As you might expect, the number of followers that a Twitch channel has directly impacts the total number of views the channel earns over time. Based on a snapshot of channels streaming one of the 11 games listed at the end of this post on June 14, 2016, we calculated an expected return from each follower over the life of a channel.
Growing followers and the impact on viewership is important to a Twitch channel because views naturally translate into revenue, just like on any media site — the more views you have, the higher your revenue will be. For instance, if we assume that a Twitch page has a click-thru-rate on its $4.99 subscribe button of 0.10%, a channel with 100 million views will generate almost $500,000 of revenue.
To determine the value of a follower, it’s important to normalize both the total follower count and total views count with a log transformation. From there, a linear model can help predict the number of views every follower generates. The linear model predicts that each 10% increase in followers leads to a 10% increase in viewers. The linear model fit the data with a highly significant p-value of less than 0.001.
Channels that are above the line should continue to invest in acquiring followers as they’re significantly better than their counterparts in converting followers into viewers. If a channel falls on the line, a 10% increase in followers will directly result in a 10% increase in views. However, if the channel is far above the line (like the smaller channels labeled), a 10% increase in followers seems to drive a better than average increase in views. This likely means that they’re generating more engagement and a better experience for their followers. These channels should keep investing until they fall closer to the average growth rate.
Interestingly enough, when examining the impact that a channel launched, there’s almost no impact on this growth rate. The newer channels are expected to grow at the same rate as their older counterparts.