The optimal bitrate that all streamers new to streaming should use is no greater than 1800kbps, 720p, 30fps. Opinions vary, but with our tests 1800kbps is the sweet spot. Unfortunately Twitch doesn’t offer quality options for new streamers and if you decide to set up your stream (most new streamers love the number: 3500kbps) to a bitrate that is too high, you exclude potential viewers from watching your broadcast because of buffering. We personally have tested this on different internet connections and from areas with decent internet, 3500kbps is not a problem to view. However, with some internet connects, businesses included, 3500kbps creates a lot of buffering making streams unwatchable. Businesses do not usually shoot for the sky and go for the highest download/upload speeds as possible, in fact, a lot of businesses still use ISPs such as ATT that use DSL or Uverse, which is extremely slow by today’s standards. Do you really want to exclude anyone from viewing your stream? Twitch streams are quickly becoming the new “podcasts” and a lot of times people will load a stream up and just listen to it from work.
Small streamers aren’t partnered, don’t try to stream like one. It’s unfortunate that twitch doesn’t give all streamers the same options but that is what #supportingsmallstreams is all about. Think smart, stream smart.