LonelyStreams Shows You What Happens In Twitch Streams With Zero Viewers

LonelyStreams Shows You What Happens In Twitch Streams With Zero Viewers

Many stories about Twitch revolve around celebrities, the influencers and tastemakers who have “made it” to a career of all-day gameplay streaming. But Twitch isn’t just star gamers; it’s pirate streams, bizarre Tim and Eric-style broadcasts, and average Joes just streaming their Overwatch matches. Many do so without anyone watching. LonelyStreams is the best tool to find them.

LonelyStreams is a simple website that aggregates and displays Twitch streams that have zero viewers. The idea is to direct a willing audience to join in broadcasts that aren’t gaining traction. Its credo sits at the bottom of the landing page:

At any given point in time there are about 3000 livestreams on twitch alone with 0 viewers. Most of the creators are making great efforts of setting everything up and making sure their stream runs properly. It’s a shame that nobody is watching. So feel free so browse around and appreciate their hard work.

I’ve spent a good deal of the last day or so flipping between different streams with no one watching. Some people had banners, overlays, good mics, and a solid stream of uninterrupted gameplay and commentary. Others had mild hiccups; maybe their gameplay audio was too low, or they just weren’t interacting at with the camera.

Over the course of a couple hours on the site, I’d found a high-level Splatoon player, a handful of engaging Fortnite streamers, and one dude bravely streaming his Rocksmith practice, something I would never have the courage to do. Some seemed to be aiming for an audience, and others seemed content to just share their screen and thoughts with whoever might wander into the stream.

It was a nice reminder of the open forum that a streaming site can provide, where just about anyone can hop on and play host or entertainer to a few spectators.

This was a pretty cool, albeit hitching, stream of a 3D printer at work. It was hypnotic to watch. (Screenshot: LonelyStream)

This was a pretty cool, albeit hitching, stream of a 3D printer at work. It was hypnotic to watch.

But in seeking out the diamonds in the rough, you exhume everything that comes with it. So while your initial visit might bring you to an unappreciated gem of a streamer, you might also stumble across the odds and ends of low-view Twitch.

One of my first finds was a guy with a darkened face-cam, who was bouncing between looking at graphics card specs and watching a YouTube video of a dude trying to light a mason jar of jet fuel with a match.

About ten seconds after I snapped this, the dude stuck a Windex bottlehead in the jar and made a flamethrower. (Screenshot: LonelyStream)

About ten seconds after I snapped this, the dude stuck a Windex bottlehead in the jar and made a flamethrower.

Some streams were really unique ideas, like 3D printings-in-progress streamed from multiple angles. I got a few Kotakuans to join me in watching a live cam of a bird farm. (We sadly did not see any birds.)

There were also, of course, pirate streams. One advertised gameplay of the spaceship battle simulator Dreadnought, only to actually be a free stream of the Disney and Marvel movie Iron Man. Oddly, there was still a hint of an overlay and follower interaction.

And some were just constant music channels like you would find stuffed into a bad cable package, streaming constant “beats” for viewers to listen to.

Screenshot: LonelyStreams

Others were various re-streams of popular shows, random IRL streamers, or local community channels. There was a stream of a rabbi discussing various questions from unseen audience members about Rosh Hashanah, which was pretty educational for me. I even found a World Cup re-stream!

LonelyStreams endeavours to drive traffic to those struggling to find it, but in practice, it’s also a bizarre look into the world of open video streaming. All that anyone really needs to stream on Twitch is a computer and one of the various capture programs, like OBS or Fraps.

If there are really thousands of unviewed streams hiding in the tall grass, it stands to reason that for the dozens of Fortnite players streaming, there’s plenty of weird shit in there too. And LonelyStreams gives me the perfect sieve to find them.


  • HA this is kinda cool, im in this boat atm, started messing with twitch and live streaming my Rainbow 6 Siege and Dark souls games recently.
    I’ve had a number of views on the replays, but only ever the occasional drop in drop out viewer.
    But very early days, still creating templates overlays and buttons for the channel and updating it each day as i get time.
    Even if i stay in oblivion its been a fun learning experience anyway.

  • Kotakuans – so theres a collective noun now? :p I always thought it would end up being Kotaki.

    On streams though, for a brief period I had streams of trains pop up on YouTube. Thankfully they’ve wandered off now, but for a good while there would be 3 or 4 trains, some random intersection in Hicksville, Kentucky, or Buttcold, Alaska. Given our timezone, it would generally be 3 or 4 in the morning as well, hardly a high volume time of the day.

    Or a cam set in an eagles nest, with 2 or 3 chicks patiently waiting (or sleeping) while mum/dad (who nests with eaglets?) were off getting food. Was a distraction for a while, and I didn’t mind popping in for an update every now and then (probably why they stayed on my list so long), but they weren’t excitement channels by any measure.

  • Maybe I need to stop monitoring my own stream via the dashboard (which Twitch counts as a viewer) so I can show up here. *cough*

  • I went on a binge and watched a few people with 0 watching, they’re just a bit boring, they dont communicate as the ones even with 20 people watching.

    • its kinda hard to expect someone to communicate with the audience without being given a chance. consider this. you join a stream. because of either stream delay or the gap between a viewer check, it takes about 30-60 seconds before the streamer even realises someone is watching, by which point they’ve already switched to another stream.

      when you stream by yourself its hard to just switch modes instantly once someone joins your channel. interaction is a two way street and and just rambling on to an empty chatroom makes you feel either desperate or crazy.

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