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Leo Wattenberg

Using premieres effectively

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Moin. 

Premieres allow you to present pre-produced content as if it was live if you're on Twitch or YouTube. This has various benefits:

  • Your viewers get notified beforehand when new content will appear and can count down until the video goes live
  • There will be a chat when watching a video, giving opportunities for live interaction on a channel that doesn't live stream
  • Because there is chat, chat-specific revenue streams (bits/super chat/...) can be harvested that otherwise would not be an option for non-live channels. 

This all sounds exciting, but to use premieres as effectively as possible, be aware of the following things:

Firstly, it takes a while until videos are properly processed. This means that you should have finished the upload a good while before you have the premiere go live, else your viewers may see only a poor quality version (360p) of the video.

Secondly, it's possible to hurt your channel performance with premieres. Let me elaborate:

A premiere is designed to be annoying and teasing. Teasing, because your viewers get told about a video before it goes live. This is expected for things like movies (hence the teaser trailers), but for regular videos, people aren't used to it whatsoever. Annoying, because it wants your viewers to watch the premiere on a specific time, so the reminders for it are a bit more aggressive than usual. This together means that premieres can be just as frustrating as they can be exciting. And this often shows; premieres tend to get a ton of dislikes even before they go live just because people want to watch your video, but can't yet. 

Further, a non-fan subscriber, ie a person who subscribed to you but only occasionally watches your videos, may be okay with your videos showing up in their subscription feed, but not with premiere notifications on their phone. So if you upload daily content and premiere it all, non-fans may unsubscribe simply because this constant stream of annoying notifications is driving them nuts. 

So, before you go and premiere every single video, consider whether it's worth getting hyped up about:

  • Regular, daily content probably doesn't need premieres, just as daily TV episodes don't get teaser trailers. If you have a fixed upload schedule, people already can plan around your content. 
  • Season beginnings probably can benefit from premieres, again, just like TV seasons. Especially if you haven't done the format in some time. 
  • Fortnightly or monthly content probably always can be premiered as people probably won't remember an upload schedule like this. 
  • Irregular content, eg. specials or the occasional short film on a channel that otherwise does vlogs, probably always can benefit from premieres. 

On twitch, of course, none of this matters because you don't have a choice anymore. 

Thirdly, premiere times matter. This is true for both when the premiere is taking place and for how long you announce it. 

As for the taking place, a premiere effectively is a live stream, so you want it to go live at a time when most of your audience can watch it. Your real time analytics should give you a picture on roughly how views get distributed over the day, but note that there are differences due to weekends, holidays, other premieres (both online, on TV and on cinemas).

As for the announce times, there doesn't appear to be a standard yet. Some creators announce their premieres earlier that day, some announce it days in advance. Both have benefits and drawbacks: A short announcement may cause viewers to go "alright, just gonna do laundry and then watch this premiere", but people only logging in once per day may completely miss it. A long announcement makes sure that everyone checking in daily has seen it, but by the time the premiere is actually starting, they may already have forgotten that it happened. 

Fourthly, you matter.

The primary benefit the viewers get out of a premiere is that they can chat in real time with you, the creator, and with each other. Especially for larger channels, this can bring back a sense of community that otherwise would be lost among the void that is the comment section. Further, it allows viewers to say "thank you" with a super chat.

The primary benefit for the creator is that you can see exactly what people are reacting to in real time, instead of seeing a "like" or "dislike" at the end of all it. Further, you can say "thank you" to any super chats rolling in. 

But all of this sort of breaks down if you aren't there when the premiere is happening, so: Be there. 

Lastly, premieres don't get watched as much as you think they should be

Even with all this extra promotion that goes into premieres, the numbers for people that actually are as it's going on tends to be way lower than you expect it to be. If 10% of your subscribers usually watch a video of yours within the first hour, prepare for 1% of your subscribers to be there during the premiere. 

 

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