Twitch vs YouTube: An Ultimate Guide for Streamers

Twitch vs YouTube

The entire concept of streaming was to allow better connectivity between an interested viewer and streamer. But with live streaming, viewers get the opportunity to connect and even interact directly with the streamers. There have been a lot of live streaming platforms from Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and lots of other direct streaming platforms, including YouTube, Twitch, Iris, Dacast, Periscope.

The trend, which started from connecting with like-minded people, has transformed into a path to fame and popularity. And these two things have always been associated with monetary benefits. From endorsements or influencing, streaming does offer the potential for financial independence. 

When it comes to live-streaming, gaming has the largest audience and potential. While blogging has been transformed itself into video-blogging, game streaming has far higher monetization potential. It brings us to one of the most-streamed questions of this decade, Twitch vs YouTube streaming.

YouTube vs Twitch: The Comparison You Wanted

YouTube vs Twitch: The Comparison

Every streaming platform has both advantages and shortcomings, which can be associated with the fact that technological development related to streaming has not yet reached its prime. If you’re thinking about streaming, you need to get a lot of stuff sorted first, from software to hardware and even more in between.

But which one is the best among the leading live streaming, Twitch or YouTube Gaming? Could it be YouTube with its billions of viewers, or could it be Twitch originally launched for live streaming? Being the top two players in this segment, we will be exclusively focusing on both these platforms.

But like everything else, there are a lot of parameters to be considered, and the answer depends on individual users. These parameters would help you take a closer look at both the streaming platforms. 

Ease of Going Live

Streamers would be more inclined towards the platform which offers faster streaming. While YouTube isn’t a core streaming platform, but with technological evolution and lower latency streaming on offer, it surely has improved a lot.

But Twitch still offers an easy click-and-go streaming mode with a simplistic approach, which is always appreciated by viewers. When it comes to Twitch vs YouTube streaming quality, Twitch has the upper hand.

Supporting Streamers

YouTube is a combination of uploading and streaming platform based on Google AdSense as its primary revenue model. It also provides a scope for other revenue-generating potentials but those are limited and minimal barring external sponsorships.

On the other hand, Twitch is a platform dedicated to game streaming. Monetizing your stream on Twitch is easier than on YouTube. It’s either subscription fees or advertisements from external sources, routed through Twitch.

Gamification

While YouTube offers a platform for you to gather viewers, they don’t offer any incentives for the viewers to stick around. It prompts the viewers to jump from streams to streams and videos to videos. This is a major benefit of Twitch.

Twitch chat provides incentives to viewers to stick around providing the power of customization. Essentially, the platform itself incentivizes viewer loyalty, completely missing on YouTube Gaming.

If all this already makes sense to you, then chances are you have a fair deal of know-how about both these platforms. We’ll go a bit more in-depth still, explaining how these platforms work and how the money gets rolled before it reaches you.

What is YouTube Gaming?

What is YouTube Gaming

Originally launched as a separate application meant for streaming in 2015 and was re-amalgamated to the YouTube family in March 2019. A key component of YouTube Gaming was its focus on providing interactivity and lower latency streaming service using the latest streaming protocols. It also offered the gaming community on YouTube to have an all-gaming application.

As per YouTube, there were two primary reasons for this rollback and amalgamation within the main website. It helped them roll out specific gaming-focused features to the fast-growing target audience. This also made it convenient for the gaming community to connect with what everyone else is watching.

YouTube is meant for all sorts of streamers for live game streaming, interactive live streaming, and content creation. While YouTube Gaming was dedicated to gaming channels, the main website is meant for uploading all sorts of video content not limited to game streaming.

What is Twitch?

What is Twitch

Twitch is an online streaming and broadcasting platform launched in July 2011, about four years before the launch of YouTube Gaming. It allows streaming into separate communities and includes members to chat and interact with live streamers.

Twitch aims to do much more than just providing a live streaming portal. It provides a platform where users, streamers, and viewers alike can establish strong connections and networks for mutual benefits.

After its launch, Twitch focused only on video game streaming, including the broadcast of esports competitions. Being a subsidiary of Amazon.com, they also acquired Justin.tv in 2014 and expanded their customer base. It also makes it possible for users with sufficient subscribers to make money via various in-app processes.

Twitch has been on an acquisition journey, most recent being the acquisition of Curse in 2016, a gaming website network, which they later sold it to Wiki hosting service Fandom. Now, Twitch has the means to offer redirected links for game purchases, allowing streamers to generate revenue through commissions on sales. As of now, Twitch has over 100 million viewers per month.

