The main difference between Twitch and YouTube is the audience demographic and how easily it is discovered. Twitch is the largest platform for live-streaming, with most of the content built around video games with a thriving community atmosphere.
On the other hand, while lacking a close-knit community, YouTube was built for uploading lasting content and has a search engine that helps newer streamers find an audience.
Generally speaking, if you find networking and building social media accounts come naturally, streaming on Twitch is the better choice. The streaming platform heavily benefits extroverts who can effectively self-promote and build relationships with other streamers.
In contrast, Youtube is better for creators who want to focus more on just content. While releasing quality live streams, you can also put together highlight clips or promotional material that gains traction via the youtube algorithm.
Key Differences Between Twitch and YouTube Gaming
To give you a clearer view of the differences between having a live stream on Twitch and YouTube, we’ve listed specific categories where they differ the most.
Level of Engagement
YouTube has fewer streamers but significantly higher user numbers. The potential for your growth as a new streamer is much higher.
The competition on the platform is far lower than Twitch while also having a user base that is 20 times larger. New content creators will have: a much easier time establishing a foothold on the platform and growing concurrent viewers as the platform provides more prominent exposure.
Discoverability on Twitch for newer creators is extremely difficult. The platform doesn’t feature any algorithm to show your content to new viewers.
Instead, channels are sorted from highest to lowest on viewer count, meaning new creators are subject to being at the bottom of the directory they are streaming under.
Getting your Twitch channel seen will definitely require some creativity and the use of other mediums to build interest.
As a cultured platform, Twitch users have become accustomed to talking to streamers, engaging with them, and sharing their stream with friends through word of mouth.
Viewers who browse Twitch are very used to the platform, and the community you grow on Twitch could be more invested in yourself and your content.
Perhaps Youtube Gaming’s fastest-growing community in recent times is that of mobile game streamers. Originally build around Pub G and League of Legends, the gaming experience has evolved beyond just pc or game consoles.
Many youtube viewers watch their favorite streamer directly broadcasting from their phone or tablet.
You can monetize your content on both platforms. Twitch and YouTube allow their content creators to join programs that can help them maximize their potential earnings on each streaming platform.
For Twitch, they offer the Twitch Partner Program. On the other hand, YouTube has the YPP or the YouTube Partner Program.
Twitch Affiliate and Partner Program
Twitch affiliates and partners are able to display embedded ads on your video content. They can earn from pre-roll and mid-roll ads. Here are the requirements to join the Twitch partner and affiliate program.
- A total broadcast time of 500 or more minutes over the last 30 days
- A total of 7 different broadcasts over the last 30 days
- At least 3 concurrent viewers over the last 30 days
- At least 50 followers
- At least 75 concurrent viewers over the last 30 days
- A total of 12 different broadcasts over the last 30 days
- At least 25 hours of streaming in the last 30 days
Besides these programs, streamers can earn from several other ways on the platform. Channel owners can earn from monthly subscriptions on their channels. Twitch streamers can also earn from gift subs, bits, and donations.
YouTube Partner Program
A YouTube channel can join the YouTube Partner Program to increase monetization opportunities and gain access to YouTube resources that are beneficial for content creation. To qualify for this program, a content creator must meet either of the following requirements:
- Have 1000 subscribers
- Have 4000 watch hours in the past 12 month
- Have 1000 subscribers
- 10 million views on their Shorts in the past 90 days
This YouTube affiliate program
Apart from the YPP, you have access to Google AdSense. As a content creator, you can take advantage of Google AdSense contextual advertising. This essentially helps brands and content creators include ads targeting a specific keyword or topic to reach the target audience.
Best Platform for Growth Potential
YouTube appears to have a stronger potential for new creators. It’s home to an indexing algorithm that allows new users to discover your content by searching keywords or your content on the recommended feed.
New content creators can optimize their live streams, pre-recorded videos, and shorts to reach new audiences through YouTube’s algorithm and gain a foothold on the platform organically.
Streaming mobile games is also far more popular on YouTube and is borderline non-existent on Twitch. It is also easier to transition from Youtube to Twitch streaming later.
Does Twitch Or YouTube Pay More?
Which platform pays better is directly relative to the size of the content creator. Twitch Partners can make substantial money via subs, bits, and direct donations, making it the best revenue maker for larger streamers.
For streamers without an established audience, most find it faster to start making money on YouTube. Twitch takes a 50% cut of sub revenue for small, active streamers, while Youtube only takes 30%.
While both platforms have a Partner Program YouTube Gaming is relatively new and doesn’t have the same community or events Twitch boasts.
Networking with similar content creators is a great way to grow your brand and concurrent viewership through collaborations and is definitely an area in Twitch that is superior to both YouTube and Facebook Gaming.
The Future of Twitch vs YouTube Gaming
Currently, YouTube is a platform that will likely succeed in the next 2-3 years. The platform has all the necessary features to foster new content creators.
Statistically, the platform performs incredibly well, drawing in increasing viewership every quarter; and YouTube has consistently shown its willingness to adapt its platform to meet user needs.
By contrast, Twitch has slowly been declining. The platform’s exposure approach is very dated – as it only sorts by high to low in its directories. The potential for growth in Twitch is challenging for new creators.
The platform is: overly saturated and tough to compete in, catering to already successful streamers and not showing any updates on how they will adapt their platform to help new creators.
Twitch will likely see further decreases in unique content creators living off the platform. However, this does not mean that Twitch cannot change how it serves its users, and it could adapt to make its platform more accessible to new streamers.
Frequently Asked Questions
At the end of the day, it depends on the streamers and which live-streaming service they choose to use. On the other hand, viewers are happy to watch Twitch and YouTube videos and live streams from their favorite streamers.
For new content creators looking to find the right platform to create an audience, streaming and playing games on Twitch while uploading videos to Youtube is the best choice.
However, if you most likely will venture into mobile game streaming, you should put effort into your YouTube channel since mobile gaming is more popular on the platform.
Youtube was always designed, even before streaming, to create opportunities for new creative individuals looking to share their hobbies, interests, and crafts. It can be an amazing funnel to your stream and social network accounts.
The platform has all the necessary tools to give new streamers the ability to grow, whether that’s: streaming, creating videos, making engaging shorts, and also writing community posts. YouTube has a service for any medium to help you reach your audience.