how much data does twitch use for streaming

How Much Data Does Twitch Streaming Use? Tips to Save Data


While the online entertainment industry is evolving rapidly, Twitch has emerged as a powerhouse, captivating audiences with its diverse content, such as live gaming streams and interactive talk shows.  

However, as this platform’s popularity continues to surge, concerns about the data it consumes arise. Whether you’re into the latest gaming marathon or want to be the next streaming sensation, understanding the intricate dynamics of Twitch data usage is crucial.  

Therefore, this article will delve deeper into those intricacies and navigate through the complexities of data consumption for viewers and streamers, such as: 

  • Detailed estimates of Twitch data usage for viewers on various devices and resolutions. 
  • The key factors influencing data usage for Twitch streamers. 
  • The practical tips for viewers and streamers, guiding them on adjusting video quality and making informed decisions for optimised Twitch experiences. 

Pique your interest? Let’s delve deeper into it.  

What is Twitch? 

Twitch is a leading live streaming platform that primarily focuses on content related to gaming but has expanded to include various forms of interactive and creative broadcasts.  

Launched in 2011, Twitch allows users, known as streamers, to broadcast their live gameplay, engage with viewers through chat, and build communities around shared interests. 

While gaming remains a core focus, the platform has diversified to include streams related to music, art, and talk shows.  

Twitch has become a global hub for entertainment, fostering a unique blend of real-time interaction and content creation that resonates with millions of users worldwide. 

Benefits of Streaming on Twitch 

Twitch offers various benefits to the streamers, and a few of them are enumerated below: 

1. Income Potential 

Twitch offers diverse revenue streams for streamers, including sponsorships, affiliate programs, ad revenue, tiered subscriptions, and tips from subscribers (Bit donations).  

Moreover, livestream content can be repurposed for YouTube, expanding earning opportunities. Streamers can open Patreon accounts for extra donations, with top earners making substantial monthly incomes, exemplified by some reaching $750,000 in peak months. 

2. Live Streaming Dominance 

Twitch excels as a live streaming platform, surpassing competitors like YouTube and social media platforms, particularly for interactive content like gaming.  

Twitch is the preferred choice if live streaming is your focus, especially for gaming or interactive activities. 

3. Wide Viewership 

Twitch boasts a broader viewership than other live streaming platforms, such as Caffeine, Facebook Gaming, or the now-closed Mixer.  

While YouTube leads in regular video viewership, Twitch is unparalleled for live video content.  

This broader audience provides streamers an extensive platform to connect with viewers interested in live streaming. 

4. Self-Marketing Opportunities 

Twitch allows streamers to promote themselves, showcase their skills, and market ventures during live streams.  

For instance, aspiring talents like Jonny, a Formula 1 Esports player, can use Twitch to gain recognition. By streaming his skills, he can reach a large audience of Esports enthusiasts, potentially attracting attention from major brands and organizations.  

Streamers can also leverage Twitch to promote their brands, businesses, and social media accounts, enhancing their online presence. 

Twitch Data Usage: An Overview 

The extent of data Twitch consumes on PC and mobile devices is a serious consideration for users. Therefore, to help you manage your data usage effectively, we’ve compiled tables illustrating the following: 

Data Consumption While Watching Twitch

When watching Twitch, your data usage depends on resolution and device. Talk Home’s platinum plan can fulfil all your needs. Below are estimates based on our testing: 

Twitch Mobile Data Usage

Resolution  Data Per Minute  Data Per Hour 
1080p  26 MB  1.5 GB 
720p  15 MB  900 MB 
480p  11.7 MB  700 MB 
360p  5 MB  300 MB 
160p  1.9 MB  115 MB 

PC Data Usage

Resolution  Data Per Minute  Data Per Hour 
1080p  42 MB  2.5 GB 
720p  25 MB  1.5 GB 
480p  20 MB  1.2 GB 
360p  12 MB  720 MB 
160p  6 MB  360 MB 

Note: Results are based on a 4-hour Twitch viewing session. 

Data Consumption While Stream on Twitch (PC) 

As a streamer, your bitrate plays a crucial role in data usage. Higher resolutions demand more upload data. Here’s a breakdown for a 4-hour streaming session: 

Resolution  Bitrate (kb/s)  Upload Mb/min  Upload Gb/hour 
1080p  3500  26  1.56 
720p  2500  19  1.14 
480p  1200  9  0.54 
360p  800  6  0.36 
240p  500  4  0.24 
160p  300  2.5  0.15 

Adjusting your bitrate while maintaining video quality is critical to controlling data usage. 