Viewers & Competition

91% of the entire streaming market share is on Twitch. Its closest competitors are YouTube and Facebook Gaming who are also on a rapid growth curve. According to the third quarter statistics for Streaming Data, Twitch has ten times the number of gaming channels registered under YouTube Gaming. The number is even higher at fifty times more channels than Facebook.

The new battle arena is all about Twitch vs YouTube vs Facebook Gaming, and Twitch dominates it. There’s little chance of other players to enter into this market in the near future so it will be a 3-horse race.

twitch and youtube view hours

But there’s a catch:

For a streamer who wants to generate earnings from game streaming, less competition is vital. Just why perhaps it may be better for you to start off outside Twitch.

Know that before you get to monetize your stream, you need to think about building a large enough subscriber base. Also, it’s not just about the number of subscribers but the amount of time a subscriber spends on an average viewing your stream.

Now get this:

For each hour of streaming on the platforms, the hours viewers have watched is subsequently higher. This is the most important parameter you need to understand. The average subscriber hour-count on Twitch stands at 23 hours. But YouTube has clocked 132 hours, and Facebook has hit 136 hours.

This is one of the most important pointers you need to consider for YouTube vs Twitch streaming.

Simply, you are better off streaming on YouTube or Facebook first than on Twitch if you’re yet to cross the 100 subscribers mark!

Features

Both YouTube and Twitch, offer different features to users. While YouTube offers diversification and a wider range of audience, Twitch offers a gaming dedicated community with an audience inclined towards long hours of streaming videos. Since both these streaming platforms have their own perks, focus on growing your viewers on the platform that aligns with your interests.

Why Stream on YouTube?

Why Stream on YouTube

YouTube is the most popular video viewing website which also offers live streaming and better connectivity options. It allows a general user to venture into game streaming without having to set up a different account and pursue their interests in gaming.

This platform is more concerned about the revenue share models and pays utmost importance to regulate neutrality while removing potentially violent content. Their emphasis on creating a better viewing community and protecting streamer’s interest outweighs similar steps taken by rival Twitch.

Also, there’s far less competition on YouTube than on Twitch when it comes to live game streaming.

Why Stream on Twitch?

Why Stream on Twitch

The reason why Twitch has maintained its supremacy over live streaming is the specific features it offers. It can even be suggested that Twitch has the largest audience simply because it started off first!

Either way, the benefits of streaming on Twitch can be identified with the ease of live streaming. You just need to click on the Go Live button of Streamlabs OBS or any other screen-recording application, mentioning Title, Game, and Tags to go Live every time.

Twitch thus allows users access to live streaming without any hassles. It offers direct donations, and the community is involved enough to stay with streamers for at least 2-4 hours of live streaming. Game streaming and interactive sessions with viewers is far entertaining on Twitch.

Twitch or YouTube Gaming – Where’s the Money at?

The way of earning on both these streaming platforms are far different, but the basics are the same as in any streaming platform. The higher the number of viewers, the larger the revenue share creators would generate.

How to Earn on Twitch?

How to Earn on Twitch

It is always nice to sit at home and generate money while playing video games. This thought would have touched a majority of gamers, which is evident from the influx of game streamers from different age groups. With hopes of generating six-figure numbers and getting popular on the platform, users have tried all sorts of things. Let’s clear the smoke about the earning possibilities on Twitch.

After having generated over 50 followers, you can officially become a Twitch affiliate. This affiliate status will help you secure a share of pre-roll advertisements that Twitch runs against streams. While you can’t generate enough money by just being an affiliate, it unlocks greater monetization options.

Another way to generate money is the bought subscription plans by viewers. It’s a win-win situation for both viewers and streamers, as the streamers get 50% of the revenue generated by subscription plans.

It also allows the subscribers to use a wide range of Emojis, Badges, and the ability to watch Twitch streams without any advertisement nuisance.

Viewers are also free to purchase Bits, virtual assets that can help viewers gain attention. You can use animated emoticons, using badges, leaderboards, and animated emojis that can be used in chat rooms.

As a streamer, you are also eligible to receive donations directly from viewers. The best thing about donation earnings is that there is no revenue sharing with Twitch. Donating does not come in any monthly plans while subscribing has auto-renewal plans.

How to Earn on YouTube Gaming?

