The streaming life: Ellen Lee (’25) creates content on Twitch and YouTube

As streaming becomes more mainstream, more people want to give streaming a try. Ellen Lee (‘25) is one of them. She started streaming about a month ago on her Youtube channel,  Miako_Sky. 

“I have a friend from another school who does streaming and he inspired me to start. I have also been wanting to stream for multiple years now but have never had the chance or the equipment to do so until now,” said Lee. 

Most, if not all of Lee’s streaming setup consists of hand-me-downs from her father and older brother, including a computer, webcam, headset and microphone. These materials, along with a good internet connection, are foundational tools to streaming. 

As for what platform she streams on, Lee has stuck to Youtube–for now. She has streamed on Twitch as well, but she chose Youtube because it allows her to make videos as well as stream.

While Lee hasn’t put out any videos yet besides VODS (video compilations of past livestreams), she’s taking time to deliberate what kind of videos she wants to showcase on her new channel. So far, some ideas she has for potential videos are doing Kahoots and Gimkits because of the new games they recently released, like Fishtopia. 

In her streams, Lee mostly plays games with her friends with the occasional drawing stream on her sketchbook app. So far, she’s recorded herself playing a plethora of games, including Valorant, Tetris, Minecraft, Genshin Impact, and Gimkit. 

Ellen Lee (’25) has learned how to balance the stresses of school life with streaming; she does homework and goes live in streams on the same computer. (Ellen Lee)

Streaming is tiring. It’s hard to stream for hours at a time and maintain high-enough energy to keep viewers interested. As a high school student, Lee juggles academics and extracurricular activities with her streaming schedule. She takes advanced classes, like honors algebra II and honors english, so keeping her grades up is her main priority. When she’s not studying for tests or doing volunteer work, she streams on weekends: ideally, a stream each on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

“For balancing, I just start streaming whenever I feel like it. Late at night, I’m usually free, so I just start playing games and decide if I have enough time and I start streaming. I end it whenever I need to or when I’m tired,” said Lee. 

In her first month of streaming, Lee has already amassed 5-7 viewers per stream. While this may not seem like a significant number, it makes a good starting point, as many beginner streamers usually only average 2-4 viewers. Statistically, averaging 6 viewers for having 23 subscribers shows a promising start. On her VODs, she averages around 20 views. 

“My streams can run from 30 mins to 3 hours. I usually try to stream for one hour and 30 mins at least,” said Lee. 

Lee posts about her streams and encourages her followers to tune in on her instagram. Since stories stay active for 24 hours, most of her friends and peers know about her streaming career. Not all of them watch, but most of them ask her how the streams went, and those who do watch often approach her on weekdays and compliment her on a successful stream. 

“I came to her first ever stream. Since she streams on Youtube, I just hop in and listen while I do homework and I’m also subscribed to her channel,” said Amy Yang (‘25), one of Lee’s close friends. 

August Baxter (‘25), another one of Lee’s close friends, also streams, and helps her with streaming, from equipment setup to logging onto Discord voice chat and creating new streaming content. 

“I support her streaming by tuning into her streams whenever I can. I also help with the content itself. I join her in discord and try to make it fun. For example, I woke up from a nap the other day and saw she was streaming, so I got on call and joined her,” said Baxter

When asked about her parents, Lee says they aren’t completely aware of what streaming exactly is. They know she talks to others on call and plays games, but ultimately, they don’t seem to mind as long as she isn’t too loud or destructive. 

“They know I’m playing video games while talking to someone, but I don’t think they are fully aware that I’m talking to a random audience at all. I’m assuming they just think I’m on a call with some friends playing video games,” said Lee. 

A streamer she looks up to and takes inspiration from is Ranboo, a popular streamer and youtuber who is most known for his minecraft streams. During the pandemic, his view count skyrocketed to about 46,000 average viewers because of his involvement in the Dream SMP.

“He’s quite close to our age group and he’s cool to me because he’s really successful at such a young age. I remember how I started watching him before he gained all his popularity and how it started and it was fun to watch that growth throughout the years,” said Lee. 

Lee plans to continue streaming for as long as she can. She hopes that the time she puts in will reap benefits and she’ll continue to be able to have fun with friends for a larger live audience. 

“My [current] streaming goal is [to] first reach100 [subscribers] and get 15 concurrent viewers for 30 minutes at a time. Viewers fluctuate on stream, so my goal is to sustain a number for a longer time,” said Lee.

So far, streaming hasn’t affected Lee’s life too much except for the occasional mention of it from her friends and busier weekends. However, the more she streams, the more she appreciates the experience. 

“Streaming is really cool because content creators don’t have to just record and be talking to themselves, and instead [can] talk to people in a chat rather than in a call, [since] not all of them are able to be in a call with you, so it’s nice to interact with people while playing video games,” said Lee.