Twitch Audio Only Mode Data Usage 

Watching Twitch in audio-only mode significantly reduces data consumption. For mobile users: 

Quality  Data Per Minute  Data Per Hour 
Audio Only  1.85 MB  111 MB 

Twitch Radio Mode Data Usage 

Quality  Data Per Minute  Data Per Hour 
Twitch Radio Mode  1.93 MB  115.8 MB 

These are estimates, but they showcase the data-saving potential compared to video streaming. 

Recommended Read: How Much Data Does Streaming Music Use?

Factors that Impact Twitch Data Usage  

Several factors play a crucial role in determining your data usage on Twitch. Understanding these elements can help you manage and optimise your streaming experience.  

The factors that impact the data usage on Twitch are enumerated below. 

1. Device You Are Using

The device you use to access Twitch, whether a PC, mobile, or a specific app, can impact data consumption.  

Different devices may have varying capabilities and efficiency in handling streaming data.

2. Bitrate on Twitch

The bitrate you choose while streaming directly influences data usage. Higher bitrates result in increased upload data consumption.  

Streamers should balance bitrate and video quality to control data usage effectively.

3. Streaming Resolution

The resolution at which you stream or watch content on Twitch significantly affects data usage on Twitch. Higher resolutions demand more data, while lower resolutions consume less.  

Adjusting the streaming resolution based on your preferences and available data can help manage usage efficiently. 

By considering these factors, both viewers and streamers can make informed decisions to optimize their Twitch experience while maintaining control over data consumption.

4. Background Apps and Connection

Closing unnecessary background apps and ensuring a fast and stable 5G cellular connection can significantly reduce data usage.  

Minimising background processes enhances the efficiency of your streaming experience and helps conserve data. 

What are the Optimal Internet Speeds for Twitch Streaming

  • The low-resolution videos at 30 FPS ensure a minimum upload speed of 1.6 Mbps. 
  • Conversely, higher-resolution videos required a minimum upload speed of 3 Mbps. 
  • Moreover, it is crucial to maintain a stable connection and address issues such as disconnections, skips, low resolution, or audio-video sync problems. 
  • Furthermore, you should have an internet connection of at least 25 Mbps to handle gaming and streaming concurrently without compromising quality. 
  • Be aware that a higher bitrate will consume more internet bandwidth. 
  • Optimize streaming by lowering the bitrate by minimizing bandwidth usage for other activities, such as pausing background games, apps, and downloads. 

Can I Stream Twitch on 3G? 

While Twitch can handle streaming on a 3G connection, it’s not the most practical choice. Despite being budget-friendly, 3G is outdated, with slow speeds and limited bandwidth.  

Streaming on 4G or higher, primarily through a phone hotspot, ensures better quality. Therefore, for an optimal Twitch streaming experience, investing in a more modern and efficient internet connection is advisable. 

Controlling Data Usage on Twitch 

To manage data consumption on Twitch effectively, follow these steps:

1. Adjust Video Quality

  • Click the gear icon at the bottom right of the video. 
  • Navigate to “Quality” and choose a lower setting to reduce data usage. 

2. Monitor Data Consumption

  • Click the gear icon again. 
  • Access “Advanced” and select “Show Video Stats” to track data usage. 
  • Experiment with different quality settings to find the right balance. 

For Streamers: 

  • Be mindful of your upload speed when streaming on Twitch. 
  • Recognise that uploaded data counts toward your download data limit.

3. Refer to Twitch Data Consumption Chart

  • Consult Twitch’s data consumption chart for live streaming details. 
  • Higher-quality streams (1080p, 60fps) use more data than lower-quality options (480p, 360p, 240p). 
  • Actual usage varies based on your setup and the plan’s upload speed limit. 


All in all, this article has explored how Twitch uses data, offering insights for both viewers and streamers. You can manage your Twitch experience wisely, from data estimates to simple strategies. 

The article underscores that factors such as device used, chosen bitrate, streaming resolution, and background applications can significantly impact data usage. For viewers and streamers, informed decisions based on these considerations can lead to an enhanced and more efficient Twitch experience. 

Moreover, the strategies discussed include adjusting video quality, understanding the impact of bitrates, and exploring alternatives such as audio-only or radio mode for reduced data consumption. 

Whether you adjust video quality or consider your device, this article helps you make informed choices while enjoying Twitch. Use these tips to keep your Twitch experience smooth and data-friendly as the digital world evolves. 


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