Game streaming has become mainstream, but it doesn’t have much competition with the two biggest names in the industry: YouTube and Twitch. Twitch was built with streaming in mind purely, while YouTube has a rich history with millions of amateur videos, with streaming increasingly focused on the platform.
YouTube and Twitch are great options for streaming, whether it’s streaming your own content or watching someone else’s. But there are a lot of differences to consider. If you’re wondering which is the best option in the battle between Twitch and YouTube, this guide will help you decide.
User Interface and Stream Quality
Twitch and YouTube are built with ease of use in mind, with a user interface that players can quickly use and understand on desktop PCs, mobile devices, and big-screen interfaces like game consoles. .
On Twitch, the interface is easy to navigate, with recommendations centered and centered on the front page. If you’ve subscribed to any of the Twitch channels, you can quickly access them through the icons on the right. When you’re watching a stream, you’ll see basic controls at the bottom of the video, with a collapsible chat to the right.
For live streamers, Twitch’s interface isn’t too different either. Most of the settings you need are available through the Creators Dashboard (accessible from the Twitch menu), where you can start streaming, set quality settings, run ads, moderate , link your Twitch streaming software, etc.
Unfortunately, some of YouTube’s most popular features (such as live video rewind) aren’t available to Twitch streamers. YouTube allows this for live streams, so if the connection is poor or you just need to pause for a moment, you can pause or rewind the stream to catch up.
However, YouTube’s biggest advantage in this area is familiarity. YouTube’s interface is even simpler to use than Twitch, with channel subscriptions and video and trending streams accessible on the left. In the main view, you can view recommended videos, search for new videos, streams or channels, etc.
YouTube also has another advantage over Twitch: stream quality. Twitch streams are limited to 1080p HD streams at 60fps (fps), while YouTube live players can stream up to 4K (2160p) at 60fps, outperforming Twitch , although you may need to choose a good bitrate to maximize this.
Explore the audience and see the metrics
In a way, YouTube and Twitch are like apples and oranges—both fruits, but they taste very different in the end. Twitch and Youtube are similar, largely because of the way audiences are formed on both platforms.
On Twitch, viewers will find new streamers based on the game they’re streaming. If you’re a streamer playing Sea of Thieves, you’ll be categorized as Sea of Thieves when you go live. Twitch’s algorithm will also likely recommend new viewers based on how long they’ve watched the game before.
You can still be recommended as a stream to viewers on YouTube, but it’s increasingly likely that newer streamers are appreciated by the bigger names. As a result, most YouTube channels are focused on making videos, building videos that they can publish at their leisure to build an audience, rather than streaming consistently.
This created a bit of a contrast between the two platforms, where YouTube streaming focused on major game releases and on YouTube mainstays. YouTuber major streamers playing Call of Duty: Warzone is a recent example of the success of this strategy.
However, Twitch makes it much easier for smaller games and smaller streams to survive. Even if you’re only streaming for 10 people, you’re more likely to be introduced to new viewers on Twitch than on YouTube, especially if you’re playing less popular games.
In terms of absolute numbers, you are more likely to see a larger stream count with a large number of viewers on YouTube. Unless you have a big channel to start with. However, you will find it easier to build an audience with Twitch.
Opportunity to make money
Regardless of the difficulties of building an audience, the money-making opportunities for Twitch and YouTube streamers are huge — if you’re consistent.
Twitch can throw some crumbs your way through recommendations, especially if you’re playing less popular games, but you’re unlikely to build a community that cares about your stream. no regular schedule, where more viewers (and more subscribers) means higher revenue per stream.
YouTube goes even further, requiring you to reach 4000 watch hours in 12 months and 1000+ subscribers to become a YouTube Partner. Only YouTube Partners can monetize their videos, which will cost most channels. New YouTube channels will need a regular schedule of live streams and videos to achieve this goal.
YouTube partners primarily receive revenue through advertising, but if you’re streaming, you can also get donations directly from your audience, 70/30 between you and YouTube for each donation. Again, this is only possible for YouTube Partners, limiting monetization efforts to larger channels.
Twitch has similar limitations, but to a much lesser extent. Right from the start, you can set up a donation link on Twitch to help earn extra outside income. However, the big money comes from Twitch Prime (now Prime Gaming) subscriptions, pre- and mid-stream video ads, as well as “bit” donations, all directly through Twitch itself.
However, to do this, you need to become a Twitch Partner or Contributor. Affiliates are required to stream for at least 500 minutes in 7 days of the last 30 days, and must have a minimum of 50 followers and 3 concurrent viewers on average. Partner claimed 25 hours in 12 of the last 30 days, with an average of 75 viewers.
As long as the path to becoming a YouTube Partner is long and out of reach for most streamers, Twitch offers the best monetization opportunity. However, if you have a YouTube channel and want to build revenue from past streams and videos, you may want to play the game long and stay with Google’s platform.
Twitch and YouTube: Choosing a Streaming Platform
Whether you want to start streaming on Twitch or are thinking about YouTube development, it has never been easier to get started. After going live regularly, you’ll want to invest in a good camera, microphone, and capture card to increase the quality of your streams, attract a larger audience, and qualify for monetization.
In particular, Twitch has several features to help you build a larger platform and network with other streamers. If you start hitting Twitch, you can help other streamers and get your followers back on your own. You can also think about creating a Twitch logo to help insert some of your own personality into your stream.