Is Twitch Ninja’s Growth Solely Due To Dr. Disrespect’s Hiatus?


A couple of days ago Twitch Ninja responded to a couple viewers in chat saying his recent Twitch growth was only due to Dr. Disrespects recent break from streaming to spend time focusing on his family.

Ninja had this to say in response to the comments:

As a marketer I’m fascinated by growth: how it starts, what caused it, and how to replicate it.

It’s important to have solid data-backed answers on what marketing is working. Not just random hunches. So I’m always reverse-engineering marketing campaigns and growth studies that I find interesting.

It’s not everyday that we have a top streamer go on an extended hiatus. So it’s an interesting question to figure out where those viewers end up.

Let’s start by plotting Ninja’s growth:

Pretty explosive growth. Anytime you see a hockey stick growth like this, it means someone is doing something right. But his Twitch growth chart doesn’t tell us where it comes from.

First let’s see if there’s any truth to the theory that these viewers came from The Doc.

Dr. Disrespect stopped streaming on December 14th. So we can graph the viewers to see if there was any immediate effect to Ninja’s viewership:

Ninja’s viewers stayed pretty consistent in spite of “The Two Time” stepping away in middle of the month. Which makes it pretty clear Ninja’s viewers didn’t come as a direct result of Dr. Disrespect leaving.

So let’s try to figure out where all these new viewers have come from.

Positioning Is Everything – Choosing Your Game

I’ve been paying close attention to the battle between PUBG and Fortnite viewership. 

Ever since PUBG was released to the public it’s been climbing the charts in viewership and even competing with League of Legends (which has held the number one spot on Twitch for quite some time).

Fortnite has been making a push recently and growing rapidly in popularity. As you can see in the graph above, it’s going to be a very close race to see who holds the top viewership spot for Battle Royale games in the month of January.

That doesn’t mean that Ninja just saw a popular game and decided to ride the wave.

Ninja started streaming Fortnite in October. When he switched over to Fortnite he lost about 31% of his daily viewers. On some days he dropped even as low as 3,000-4,000 viewers.

If you’ve ever run a business and you see your stats take a dive like that, it makes it very hard to stick to your guns (even if they’re double-pump shot guns) and do what you believe.

I’ll even admit, I thought he was making a big mistake when he started switching to Fortnite.

PUBG showed no signs of slowing down. Being a top streamer in the category and switching games seemed like he was losing out on thousands of viewers.

However Ninja saw the trend before most other streamers. He solidified himself in the top spot for Fortnite.

As the game grew in popularity he received an exponential amount of the new viewers for holding that number one spot.

Growth Outside Of Twitch

If you’re running a stream this part is very important.

You shouldn’t rely on growing your channel strictly from Twitch traffic.

There’s millions of gamers out there that you’re missing out on.

Ninja has been adding 21,000 subscribers a day to his YouTube channel. Pulling in millions of views every day.

These translate to new Twitch viewers that you aren’t competing for.

They are loyal fans. Not “Twitch users”.

He’s also active on Twitter with over 240,000 followers.

One major key (🔑) to Ninja’s growth is building an audience on other platforms that he redirects to his Twitch channel and converts those new viewers into loyal fans who show up every day.

How Ninja Added 30,000 Daily Viewers To His Stream

A lot of the growth should be attributed to Ninja’s foresight in noticing a game that will be HOT and going all-in on it. He made his transition while PUBG was peaking in popularity so he had to trust his intuition while his stats dipped for a couple weeks.

Ninja streams consistently.

He’s one of the most active streamers. Additionally he’s one of the best community builders on Twitch. So when a new user arrives they get inducted into his community and that is the first step to converting them into fans.

Lastly he does an exceptional job of marketing his brand outside of Twitch.

If you’re growing your channel I’d pay very close attention to what Ninja does both on stream and off.

And to the people who think Ninja’s growth came solely from Dr. Disrespect…

When you look at the data it’s pretty clear.  The score is: Ninja 1, Trolls 0.

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