A Guide to Twitch VODs – For streamers and Viewers

This is a comprehensive guide to VODs on Twitch.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about VODs as both a Twitch streamer and a viewer.

🎬 This article is part of our Start Streaming on Twitch series.

What does VOD mean?

Vod stands for Video on Demand. VODs are used by Twitch streamers to allow their viewers to watch past broadcasts in case they’ve missed a stream.

It’s essentially an archive function within Twitch.

You can find VODs by navigating to a streamers’ Videos tab and filter by Past Broadcasts.

shroud has twitch VODs enabled on his twitch channel so viewers can check out his past broadcasts

VODs aren’t everlasting though. VODs are automatically removed 14 days after the broadcast happened. When a streamer has Partner status, VODs last for 60 days. Affiliates receive no extra benefits in this regard.

How to enable VODs on Twitch

VODs are accessible to all streamers on Twitch.

But they are not enabled by default.

You can enable VODs from your creator dashboard.

Under the Settings > Stream section of your creator dashboard, you’ll find the option to store past broadcasts under the subtitle ‘VOD Settings’.

You can enable twitch vods in your creator dashboard under the setting 'stream'

Enable this feature and your VODs will be saved for 14 days or 60 days depending on whether you are a partner or not.

Why store past broadcasts?

You might think VODs aren’t worth it.

What value does an offline viewer bring?

The answer is A LOT.

When you don’t have VODs enabled, your channel will look dead whenever you aren’t live.

Viewers who stumble upon your channel through redirection (e.g. your Twitter), will be much more likely to follow you if you actually have some content on your Twitch channel.

And this could lead to an extra viewer when you do go live!

Additionally, your loyal viewers will appreciate that they can still watch you whenever they missed a stream.

But none of the above reasons comes close to the real motivation you should save your VODs…

VODs are used to create YOUTUBE HIGHLIGHTS.

You know those AH-MAZING, HIGHLY EDITED, entertaining videos you’ll find on the YouTube channels of streamers like Shroud, xQc, Pokimane, and so forth?

pokimane uses stream highlights to direct traffic from her youtube channel to her twitch stream

Where do you think they originally come from?

These are past broadcasts, saved to the computer, and edited to create a masterpiece of a YouTube video.

YouTube is THE BEST platform to gain traffic on.

Because YouTube REWARDS GOOD VIDEOS.

Unlike Twitch, where you need to be popular in order to rank higher.

YouTube tracks click-through rate and watch-time.

Do 90% of the videos that click on your video watch the full video? YouTube will promote your content for you.

This can lead to massive growth on YouTube which in turn leads to growth on Twitch!

How to create highlights from VODs

Full video VODs last just 14 days on Twitch. Highlights, however, last forever on Twitch.

Just like VODs, highlights are found in the videos section of your Twitch profile.

These highlights can be shared on Twitter, Reddit, and other social media to increase your exposure!

You can even turn individual clips into a YouTube short!

And finally, you can export these highlights to turn them into a stream highlight video for your YouTube channel!

To create a highlight, simply go to your saved VODs in your creator dashboard.

Click on the highlight button next to your past broadcast and start editing!

Viewers can clip your VODs

Similar to how a streamer can create highlights from past broadcasts, viewers can create clips from VODs as well.

To clip a VOD, you go to the ‘Videos’ section for a creator.

Pick the video you want to clip from.

In the video player, you’ll find a clip button on the lower right side.

how to clip from a vod on twitch

Then, you’ll be taken to the clip editor.

how to clip on twitch from a past broadcast

Here you can edit your clip to fit exactly the footage you want.

Once you’re done, add a title and publish the clip.

The clip will be visible to everyone on Twitch!

How to save VODs to your computer

Twitch has a built-in way to download VODs directly from your creator dashboard.

In order to do so, simply head over to Content > Video Producer and download any past broadcast using the 3 vertical dots.

The built-in method is a bit slow so if you want a faster method, you can use Twitch Leecher.

Twitch Leecher is a free tool created by a member of the Twitch community.

Twitch Leecher allows you to download the highest-quality version of any past broadcast using just the URL.

First, install Twitch Leecher.

Then, click on search and navigate to URLs.

Paste the exact URL of your past broadcast.

how to save Twitch VODs to your computer using Twitch Leecher

Next, hit search.

Twitch Leecher will locate the video and allow you to download it.

how to download Twitch VODs to your computer using Twitch Leecher

You’ll be able to choose the video quality, modify the video length and change the filename.

Hit download to save the VOD to your PC!

Once you have the VOD on your computer, you can edit it and create a highlight video for your YouTube channel ;).

quick tip

Most OBS software will record your Twitch stream while it’s happening and you can just as easily use that footage to download your past VODs. However, this method takes up a lot more computing power which could lead to problems if you run a budget PC setup.

How to save VODs forever

VODs only last for 14 days on Twitch before they get permanently removed from the platform.

If you want to have an unlimited archive to go back to, you can upload your past broadcasts to a secondary YouTube channel dedicated to VODs.

Many popular Twitch streamers have such a VOD channel.

Lilypichu uses a secondary YouTube channel to upload her VODs to so they last forever.
LilyPichu’s secondary VOD channel on YouTube

Since videos on YouTube are everlasting, your past broadcasts will never get deleted!

Simply download your individual VODs from your creator dashboard and upload them to your second channel.

Link this channel in your Twitch profile so your viewers can enjoy the VODs as well!

How to upload stream highlights to YouTube

As I mentioned earlier, the top Twitch streamers all have one thing in common: they upload stream highlights to YouTube.

Stream highlights are short and entertaining videos that contain just the very best moments from your stream.

You want to keep these highlights as short as possible.

Because YouTube favors watch time.

If your video gets boring, viewers will leave and YouTube will deem your video low quality.

You could have 10 hours of VOD footage that result in just 5 minutes worth of YouTube content and that’s okay!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A YouTube channel
  • Access to your VODs
  • Video Editing Software

If you’re a mac user, you can use iMovie which is a great free way to edit your highlights.

If you’re a Windows user, you can use a free tool like Blender.

There are two ways you can go about importing your VODs into your editing software.

You can upload the entire VOD and find the individual clips.

Or you can export only your highlights from Twitch using the highlight editor in your creator dashboard.

Once you have the exact highlights imported into your editing software, you can add transitions, background music, and so forth to make it more entertaining to watch.

Then, export the video and upload it to YouTube!

One of the MOST IMPORTANT aspects of a good YouTube video is the thumbnail, so make sure your thumbnail is AH-MAZING and borderline clickbaity.

ludwig uses great thumbnails to increase the click through rate of his YouTube channel
Ludwig does a great job with his thumbnails on YouTube
quick tip

Including a cut out of your exaggerated facial expression is one of the best ways to increase the click-through rate of your YouTube video.

And of course, you want a catchy title to pair with it!

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