You are thinking about starting to stream but don’t know which platform to pick! Both TwitchTV and YouTube Gaming offer a great place to start out on. But which is the best out of these two?
It is a pretty tight fit between both to be honest. Twitch has been made specifically for live-streaming but YouTube Gaming is a “new” feature. Google made sure to do a few things better than Twitch! Below you can find more details on both streaming services and I included some interesting statistics from Streamlabs.
Why Twitch TV?
The focus of Twitch is live-streaming and this is the main reason why the audience on Twitch is much more interested in your live-stream. When your potential viewers are on YouTube they might stumble upon your stream at some point but the main goal for them is most likely watching prerecorded video’s so the level of engagement is a lot lower. It is really hard to find any live-streams on YouTube Gaming whereas Twitch promotes low viewer streams based on your location and your stream will always show-up in some places. In general your stream will be easier to find on Twitch. This means building an audience from scratch will proof easier on Twitch. The user interface and ways you can interact with your audience are also more mature on Twitch and all viewers on Twitch know how to use this by now. The last big difference are the ways third-parties can communicate with Twitch. These are a lot more developed currently. The Twitch-app is available on many different platforms and it is also included as a base functionality on your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for example.
Why YouTube Gaming?
The best part of YouTube Gaming is the fact that it always transcodes live-streams. This means that you don’t have to worry about your viewers not being able to view your live-stream due to their internet not being good enough. You can stream in 1080p with 60fps all the time, if your own internet allows it of course, and your viewers can select in which quality they want to view your stream. On Twitch you will have to be partnered for your stream to receive this kind of treatment. Furthermore earning ad revenue is available to everyone on YouTube Gaming whereas for Twitch you, again, have to be partnered. Some other good things for YouTube Gaming include saving your live-streams until you delete them and the in-stream DRV function. DRV makes it possible for your viewers to skip back to a prior part of your stream while you are live-streaming. At Twitch your viewers will have to wait until you stop streaming.
Streamlabs is the biggest tool streamers use to setup their stream with alerts when receiving new followers, subscribers and tips. In a recent report of Streamlabs a lot of statistics are presented of Q1 2017. Interesting enough this report shows the rise of YouTube Gaming while the growth of Twitch has almost halted. The growth in active streamers on YouTube Gaming is 36.6% vs 4.1% on Twitch in the past six weeks (from 18 april 2017). Twitch however generates a lot more money than YouTube Gaming. A huge part of earning revenue from live-streaming are the tips your receive during your stream and currently 96% of all tips going through Streamlabs are given out to Twitch-streamers which in Q1 of 2017 was a sum of 22.55 million dollars. There are a lot more statistics in the report which you should read if you are looking for more information but a few things Streamlabs concludes is that due to the focus on live-streaming of Twitch your viewers are much more likely to engage with you. Streamlabs also states they think, based on these statistics, YouTube Live will catch up to Twitch somewhere in 2018 if they continue on the current path.
I strongly feel that if you really want to focus on game-streaming Twitch is currently still the best pick. The biggest audience is available here and on YouTube it is actually pretty hard to find any live-streams at all. If you are more focused on video content or you already have a nice group of subscribers on YouTube you should stream on YouTube Gaming tho. This supports your YouTube-channel a lot better than streaming on Twitch and you have your subscriber base to start out on compared to almost nothing at Twitch. Looking at the statistics it is clear that YouTube Gaming is steadily gaining more and more streamers compared to Twitch so in a year from now this verdict might be different. At the same time Twitch probably won’t stop developing their website either and Twitch is still focused more on game-streaming. For pure game-streaming Twitch is currently the platform to pick!