Understanding characteristics of popular streamers on live streaming platforms: Evidence from Twitch.tv

Keran Zhao, Yuheng Hu, Yili Hong, J. Christopher Westland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Live streaming platforms such as Twitch and Periscope have become some of the most popular synchronous social networking services. To attract viewers, streamers are motivated to broadcast exciting video content while actively interacting with viewers. The emerging stream of research on the live streaming community has examined streamers’ motivations and how the viewers react to streamers. However, few studies have focused on understanding the characteristics of popular streamers. Popular streamers create tremendous business value for social media influencer investors, as they have high potential to create persuasive advertisements and endorsements for firms by promoting their products and services. We aim at examining the key characteristics associated with streamers’ viewer base, namely their personality, professionalism, and streaming affordance. Based on text mining and analyses of video content, our results show: (1) certain personality traits (such as openness) are negatively associated with both cumulative and current popularity, (2) professional players are more likely to attract a larger viewer base, and (3) social affordance, including profile building affordance, social connectivity, and social interactivity, is positively associated with both cumulative and current popularity. Our results provide useful insights into measuring and evaluating streamers’ popularity, which can, in turn, generate actionable strategies for social media influencer investors and platform operators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1098
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications

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