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Twitch vs YouTube gaming? Which one should you choose?

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  • 7 min read

Twitch and YouTube are two platforms where you can live-stream gaming for your followers. But streamers are confused about which streaming platform is the best one to choose from.

Both platforms have their merit and demerit that you must know if you are planning to become a regular streamer, choosing the right platform for the initial days of streaming is a must for you. Choosing the right platform affects a streamer’s growth and success.

In this article, we will explore key differences between Twitch and YouTube to help you decide which platform is best for streaming games.

You can watch the video below or continue reading the article.

YouTube video

Here’s what we will cover in the article:


Exploring Twitch

Twitch can be considered the original platform dedicated to streaming games. The platform was launched in 2011, the platform quickly became a go-to destination for streamers.

To capitalise on the popularity, Twitch started an affiliate partnership program offering streamers to earn while playing games. To register on the Twitch affiliate partnership programme, you will need the following:

  • At least 50 followers.
  • Continuous streaming for eight hours.
  • Stream on seven different days over the last 30 days.
  • Average of three viewers on your streams over the last 30 days.

Out of the four requirements, only one seems to be a bit harsh. While you can continuously stream for eight hours straight, it may not be the right option for many, especially for those who are starting in this field.

Other than that, Twitch offers various features including live interaction, a dedicated community and easy revenue generation.

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YouTube Gaming

In recent years, YouTube has emerged as a competitor to Twitch in the gaming and other live streaming fields. YouTube Gaming is a branch of YouTube dedicated solely to live-streaming games.

YouTube algorithms are far advanced than any other platform and hence are a boon to new creators. Moreover, the user-friendly interface, broad accessibility, content longevity, and monetisation capabilities make YouTube a preferred choice for many gaming live streaming content.

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Twitch vs YouTube Gaming: Which one is the best?

Top 5 websites for streaming or watching games

In this section, we’ll compare Twitch and YouTube Gaming so that you can make a learned decision about which platform is best for your needs.

Content formats and length

When it comes to content formats, YouTube is the king among the platforms. YouTube seems to have all the content imaginable, right from cooking tutorials to quantum physics and rocket science.

This huge assortment of videos makes YouTube a more favoured option for gaming as you can redirect videos to similar but other categories. Similarly, you can gain views and followers from tons of other videos if they redirect to your videos.

On the other hand, Twitch is generally more favoured for live-stream audiences. As the platform is dedicated solely towards gaming, people can stream content that is gaming-related including live commentary, live events, and gameplay.


Audience engagement and interaction

YouTube offers more avenues for interaction including comments, likes, and community posts. Many of these are asynchronous meaning users can add comments even after the live stream has ended.

Twitch’s unique selling point is live interaction between the streamer and the audience. The communication channel on Twitch ranges from chat, donations and subscriptions. One can say that Twitch offers a more personalised sense of community than YouTube.


Monetisation

When it comes to monetisation, both Twitch and YouTube have several ways. One can monetise their channel on YouTube by following the minimum requirements. Moreover, YouTube creators can earn via ads, sponsorships and subscriptions.

Many creators have set up their brands on YouTube and sell unique customised items. Moreover, YouTube has a unique Super Chat feature where people can give monetary support to the streamer during live streams.

Twitch streamers, on the other hand, can also earn via $5 subscriptions or Gift a Sub feature. The platform also offers partnership opportunities along with affiliate marketing.


Discoverability and algorithmic reach

YouTube offers more discoverability to the new content and also offers long-term visibility. YouTube algorithms do a fine job of discovering new and emerging streamers and bloggers.

On the other hand, the channel discovery on Twitch is a bit problematic. Many new users on Twitch have reported that the platform doesn’t show content to new viewers as the channels are sorted by the highest to lowest count of viewers. This means that the new creators will feature at the bottom of the list and this will create a vicious circle as the lower rung of streamers will get no views and this in turn will disallow these streamers to gain followers.

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Twitch vs YouTube Gaming: Challenges and limitations

Streaming games on YouTube and Twitch have some limitations. Here is a list of a few such limitations on each platform:

YouTube Gaming

YouTube gaming community has intense competition and this makes it challenging for new users who are looking to enter this field. Moreover, monetisation and sudden changes to the algorithm will affect the content.

Another problem with YouTube is that your content is more or less dependent on the mercy of algorithms which can be unpredictable at times.


Twitch

On the other hand, new content streamers on Twitch find it hard to counter discoverability challenges due to the high saturation of the platform. Moreover, it is quite hard to maintain user engagement for longer hours for new creators.

ParameterTwitchYouTube Gaming
OverviewPlatform for game streaming (Launched in 2011)Emerged as a competitor to Twitch in recent years (Dedicated branch of YouTube)
Affiliate Partnership ProgramA broad range of content categories, redirecting views from various videosAlgorithms, user-friendly interface, accessibility, content longevity, and monetisation capabilities
Content formats and lengthPrimarily focused on gaming-related content, live commentary, events, and gameplayBroad range of content categories, redirecting views from various videos
Audience engagement and interactionLive interaction through chat, donations, and subscriptionsAsynchronous interaction through comments, likes, and community posts
Monetisation$5 subscriptions, Gift a Sub feature, partnership opportunities, affiliate marketingRequires 50 followers, 8 hours of continuous streaming, 7 days streaming in the last 30 days, average of 3 viewers
Discoverability and algorithmic reachLower discoverability, channels sorted by viewer count, challenges for new creatorsBetter discoverability, and long-term visibility, YouTube algorithms aid in discovering new and emerging creators
Challenges and limitationsHigh saturation, discoverability challenges, and maintaining user engagement for new creatorsIntense competition, monetisation uncertainties, dependency on unpredictable algorithms

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Twitch vs YouTube: Which one you should choose?

The choice between Twitch and YouTube Gaming comes down to your goals as a content creator. If community building and live interaction are your priorities, Twitch’s features cater to those needs. However, if you’re looking for discoverability and content longevity, YouTube Gaming’s infrastructure might serve you better.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Your unique content, audience, and personal preferences will guide you to the right platform. Whichever you choose, consistency, engagement, and quality content will be key to your success.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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