Why I Disagree with the Concept of ABC (Always Be Casting)
As a streamer who is outspoken on helping other streamers, I am constantly asked the question of, “Hey, JT, how do I grow my channel and blow up?” I always resist the urge to say, “Hey brother and / or sister, Always Be Streaming!” I wrote this article today to explain why I do not think ABC is the “silver-bullet” for the small streamers’ woes.
If we look at the situation from an economics perspective, one could make the argument that supply of streams greatly overshadows the actual demand of said streams. This might help to explain those pesky streams where the viewer count struggles to creep over the number five. Is this the real analysis I should be considering? For this argument to be correct, we are making the assumption that all streams are created equal -- they’re not.
We should change our assumptions to state that a high demand for a low supply of top-tier streams. Conversely, we could assume that a low demand exists for the current high supply of poor-quality streams. Now we’re cooking! Now, throwing some econ 101 at this assumption, one would expect to see a small number of high viewer-count streams, and a large amount of low viewer-count streams. For the sake of argument, let’s consider this valid.
Many streamers, when presented with the question of, “how do I grow my channel,” happily answer, “ABC! Always Be Casting!” While it is logical to assume that a stream will not grow while being offline, we might be safe to consider a different suggestion. A much more logical approach would to become one of those high-quality streams.
Again, returning back to an economics perspective. Consider this situation. As a streamer, John Deere (Farm Sim Hype) runs a mediocre stream playing an assortment of boring games. He streams 5 hours per week. John is becoming disappointed in his current growth (or lack thereof) and has decided to embrace the concept of ABC. Without making any fundamental changes his product (stream), John increases the quantity (hours) of his product.
Let us consider what is happening here. John has effectively increased the supply of his product which is already in low-demand. Economically speaking, this is not necessarily a good idea!
My advice to John, in this situation, would be to seriously look at the fundamental flaws of his stream. Introspection. Seek out feedback from other practitioners of the streaming arts in order to identify product weaknesses. Constantly improve based on this feedback. Constructive criticism is absolutely necessary. Do not ask a close friend for input - they tend to sugar-coat their criticism. You need that hard truth… That tough love.
“But wait, JT! ABC is totally worthless, then?” No. That is not what the takeaway here. While there is certainly value in putting yourself out there and streaming, my thoughts are that before you ABC, you must take steps to improve your product.
Think of it like McDonald’s releasing a new sandwich. This sandwich really sucks. It tastes like cardboard. At the next sales meeting, the super-smart corporate big-wigs decide to employ the ABC method. They now give you two sandwiches for the price of one. Those things should be flying right off of the griddle. Nope. The sandwich is still a bad sandwich.
Tommy K, an intern chef with McDonald’s, decides to examine the problem. “Of course nobody is buying the McTrashcan, it tastes like rotten frog intestines!” Tommy then adjusts the ingredients of the sandwich and the company rolls this out to the hungry public. The sandwich is delicious now. It tastes like a juicy fillet mignon at a fraction of the price! ‘Out Of Stock’ signs begin to appear on McDonald’s locations across the country. The demand for this once horrible sandwich has now skyrocketed, because Tommy addressed the underlying problem (the product was bad).
I hate to be so blunt, but, when it comes to growing your stream, your absolute best option is to ‘Get Good.’
The best way to get good is to join the Redlight Gaming Community. We’re now on Twitter and Facebook. We have some really great folks who know an awful lot about different aspects of streaming. Come to Redlight and get good with us!