Former Blizzard employee grows on Twitch by more than 1,000% in 3 months because he doesn’t check a box

Have you been on YouTube or TikTok lately and wondered who the friendly gentleman with the deep voice is that keeps popping up in your feed? Then you’re not alone, because Twitch streamer Jason “Pirate Software” Hall is just everywhere right now. MeinMMO explains to you why.

What kind of streamer is this? Jason Thor Hall is a software engineer who has had an illustrious career. He worked for Blizzard and Amazon and was a cyber security specialist. He is now an indie developer with his own studio, Pirate Software, and streams on Twitch under that name.

On the streaming platform, Hall mainly entertains his viewers with anecdotes from his professional career, insights into his work as a developer and one or two games. But even though Pirate Software has been on the air regularly since August 2017, his channel has only exploded in the last few months. The secret to his sudden success is said to be a single checkbox.

Clips, short excerpts from streams, can quickly take on a life of their own outside of Twitch if they are taken out of context. However, Pirate Software knows how to cleverly use the short recordings for their own benefit.

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Streamer cracks algorithm with YouTube Shorts

What is the secret of success? Pirate Software himself attributes the rapid growth of his channel to YouTube Shorts. These are the short videos with which YouTube introduced its own TikTok in 2020. Hall has been posting excerpts from his streams there for a long time, but it was apparently an inconspicuous trick that helped him achieve his breakthrough.

When you post a video via YouTube Shorts, you have the option to notify all of your subscribers about the upload. According to Hall, what seems like a good option actually does more harm. Because at some point many subscribers become dead people and no longer interact with the videos.

Hall suspects that in this case YouTube is registering a lack of interest and playing the videos less. His “secret” is therefore not to check this box. This means that his shorts should be suggested to active users. When they then interact with the content, the videos are suggested to more and more viewers.

Here you can see how the streamer explains his trick:

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Pirate Software simply makes good videos

What defines him? Of course, it’s not just enough for the videos to be omnipresent – the content must also attract the attention of viewers. Fortunately, Pirate Software has no problem with this:

In addition, the streamer also shares the development process of his upcoming game Heartbound with his viewers and produces informative content on topics such as software development and data security. Even well-known content creators like Destiny and Asmongold became aware of the former Blizzard employee:

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Another aspect that should not be underestimated is the high recognition value of Pirate Software’s videos. The shorts have a consistent visual style and Hall always illustrates his statements in paint.

In any case, Pirate Software’s concept seems to be working: in the comments under his shorts and TikToks as well as in discussions on Reddit you read again and again: Who is this guy and why do I suddenly have him in my feed all the time? But what does the whole thing actually look like in numbers?

There is still no end in sight

This is how successful Pirate Software is: On YouTube, the Pirate Software channel currently has 1.3 million subscribers and more than 540 million views. The content creator acquired most of these subscribers since November 2023, when he started using his shorts strategy. Pirate Software started the month with around 19,000 subscribers – on November 11th it already had 343,000 subscribers. At the beginning of December, the channel reached 814,000 subscribers (via SocialBlade, as of February 14, 2024).

Within a month, Pirate Software gained almost 800,000 new subscribers on YouTube, which corresponds to growth of almost 4,200%. Since then he has steadily gained new viewers. Some of his shorts have several million views. Hall was also able to benefit from this viral success on Twitch:

In October 2023, Hall was still streaming to an average of 379 viewers, in November there were already 2,808 and Pirate Software now reaches an average of more than 8,500 viewers at the same time (via TwitchTracker, as of February 14, 2023).

Pirate Software doesn’t stream any more than it used to, but it does stream to many more viewers (via TwitchTracker)

In the last 3 months, Pirate Software gained 1,036% in viewers (via SullyGnome). As the number of viewers increased, so did the number of subs, and in December 2023 Pirate Software broke the Hypetrain world record several times.

Hall also proves that his success does not have the short-lived nature that usually characterizes viral fame. Rather, he was able to convert the push from YouTube into steady growth.

TikTok in particular has proven to be a kind of springboard that content creators can use to enormously push their Twitch channels:

The success of PirateSoftware also shows what many streamers have been criticizing about Twitch for a long time: growing “naturally” on the streaming platform is damn difficult. It seems like in order to be successful on Twitch you first have to build a community on another platform.

This probably has to do with how the different platforms work and present new content to their users. However, once you have a large reach on Twitch, the platform is twice as worthwhile. This is probably one of the reasons why big YouTubers are moving to Twitch right now.