivalent of black hat SEO and it is hard to buy followers that don’t drop off later on.
Downloading videos though can help the creator to grow their channel organically. Videos can be uploaded to their own website to increase interest, and they can be put on YouTube to get more subscribers on a different channel.
Who should you be streaming and downloading?
Twitch can have tens of thousands of games being streamed at any one time. August saw 40,000-plus games being streamed. So, the choice for viewers is immense.
The biggest and most famous Twitch streamers include Pokimane who is the most popular female on the platform with over 9 million followers. Twitch has provided content creators with a way to take their hobby and turn it into a career.
The most popular game streamer is Ninja with well over 18 million followers, and it was estimated that he earned $17 million in 2019. If you want to see how the professionals stream then Pokimane and Ninja would be good options. The fastest growing channels might be worth a look too if you want to see how streamers attract new followers and how they engage with them.
Recording live Twitch video is not only legitimate, but it is very easy to do. The best option is to try out some of the free recording software until you find one that supplies quality video.
The benefits of recording live video are that you can watch it through your own choice of player such as VLC, and you save it for repeat viewing. Downloading VOD from your own channel will mean that you won’t find your precious files being deleted by Twitch, and you can build a library on another platform.
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