How to Earn on YouTube Gaming

Well, let’s get right over the monetization scopes by growing your gaming channel on YouTube. There are a ton of rehauls in your game streaming and uploading techniques to unlock the higher connectivity. Channel memberships are a definite way of engaging with your community, which can help you generate revenues outside of traditional advertising.

Google AdSense is the primary source of revenue for most users. It’s a shared revenue from the advertisement that plays at the beginning of a video. Yes, we are talking about the videos with yellow lines and a SKIP button.

The advertisers bid larger money for unskippable or longer advertisements. Hence higher views can transform to more ad video being run and a larger share of this revenue.

But to set up a Google AdSense account, you need to have at least 4000 hours of cumulative watch hours in one year, along with a subscriber base of 1000. Brand deals are yet another way to unlock the monetizable potential of your videos. These take the form of product placements or brand messaging that is directly linked in the videos.

Outside sponsorships are yet another way to generate higher revenues. Creators are mostly free to negotiate brand deals directly with potential sponsors keeping all the revenue for themselves. These deals could be on per video, bonus based, extra engagement through clicks and views.

The list is not over yet, affiliate links on YouTube are among the most popular ways of revenue by just mentioning links in the description box. These links are mostly related to online retailers with an affiliate program. Content creators get revenue from driving customer traffic to e-commerce websites.

Viewers can alternatively contribute directly to the creators by third-party applications such as Patreon, Floatplane. But just like the unique videos available on YouTube, there is a seemingly unlimited supply of creative ideas for making money on YouTube.

Twitch vs YouTube Streaming: Differences

The primary reason for the clash of the titan’s YouTube vs Twitch streaming is due to the fact of their origin. YouTube originated as a video uploading and viewing website that later ventured into live-streaming among offering other features. 

Even in 2020, YouTube’s streaming is not as organized as Twitch. The sheer confusion between replayable 4-hour long stream videos and on-demand videos of 15 minutes length is overwhelming for new users. The lack of classification can be frustrating for many viewers.

Searching your games on YouTube will show results both as videos and streams while doing the same search in Twitch offers Channel classification depending upon games. Both rivals are on par in terms of latency and offer a clutter-free streaming experience.

Direct earning sources are easier in Twitch as compared to YouTube, but YouTube is also preparing itself to attract more viewers and streams to their platform.

Conclusion

Opting to stream on Twitch and YouTube at the same time has a lot of perks in the long run than one can predict. Take, for example, the case of TikTok, all those users with millions of viewers have lost their audience forever, just because they lacked the sight for diversification.

Let us presume that YouTube shuts down its operations or changes its revenue share agreement. They can even oust a streamer for saying something against their terms of service and ban them. The same could be the case with Twitch, which makes it all the more important for content creators to diversify.

Both streaming services offer unique advantages to their users. When considering game-specific streaming, Twitch surely has the upper hand over YouTube. At the same time, YouTube offers a larger audience and is perfect for a budding streamer like you to start off.

FAQS

Which is better: Twitch or YouTube Gaming?

For beginners, both streaming platforms are good. But when it comes to a choice for content creators and streamers, Twitch is straightforward a streaming website while YouTube is more of a content-driven platform that also offers a streaming service.
Both can help generate higher revenues for streamers. For viewers, Twitch offers better gaming content. On the other hand, YouTube is for all sorts of video streaming and sharing.

Where to start Twitch or YouTube?

Streamers who are interested in live game streaming and networking should go with Twitch. YouTube is good for the general audience and content creators who are interested in generating revenues from streaming.
If you want to build a strong gaming network first before monetizing your streaming channel, start off with Twitch. If instead, you want to build brick by brick and generate income slowly, YouTube Gaming should be your first choice.

What pays more YouTube or Twitch?

It is all about the number of viewers you have and the personal influence of the streamer. Some YouTubers earn way more than Twitch streamers. It is a constant tussle, yet your influence over the audience will have a direct impact on the revenue you can generate on either of the platforms. These are just platforms but streamers are the real revenue drivers.

Why is Twitch more popular than YouTube Gaming?

Twitch offers superior streaming and classification features and a simple user interface. YouTube gaming started on a good note, it was re-absorbed in main YouTube and is finally taking the right steps to compete with Twitch. That said, the niche gaming crowd may stick to Twitch simply because it’s for gamers and gamers only. 

Do YouTube streamers get paid?

The YouTube channel Ryan’s World generated a whopping $26 million in 2019, which also led him to feature on the Forbes annual list. But for a general newbie in YouTube streaming, they need to have at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of views to monetize AdSense on their account. YouTubers can also make money from Memberships and Super Chats.

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