Streaming services have shifted gaming from the usual crib space among friends to a larger online community worldwide. As a gamer, streaming gaming content can be entertaining, lucrative and a great way of building a loyal fan base.
Despite the continuous growth of streaming, there are limited options for selecting a platform. Twitch and YouTube, though not the only options, are the most popular choices among online players.
The two sites have various pros and cons, and you’ll find streamers shifting between them or using them. So, how much do Twitch and YouTube differ?
Twitch is a streaming-only platform; the only content available is current or recent live streams. Though content such as talk shows, cooking and music are also available, gaming-focused content, which is its pioneer, is still Twitch’s bread and butter.
Since gaming is Twitch’s hallmark, building an audience is easy thanks to the large and like-minded built-in community.
Besides its vibrant online audience, Twitch has powerful features tailored towards game streaming, from in-game overlays showing viewer stats to video encoding software.
YouTube gaming is a viable choice for online players focused on gaming content rather than interacting with viewers. YouTube has been around longer than Twitch, with live streaming capabilities integrated more recently. While streaming on the platform is now possible, pre-recorded videos remain the main content.
If a gamer prefers long-lasting content, YouTube is superior since streams are available long after completion, with the creator benefiting from views after the stream has ended.
YouTube Gaming also comes with powerful video-editing features, allowing seamless clip connections and the fusion of music and annotation to the videos.
With the popularity of mobile gaming on the rise, it’s no surprise YouTube and Twitch are optimising their sites to fit smartphone devices.
For instance, Twitch has been streaming mobile games since its inception, courtesy of its intuitive ready-to-download app that allows live broadcasts and recording of sessions.
YouTube Gaming has its site optimised for mobile gaming, where gamers can fully use their device’s front camera to stream while playing games.
Besides playing video games, there are those players who are big on online casinos and sports betting. Such players will stream themselves placing bets on different markets, including eSports. You’ll also find them doing sportsbook reviews of top bookmakers like PlayUp, which get a lot of views, as the gambling community isn’t small either.
As a gaming-content creator, another essential aspect that comes to the forefront is monetising content. What are the different channels of generating income? Or between Twitch and YouTube, where can one earn more?
One of the main ways of earning on Twitch is by becoming a Twitch affiliate. Here, a gamer needs at least 50 followers, about three viewers per stream and 500 minutes streamed over seven days.
There’s also revenue from merchandise sales, bit and monetary donations, ads and subscription fees. However, Twitch’s algorithm—mainly based on viewership—presents a challenge, especially to new and less-popular streams. The more people stream a particular content, the higher the streamer ranks in the search results.
So, can a gamer monetise content earlier? Yes, however, making any semblance of profit will require more than just effort. On the bright side, as a Twitch affiliate, a player is likely to earn more than YouTube’s affiliate programs.
On the other hand, YouTube has stricter requirements before generating revenue on the site. Gaming creators require 1,000 subscribers on the platform with at least 4,000 hours of watching before monetizing their channels. Other avenues for earning include Super Chat donations, ads, and paid memberships.
YouTube ads tend to pay more per view than Twitch ads, but the former takes a more significant portion of profits than the latter, implying gains from both platforms are relatively comparable.
YouTube and Twitch offer more or less the same experience regarding online gaming. However, for a streamer, it all stems down to various aspects. YouTube’s algorithm favors less popular streamers, unlike Twitch, meaning a creator will likely build an audience on YouTube.
A gamer can monetize faster with Twitch as compared to YouTube due to the latter’s strict requirements, but in the long run, YouTube is better.
Depending on the gaming content to be streamed, community base, frequency of posting or the duration of videos, both YouTube and Twitch can be valuable to game streamers.