VODcasts

Update Jan 19, 2018: Premieres and Reruns, managed by Video Producer, are now available as more specific Uploads and VODcasts. VODcasts seem to have been replaced by the Video Producer feature that This page will be updated or rewritten to reflect this later. Right now, I’m going to wait a bit to make sure it remains the way it is now since a fair number of streamers aren’t happy with it.

I am working on a draft for a Video Producer guide.

Q: How is Vodcast different than Playlists?

A: We took many of the learnings and feedback from the Playlist beta and incorporated it into Vodcast. The main difference is that Vodcast is a way to create live experiences around VOD content. Our hope is to make Vodcast a new way for creators to build their community by making it easier to interact via chat, integrating opportunities to monetize, and providing more ways for viewers to discover creators.

“Vodcast brings the Twitch community experience to uploads”

What to VODcast

  1. Classics to showcase what’s great about your stream to newcomers
  2. Reruns of morning/night broadcasts at night/morning
    • If you only stream once a day
  3. Unique moments like birthdays, channel milestones, etc

When to VODcast

Regularly.

It’s just like streaming that way.

If you have a stream schedule, find a fixed time to VODcast. To repeat point #2 above, if you only stream in the morning or at night, you can VODcast a rerun 12 hours later so people whose schedules don’t align with yours can still enjoy the closest thing to a live experience.

If you have a schedule, you’ll also have days off, if you value your health. This is also an opportune time to do VODcasts. I can’t tell you which day to do a rerun of, mainly because I can’t know how many hours you stream for; if you stream three hours a day with one day off, you’ll be able to do a consecutive 18h VODcast in theory. Again, try asking your subs on stream or Discord about their thoughts and be sure you ask subs from a variety of timezones.

Noon ET/18:00 CET1 is a great time to stream, so consider this time to stream or VODcast. Either go by a time that’s popular—or just quiz your subscribers on how their schedules align with yours and set up your VODcast around there. You don’t have to do a rerun exactly 12 hours after your broadcast, and you may not even be awake by that time to initiate it, assuming you don’t have an editor to do it for you.

How to VODcast

A VODcast is basically a live Twitch playlist.

Queue broadcasts, highlights, uploads; you name it. As many as 200(!)

This also serves as a reminder to always name each of these uniquely and intelligibly since the main interface for queuing videos for VODs is through text search. “hello” and “tired” make for cute broadcast titles, but they’ll also bite you in the ass during moments like these. I for one will no longer use the same titles for highlights and streams.

The dashboard

You queue and start VODcasts from your beloved dashboard:

Twitch dashboard

For some reason, Autoupdate Game Information (hidden inside the settings drop-down) is not checked by default. Fix that by switching it on. Honestly, who’s the UI designer behind this, I want names.

After pressing the start button, you’ll first get a warning that you can’t queue up more videos after starting your VODcast.

First problem: scheduling

The first problem with VODcasts is that there is no scheduling feature. You literally have to queue up all the videos and then try to hit start at the exact same time you want it to go live.

Crap like this is why you’ll want to be on the look-out for a trustworthy individual—or several—to appoint as your video editor.

Scheduled reruns seem like a complete no-brainer, especially for people with morning or night streams around or shorter than six hours.

During the VODcast, you’ll be able to play ads and engage with your community in the comments as usual—if not more so.

What happens when you go live

After starting, you’ll see the progress of your VODcast:

Twitch dashboard showing the progress of your live VODcast

This is what your stream looks like from your perspective:

VODcast from streamer perspective

This is what it looks like from your viewers’:

VODcast from viewer perspective

So pretty much the same except viewers can’t see what video you’re currently playing.

Second problem: labelling and title

Push notifications for VODcasts are getting slightly better, but they’re still kind of a mess.

What really trips viewers is that VODcasts are rarely labelled properly, leading people to think that you are actually live and Getting Mad Online that their donation and sub alerts aren’t showing up on stream.

The only thing you can do to deal with this is to be sure to rename your VODcast ahead of starting it.

Rename your stream title in the dashboard to make it clear it’s a VODcast

Because Twitch’s fantastic dashboard has some kind of issue that keeps me from changing things like the stream and game titles in it, I have to do it through chat and Nightbot, which honestly doesn’t bother me too much.

Where your VODcast shows up

Because your stream isn’t technically live—or technically not a livestream—your VODcast won’t show up the way a regular stream does.

Be sure your followers know as much so they don’t miss out on your VODcasts.

It used to be that VODcasts wouldn’t show up in the Following section if memory serves. This has been remedied, but they still don’t distinguish VODcasts from livestreams at all, unfortunately. At least not on the website.

If you search for a live VODcast, it won’t show up in the results; you have to go to the Live section to find it:

Finding a VODcast via Twitch search.

Closing thoughts

The main issue with VODcasts is that they currently feel like an afterthought. But that doesn’t mean that streamers should treat them as such.

And remember that no one’s forcing you to use VODcasts. Using them without knowing why may do more harm than good, but using them with purpose should only be an improvement.

Premieres

On October 20, 2017, Twitch announced Premieres, which are a new kind of uploads for fresh videos:

What next?

Check out the archival guide which has more to say about VODcasts and other types of video on Twitch.

  1. Of course, the advice on this site is generally with an NA/EU in mind. ↩︎