720p Is The Preferred Broadcasting Resolution On Twitch

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Twitch allows users to stream games in a lot of resolutions, and channels are choosing to stream in resolutions across the spectrum. Interestingly, on Twitch, the resolution of your stream doesn’t seem to have an impact on your following, but channels that qualify for the Twitch Partner Program overwhelmingly broadcast in one of three screen heights: 720, 864, or 1080.

We took a snapshot of 4,213 channels streaming one of 11 games on June 14, 2016. The two most common screen heights were 720 and 1080 (corresponding with 720p and 1080p HD video). 720, however, was clearly the most popular screen height at that time.

With that, you might think that viewers prefer to also watch video broadcasted in the two most common resolutions. Based on our analysis, however, the total followers a channel had were not significantly impacted by the height of the screen that a broadcaster was using.

There were several outliers for 720 and 1080 broadcasting, and we wanted to examine why. Initially, we guessed that it may correspond with the choice that Twitch Partners (the channels with the largest audiences) tend to broadcast in. From the graph below, it’s clear that the partners who were streaming at that time prefered 1080p and 720p for their broadcasts.

Partners definitely have more followers. It’s a statistically significant part of the criteria for being accepted into the program. Amongst those partners, although it’s not statistically significant, the ones who broadcast in 1080p seem to have more followers than those who choose 864 or 720. In fact, the median followers for the Partner broadcasting in 1080p approaches the 75th percentile 720p broadcaster’s follower count.

Screen resolution seems to have no impact on growing your follower count as a Twitch broadcaster, but Partners overwhelmingly choose the standard 1080p and 720p formats.

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