It’s easy to figure out why a viewer hops on your stream, but sometimes we’re left scratching our heads trying to figure out why they disappeared.
The ebb and flow of viewers is something that happens naturally throughout your career, but sometimes there’s a very specific reason they aren’t hanging around.
You don’t need a degree in psychology to understand why someone would stop watching your stream.
Instead, put yourself in their shoes and consider what would be a deal breaker. Most of the time, the issue is something simple that you can easily fix.
1. Change in Attitude or Personality
One of the main things to remember when it comes to your attitude or personality is that authenticity pays off. It makes your job much easier in the long run as you develop your brand and connect with viewers, whereas trying to keep up with a farce only sets you up for trouble.
Usually, the issue occurs when we start streaming authentically and then try to shape ourselves into what we think others want to see. Understand that they want to see you, and they’ll be able to smell ingenuity from miles away.
It’s fine if your personality is changing naturally, but don’t force yourself into a mold.
2. The Content You Stream
Another tricky area with streaming is finding a good mix of content that you enjoy producing and content your viewers want to see. Some things just won’t sit right with them, and you’re likely to lose and gain viewers as you explore different things.
Again, it’s important to stay true to yourself and stream things that you enjoy doing. You won’t have it figured out in the beginning, but you should have a decent understanding by the time things start picking up.
It’s easiest to create an authentic relationship with like minded viewers, but you won’t be able to please everyone all the time.
3. Your Audio Sucks
We hate to be blunt, but this one is non-negotiable. Poor audio is one of the main reasons viewers hop off a stream, but it’s also one of the easiest problems to solve.
Make sure you take the time to balance your audio properly before getting on your stream.
You can do this through your computer settings, but an external mixer makes it easier to monitor and adjust quickly.
Pay attention to your chat and respond accordingly whenever there are sound issues (don’t worry; they don’t hesitate to spam you when problems arise). Test your alert sounds before you start streaming, and you should be good to go.
4. The People You Stream With
Have you ever watched a show that had a side character you hated? Maybe you loved the protagonist, but the supporting cast fell flat and you eventually abandoned the series.
If you’re the type to stream with friends or other streamers, understand that they will affect your viewers as well. If your audience is dipping out every time this person comes on your stream, you may need to rethink your collaboration with them.
This can get tricky, especially if it’s someone you’re close with, but recognizing this as an issue will help you chart a course of action.
5. Focusing Too Much on the Numbers
Your viewers love to support you, but they don’t want to feel like a statistic or something that you’re mindlessly pursuing. They’re real people, not just numbers, and the more you talk about your viewer/sub/follower count, the more cringe your stream gets.
This applies regardless of how you talk about the numbers (whether you want more or you’re bragging about your success). It’s fine to bring it up, especially if you’re recognizing them at the moment, but it shouldn’t be a major talking point in your stream.
Your viewers want to hear about your dreams, sure, but focusing too much on the numbers paints them in a superficial light.
6. Calling Out Your Lurkers
Every streamer has lurkers, and they’re exactly where they want to be: kicking back and bearing witness to your content. They would engage if they wanted to, and your taking the time to call them out doesn’t make them feel warm and fuzzy inside.
It’s fine to throw out a general acknowledgement for those who aren’t chatting (“thanks for being here”), but calling someone out directly or trying to coerce people into engaging is villain behavior.
The moment they hear their username come from your lips, they’re rushing to exit the stream, and you’ll probably never see them again.
7. Schedule Change
Life happens, and schedules change for both you and your viewers. Anytime you bump your stream back or move it to a different day, you’re likely to have different people in your audience.
There’s not much you can do about it sometimes, but this underlines the importance of keeping a schedule. Loyal viewers do what they can to make time for you, and you should respect their time by making a point to show up.
Try to stick to your original timeline as much as possible and send out reminders early and often when things change.
8. Abusive Mods
Some mods are perfect angels, and we owe them our lives. Others are textbook proof of the idea that power can go to your head, and it seems like they’re set to take your stream down with them.
Make sure the people you have in charge are acting as an extension of yourself. They should have a good understanding of what is and isn’t allowed, and they shouldn’t be treating your chat like a stress ball.
No outrageous bans. No mods playing “do as I say, not as I do”. And no mods putting you in a bad position.
This is another area where you may have to make tough decisions to cut people out.
9. Ignoring Chat
Opposite of lurkers, we have those in the chat that deeply desire your attention. You don’t need to become besties, but you should at least respond to them and engage on occasion.
You need to give them a reason to keep coming back, and live streaming is built for communication between you and your audience.
There are plenty of Twitch tools out there to help you stay on top of checking in on your chat and recognizing loyal fans. Mods will also help by directing you to messages needing your attention or reminding you to stay present.
10. Too Pushy for Subs, Follows, or Donations
Maybe you don’t talk about your numbers much, but you’re constantly reminding viewers that they can sub, follow, or donate. It’s the same issue, but in a different font.
A simple, strategically placed reminder (usually near the end of your stream) is more than enough for those who will actually follow through. If you’re spewing self-promotion just to fill the silence, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
11. Your Stream Is Laggy
As the streamer, you must create a solid foundation to prevent connection issues. Failing to do so can cause lagging for everyone in your audience, and you’re usually unaware.
Tools like Twitch Inspector are great for making sure everything is up to par and helping you identify issues that interfere with your broadcast.
12. Life Happens, Interests Change
The key takeaway here is that you should do everything you can to create a solid foundation for your stream without sacrificing your true self. While your viewers are a part of your journey, they don’t define you.
You’ll come across some who simply can’t find the time to watch or lose interest and that’s okay. This happens to the best of the best, and they just keep chugging along.
What Should You Do?
As you can see, there are plenty of things that cause viewers to stop watching your stream.
Some of these things, like your personality or the content that you stream, are nothing to dwell on. This is why you focus on doing what you like in a comfortable environment.
That doesn’t excuse you from more technical details, like audio balancing or setting a proper social atmosphere for your chat. Begging for donations is not a personality trait, and it’s best to focus on what you already have.
As long as you secure your own joy, the rest will fall into place.