What is an online stream?

What is an online stream? Books written by Uri J. Nachimson

Streaming is a video on the Internet that a user (streamer) broadcasts to an audience in real time. The streamer goes live on social networks or on special sites - streaming platforms.
2022-10-01, by Uri J. Nachimson , Book author

#Radio || #Online || #Stream ||

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Unlike regular video bloggers, who also sometimes broadcast online, streamers never edit their videos in advance. They communicate directly with subscribers and allow them to watch their actions in real time. 

Streaming on the Internet is growing in popularity. According to DonationAlerts, the number of streamers increased by 33% in the pandemic year of 2020 alone, and it continues to grow.

Major Streaming Trends

Streaming originated in the video game and eSports segment. Gamers broadcasted what was happening on their monitor and commented on the course of the game, and viewers could join in the discussion in a special chat room.

That's how the most popular streaming trend - gaming - was born. Internet broadcasts from world eSports competitions or mastering of complicated Dota 2 levels attracted thousands and sometimes millions of viewers.

Streaming has gradually gained popularity outside of the gaming environment. Culinary professionals, athletes, beauty bloggers, travelers, media personalities, event visitors, and observers of unique natural phenomena shoot streams. 

Streams can be used to shoot interviews, educational videos, and simply communicate with subscribers on a variety of topics.  All of these types of broadcasts belong to the Lifestyle trend.

In addition to these genre segments, event-based streams can be distinguished. For example, live broadcasts from the launch site of space shuttles, sports matches and the Olympics, presidential inaugurations, etc.

Personal webcasts can be unrelated to any genre, event, or theme. The main interest for the subscribers is the personality of the streamer and communication with him. More often than not, personal IRL-streams are hosted by media personalities or established bloggers with a wide regular audience.

Popular platforms for streaming

Based on the DonationAlerts research of 2021 let's look at the most popular streaming platforms.


The video hosting site YouTube is the most popular streaming platform. The majority of streamers (and online radio stations as well - see Davidzon Radio) use YouTube Live as the main platform for their broadcasts.

YouTube provides access to a wide audience and places no restrictions on the subject of content, as long as the rules of the site are observed.  You can start live streaming from a registered channel, whose authenticity has been confirmed by the site's moderators.


The main world streaming service, the theme of broadcasts mainly gaming. The main content is personal game broadcasts, online broadcasts of eSports competitions, news from the gaming industry. 

Twitch provides an opportunity to become a streamer to anyone who registers as a channel author and agrees to abide by the rules of the platform. Immediately after registration, a streamer can start broadcasting, open a chat for viewers and followers, and use analytics tools.

Social Networks

Streamers use social networks as primary or secondary platforms. Almost all major social networks have a Live function for going live. Broadcasts can be live and saved on your page.

Ways to make money as a streamer

In order for the broadcasts to bring money, you need to attract a large audience and regularly go live. Streaming services provide users with various options for monetizing content. Let's list the main ways for streamers to make money online.

Donations - voluntary money transfers to the streamer from the audience. Donations can be of any size and form a significant share of popular streamers' earnings.

Viewers donate money while streaming via special services for receiving donations, or at any other time using the payment details. This way users can say thanks to the streamer for interesting broadcasts, support his project financially, or help to achieve any goal.

Affiliate programs of streaming platforms provide placement of commercial ads during broadcasts of streamers. Advertisers are ready to pay the site for access to the audience of popular streamers, and sites are ready to share the profits from advertising with streamers.

Streamers whose channels and broadcasts meet the sites' requirements can participate in affiliate programs. For example, Twitch has developed an achievement page for each user, which leads to a partnership application.

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