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Boost Wishlists with Steam Broadcasting

Posted on June 30, 2022 by Christian Engel

They’re the top metrics for any game developer on Steam: Wishlists and Sales. So the question #1 is: how to get more of them?

I cover a specific Steam marketing topic today: Store Broadcasts. I already wrote about what exactly Steam Store Broadcasts are - today I am talking more about the effects of them, when used wisely.

Chris Zukowski from How To Market A Game collected numbers and came to the conclusion that games who broadcast get about 50% more wishlists than games that don’t broadcast during a Steam Event. So its worth having a closer look.

On your Store Page

When you have an active Steam Broadcast, it will appear on your games’ Store Page at first. While I found lots of different opinions about whether that’s a good thing or not, the truth is: it works. The auto-playing video on top of your Store Page does a couple of good things:

It catches attention

People will look at it. There’s just no way around that. There are people who may dislike you shove unwanted videos in their face, but when the video content looks interesting, many people will stay and watch for some time. But be aware that you have only a couple of seconds (at most) to catch their attention and make them keep watching. The major intent when visiting your store page will be looking at your game (and maybe buy it), not watching a broadcast about it. So you need to come up with good ideas for content for your broadcasts. I will cover that in another blog post.

It gives social proof

When visitors come to your game’s store page they are completely unaware of how many other people there are with them right now. And that’s a sad thing, because we humans root for a thing called social proof. This means when others are interested in something, we perceive it as more important. Every visitor who hits your store page will add to the viewers counter because of the autoplaying nature of the broadcast. The viewers number is always displayed alongside the broadcast so the higher the number, the more the impression “this must be interesting” sticks to the visitors.

In the Steam Store

Your broadcast might not only be displayed on your game store page but also in other locations of the Steam Store - and that’s where things get interesting.

Community Hub

According to the Steam Broadcast docs, once your stream reaches 10 viewers, its important enough to be displayed in the Steam Community Hub where it can be shown to the thousands of players who chat and socialize there. It’s like a free ad.

The Store Frontpage

Once you have more than 100 viewers, your broadcast i eligible to be shown at the Steam Store frontpage in a dedicsted broadcast section. It will be visible to tens of thousands of visitors there.

Both possibilities need a bit of luck, since even if you make it through the threshold of 10 and 100 viewers, there is no guarantee you will be shown prominently on the Steam Store. But the rule of thumb is the more people watch the higher the possibility Steam will present you to an even broader audience.

Most important during Steam Events

Now this is a must. You HAVE to broadcast when your game participates in a Steam Event.

Most Steam Events utilize a broadcasting widget on the Steam Event page. This widget will show a list of all active streams of the events games - so if you participate in an event, its especially important to show a broadcast, because otherwise your game will not be presented on that top stage.

The more watchers you have, the higher will your broadcast be ranked in the Steam Event widget. Longer broadcasts or ones that play in loop are more effective, since once your broadcast ends, you loose all watchers.

Remember: This tactic gives you about 50% more wishlists than without broadcasting.

Some games therefore decide to play pre-recorded Steam broadcasts in loop during the whole event (and some even all the time). This can be done with a tool like OBS, which requires configuration, a stable network connection and a computer running for the whole time of the Steam Event.

I found this can be tiresome because home internet connections are flakey sometimes and energy cost is as high as never before.

This is the reason I built RoboStreamer. You can upload your pre-recorded video to the server, click play and have it streamed through a 10GBIT connection from an always online server which is located physically close to a Steam Broadcast ingress server. So best conditions for a perfectly stable stream while even running on green energy. You have peace of mind and even do something good for the environment.

You have a question or just want to talk?

You can reach out by mail or find RoboStreamer on Twitter or join my RoboStreamer Discord Server.
I am always available for a chat (just sometimes, I need to sleep a few hours)!

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