Pros and Cons of Main Video Game Streaming Platforms
The good old times when Twitch was the only viable video game streaming platform are long gone. Right now, there are quite a few new players on the market, and you as a content creator should think twice about which platform is the right one for you. They are all different in terms of audience, main focus, and long term prospects, so choosing the right one can be a make it or break it for your channel.
Should you stick to the charted territory and stream on Twitch? Are you more suited to YouTube Live? Or is Mixer, with its recent increase in fame, something you should seriously consider?
It all depends on your style and plans as a streamer.
Let us break down some pros and cons of each platform for you so that you can make an informed decision on where to create your content and why.
Twitch: The Classic
Twitch is the oldest and most established video game streaming platform out there. Almost everyone that’s anyone started there before potentially moving to other sites. It has the fame, it has the numbers, and it has great plans for the future. The only question is – Is it going to stay this way for long?
- – Twitch was the first, and it is still the most recognized video game streaming platform out there with over 1.8 million average viewers on Twitch at any given time
- – With the departure of a few major players, there are a lot of regular viewers looking for new streamers to engage with
- – Twitch made it very easy to earn money through the platform, and it’s actively adding new revenue channels for streamers
- – The subscription model is simple and effective for long-term earnings
- – Since Twitch is on the market for such a long time, it amassed over 3.84 million streamers, and it is incredibly challenging to get noticed if you don’t have a strong presence in e-sports or on other social media channels
- – Twitch has a corporate way of doing things. While it may seem relaxed as a streaming platform, it can sometimes prove problematic, especially if you have a more prominent channel and want to renegotiate your contract
- – Platform moderation (or rather lack of) has become quite controversial and it may not be suitable for streamers considering serious brand partnerships
- – It’s easy to get trolls, and problematic to get rid of them
Who is it for?
- – People that want to try out streaming, but are not sure if it’s for them
- – Streamers looking to expand from a smaller streaming platform
- – YouTubers that are not 100% happy with YouTube Live
- – E-sport and gaming celebrities
YouTube Live: New Kid on the Block
YouTube is, by far, the biggest and most recognized video platform worldwide. Everyone that has an internet connection knows it. Sometime in the last few years, the platform decided to break into the market that up to this point was dominated by Twitch: live streaming. And it’s not a big surprise that since the majority of the popular YouTube channels focus on video games, there is a massive amount of viewers interested in live gaming streams.
- – It’s a no-brainer if you already have an audience or a successful channel on Youtube
- – YouTube Live is about more than just gaming. If you would like more variety and are into technology, coding, reviews, experimental content – this may be a good option for you
- – Easy setup with Stream Now
- – The platform is getting some good monetization options, including Super Chat
- – YouTube Live content is fully integrated into the YouTube platform, which means that it’s easy to search for
- – It’s actively developed, and new features/fixes are popping up frequently
- – It has a massive audience that is actively looking for engaging content…
- – …if you know how to promote yourself well
- – YouTube is (unfortunately) one of the most blocked websites in the whole world. You almost certainly can’t watch it through your business/school wifi, and you can’t access it in some countries at all
- – Viewers are not quite used to the concept of donations
- – YouTube had some troubles in the past when it comes to changing their search algorithm and demonetizing channels. This may be something to consider, depending on the type of content you’re putting out there, although they are continuously improving the algorithm.
Who is it for?
- – Existing YouTube creators that want to grow their platform presence for potential brand deals in the future
- – Streamers focused on the pre-uploaded video content
- – Influencers that want to focus on multiple topics, not just gaming
Mixer: The Innovator
Mixer is a Microsoft platform that responded to the need on the live streaming market created when some of Twitch users and influencers became unhappy with the platform constraints and started looking for alternatives. Mixer’s development is incredibly fast, and it’s attracting more and more viewers and high-profile streamers every day.
- – High-speed, almost instant streaming. The delay is hardly noticeable, and you can interact with your audience in a more natural way than on other platforms
- – Co-streaming option is great for collaborating with other influencers
- – Mixer developed great moderation tools and provided much more comprehensive support than other platforms
- – Xbox integration is fantastic for console streamers
- – The platform is still considerably smaller than the competitors, but it’s actively growing with new more prominent streamers moving there
- – Monetization options are not entirely comparable with other platforms, and you may need to be creative with your revenue channels if you decide to move to Mixer
Who is it for?
- – Xbox streamers
- – Streamers that want to move into a more organized environment with additional support
- – Content creators that want to build their presence on a new platform and grow along with it
There are other streaming platforms on the market, like Facebook Live, Periscope, or smaller, emerging sites listed here. You can try them out and see if they work for you, but the exposure there is much lower, and there is no guarantee that they will grow large enough to support major influencers in the future.