A Month of Glimesh

It has been a little over a month since I began streaming on Glimesh. I decided not to stream the first couple of days because, for one, the game I was going to play wasn’t in my hands anyway, but I also knew that there were going to be a lot of crashes the first couple of days and I hoped that they would be gone for the most part if I just waited a tad.

I do think the servers were better by the time I got streaming, but it wasn’t really until a full week later that they really began to stabilize. The initial launch saw more people on the service than the Glimesh team was expecting. During evening hours for that first week, 150 streamers at the same time wasn’t abnormal. It has been a steady decline wince then. I think the second week was around 100, then 80, then 60, then 50… now evenings seem to hold from 35-40 streamers. I’ll be honest, I was hoping that it would stabilize around 60… so the fact that it has dipped so far is a little troubling, and I don’t think the decline is stopping honestly. I think it is slowing a little, but it wouldn’t surprise me if in two weeks if nothing changes, the average streamer count is at about 25 during the evenings. We are reaching a breaking point where I am considering ending streaming on the platform and going elsewhere, or at the very least multistreaming to Youtube (which I have already tested a couple of times).

In the first month, I think the most impressive thing with the service is that they have been able to not only fix issues with the service, but also add decent features that it was severely needing. They started with adding in subcategories so that people could more easily identify games that people were streaming, this was the most requested feature and marked a change in direction for the service which initially didn’t want to include game categories (which I kind of didn’t either). They’ve added in a list of offline followers, an enhanced mobile site, and this weekend added in a “featured” section for the homepage that lists 6 randomly selected streams that rotate on the home page once an hour. They have also promised to implement an ability to browse by subcategory in the future.

Things I like:

  • Quick Fixes and new features!
  • Openness – They have a weekly meeting and talk constantly to everyone. For a short time, the main dev was even streaming while developing new features, I hope that comes back
  • Random sorting – You can’t sort by views or anything which evens the playing field.
  • Hidden numbers – When you go to a page with all the streams, you can’t see view counts. When you go to a stream, you can’t see followers. These are all viewable somewhere, they are just a little more hidden, which again helps maintain an even playing field.
  • Emojis – I love the glimdrop emojis, they are great.
  • No Sub Reqs – I got my first subscriber a couple weeks ago marking the first time I’ve gotten paid in the few years I’ve streamed and nearly half decade of youtube videos.

Things I don’t like:

  • Streaming issues – It’s gotten much better, but every now and then I still get the “offline” screen even though they have put in code to help hide it better. I think it is mostly cause I am streaming and watching at the same time, and I haven’t seen anyone complain about it, but I’m still concerned by it.
  • Emptiness – There just isn’t a lot of people there. I just got my 25th follower, but before that… I hadn’t a new follower in a week. I have had 3 day streaks of not even having another viewer. I do recognize I am streaming a niche game (Bravely Default 2) but the low numbers is disconcerting especially when you consider how few others are streaming JRPGs, I’m really the genre player on the network and still can’t get viewers.
  • Gold Subscriptions – You basically just get a gold border on your avatar and nothing else. They have said they don’t want people to feel forced into the $25/month tier, and I understand that, but they should offer more perks to help them pay for the service. I personally think that they should offer 1 free sub to a streamer per month like Amazon Prime does. That feature alone helps promote streamers and Amazon Prime at the same time. Yes it would cut into how much they get per sub, but instead of $25, they get about $22… it’s not a huge drop considering how much they get on those subs and it helps out streamers feel they can continue on the service as well.
  • Closed tests – They didn’t have them. They should have probably done a closed Alpha before they opened it up. I think they didn’t because they didn’t want to give people an unfair advantage. But they could have opened it for their internal team and community team and maybe 5-10 other early adopters without advertising out as a whole that there were people streaming. Just to try to get some kinks out. This may have helped some of the early issues. The unfortunate thing is that you an advertise “This is alpha” all you want, but if people have a bad experience, they won’t come back. I worry some people were lost those first couple of weeks due to lack of features and technical issues.
  • Infrequent Events – I honestly don’t understand the event strategy. They had a huge event on launch day where they took questions, featured streamers and tools, and let it be at that. Then nothing for a month. Then a huge push of events one a day for a week. And then a smaller event last week that was really just kind of a continuation of the week before (a university event). If they only had 4-5 events in them they should be spreading them out rather than blowing them in a week. I think a weekly university event was great. I think they should also do weakly featured streamer events, and then some other weekly event if it changes every week. This sort of thing can bring energy to the network.

What they need to add… pronto:

  • Mobile app – Personally, I don’t care about this unless it includes streamcast. But this easily the most common request I hear, both directly and on discord. If they want viewers, they need this. They have talked about some of the hurdles here, including they don’t have an app dev, and there are issues with subscriptions and various app stores. But they need to figure it out.
  • Raiding – I was contemplating how to advertise as a streamer not long ago and came to realize that the best real method of advertising is raiding. I could actually see paying for Raids. It’s basically a win-win proposition for streamers and viewers. Viewers don’t have to go look and support streamers they love. Streamers help other streamers and make connections. It’s all good. You can do it now old school, but built in tools are great.
  • Clips – Having an easy way to clip streams and push them to other platforms like Twitter, Tiktok and YouTube advertise the streamer and the network simultaneously. If they want to get the word out about the network, this is the cheapest and easiest way to do it.
  • VODs – Similar to clips, but streamers like to be able to download their stream in order to turn it into YouTube episodes or break it up into clips similar to the above after editing. On the surface, saving VODs doesn’t seem worthwhile because no one watches them on sites like Twitch. But the usability for the streamer is immense. There is concern here with storage costs, there have been suggestions to automatically move VODs to Google Drive or Youtube so that storage doesn’t happen on Glimesh that I think could work. Personally, I think eventually they should also host and make them more searchable and even maybe allow streamers to schedule VODs playing while they are not live.
  • Donations – Twitch has bits, Youtube has super chats, but really they are both built in donation systems where the network takes a cut. Personally, I’ve never been comfortable with going through third-party venders to take donations, I realize at this point in time they are fairly reliable. But I have been around long enough to remember how janky they used to be on Twitch. Building it into the platform gives a little added security to the donation and allows Glimesh to take a piece of the pie to help fund themselves. It also lets them do other things like what Mixer did… giving users a small amount of currency as part of the pro subscriptions to hand out to streamers, or build in other functionality.

Overall, I think I am starting to feel dis-hearted by where the network is. When I originally started, I was hanging out with a pal named LordofEnvy that I met on Mixer and it was kinda nice. He was more upbeat and brushed off the falling numbers. And then he left too lol. I think he actually may have had real life issues because he’s just not really streaming, but that didn’t help my fears at all. I really like Glimesh a lot, and I like what it could be. I like the community and the openness of the company. But at a certain point, streaming to nobody seems fruitless no matter how I try to justify it.