Why You Should Stream Games on YouTube Instead of Twitch

At the moment, there are two major platforms for streaming games: YouTube and Twitch. I suppose you can give the argument for Facebook, but let’s be realistic. Out of these two platforms, why is YouTube the better option?

I’m not necessarily saying that you shouldn’t stream on Twitch. And yes, I will do a follow-up on why you might want to stream on Twitch instead of YouTube.

So, I guess I’m playing a bit of Devil’s Advocate, here.

What Are Some Benefits of Streaming Games on YouTube?

Not a lot of people think YouTube is better for gaming. And, depending on your goals as a creator, they could be right.

However, there are several benefits of using YouTube instead of Twitch that you might want to consider before committing.

VOD Works Better, Especially in Search

For the most part, the video on demand (VOD) aspect of YouTube works better, especially when it comes to searching for specific games and creators.

Part of this is because of how YouTube was built. It’s essentially a search engine focusing on bringing the best results for what you’re searching. And yes, it can be as much of a pain in the ass as Google.

But, that pain is what makes it an efficient system. You just need to know how to handle the algorithm, which I’ll mention in a moment.

A Growing Audience for Game Content

Yes, Twitch is the larger platform for gamers. It’s been around a lot longer and has come a long way since the early days. However, YouTube is still making strides in the gaming space.

It’s not just live streams that many gamers want, either. YouTube is one of the largest databases for tutorials in the world. This means you can easily capitalize on How-Tos for just about any game, software, or even hardware.

Even reviews can quickly blow up if you are good at creating them.

In fact, I’ve watched a lot of tutorials for certain games on YouTube. For example, I had to watch a few so I could figure out some of the recipes in Sky Factory 4 for Minecraft.

In turn, this gave the creator watch time.

Live Streaming Affects Watch Time

Speaking of which, watch time is the most valuable metric for YouTube creators. Sure, you want to hit 1,000 subscribers to help get monetized. But, it’s more difficult to get overall viewership than subscribers.

A lot of channels will have several thousand subscribers before getting enough time to get into the YouTube Partners Program.

At any rate, live streaming your games adds to the overall watch time of the channel. So, if you can get a handful of people to watch the live video as well as crank out a few good VODs, you can make headway to make some money.

Of course, this all depends on whether people like watching your videos in the first place. But that is true no matter what platform you use.

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Not as Toxic of a Viewer Base

Something else I’ve noticed between games on YouTube and Twitch is that the viewer base is not nearly as toxic. This means there simply seems to be less hate and trolling on YouTube in comparison.

I’m not saying rude people don’t exist on YouTube. The video comment section can easily turn into a rancid trash pile. But, there is less Tom Fuckery happening during live streams.

Well, at least in the streams I’ve watched and have been a part of.

Hot Tube Streamers Won’t Take Your Audience Away

Lastly, there is far less of a chance for some hot tub streamer to take away your audience on YouTube. This one kind of hits close to home as I’ve had viewers dump me to go watch Amouranth splash around in a pool.

It’s exceptionally difficult for anyone to compete with a hot wet chick. Even if her looks are all that is really going for her, people love to look.

If that’s what floats your boat, then that’s fine. But for those of us who don’t have portable tubs or placate to the horny gamer, it just makes it more difficult to succeed on the platform.

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Streaming Games on YouTube Has Disadvantages

It’s not always a bed of roses for streaming games on YouTube. In fact, there are a few things that make Twitch a better option.

Still, I would personally rather put the time into YouTube overall. But, here are some of the things I would have to and do, contend with.

Takes Longer to Monetize

Getting monetized by YouTube takes a hell of a lot more work than it does on Twitch. But, that is part of delivering quality content that can engage an audience.

For example, you can start earning ad revenue from Twitch once you hit 150 followers and have an average of 3 concurrent viewers per stream over the course of a short time.

A handful of friends can help you with that, and many people do the follow4follow aspect to get their numbers up to 150.

The downside to Twitch revenue, though, is if you can’t keep growing and gain a much larger audience, you’re only going to make a couple of pennies per day.

And that’s not an exaggeration, either.

On YouTube, you’ll need 1,000 subscribers and an overall 4,000 hours of watch time over the span of the last 12 months to get monetized.

Although having great videos can quickly help you achieve these numbers, it will still take much longer to make those few cents per day.

Then again, that really depends on the creator and how well you can engage your audience. Find a way to keep people watching, and you can quickly build a successful channel in a short time.

Not As Popular of a Platform for Gaming

When it comes to comparing games between Twitch and YouTube, it all really comes down to what game and the time of day.

For instance, as I’m writing this, Minecraft has 103,000 viewers on Twitch and 142,000 on YouTube. But for the most part, there are far more viewers on Twitch.

Part of this is because of longevity. Twitch gaming has been around for a lot longer than YouTube’s attempt. Not to mention how a lot of people just trust Twitch more for gaming content.

Still, over the years, YouTube has been gaining a larger viewer base centered around playing games.

Dealing with the YouTube Algorithm

Just like Google, YouTube’s search algorithm is a picky bitch. You have to really work on video SEO if you want to gain real headway on the platform.

But as I said before, if you can unlock what works best for your YouTube channel and videos, you can quickly rule search for specific content.

It just takes a hell of a lot of work to figure out the system.

More Difficult to Integrate with Certain Platforms

And lastly, this is more of a personal preference, really. YouTube isn’t as integrated with gaming elements as Twitch. For instance, Extra Life will show your Twitch live stream for charity directly on their website.

YouTube has no such ability at the moment.

However, you can easily embed videos and streams into your blog with YouTube.

What I’m talking about are platforms that are tailored toward gaming in general, like Extra Life. Let’s face it, when you bring up gaming, the first name that comes to mind is Twitch.

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Can’t You Stream Games to Both Twitch and YouTube?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with building both Twitch and YouTube channels. In fact, a lot of successful creators do so in order to reach a much wider audience.

The problem with live streaming games in this regard is Twitch itself. In the Terms of Service, affiliates are forbidden to show Twitch video content on any other platform for 24 hours.

This means you can’t multistream to YouTube and Twitch as an affiliate. You risk getting suspended or banned in that case.

But, there is nothing wrong with streaming to one or the other on certain days or times.

Bounce Back and Forth – Build Up Both Channels

One thing you can do is what I mentioned above. Look for the games you love to play on both platforms. Then, stream to the one that has the most audience for that particular time and day.

Or, you could simply create VOD content for YouTube and stream live to Twitch. A lot of creators will wait the 24 hours and then create clips from Twitch videos for their YouTube channels.

I’ve done it a few times myself.

My point is that there’s nothing inherently wrong with hedging your bets and create video content for both platforms. Well, aside from multistreaming as an affiliate.

In any case, it’s probably a good idea to use both systems to cast a wider net for an audience.

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It’s Really Up to You!

In the end, it really comes down to what platform you want to stream games on, YouTube or Twitch. Because with the right audience and a good personality, either platform can offer a great deal of success.

It all comes down to who you are and if you’re capable of keeping someone’s attention for longer than 2 minutes.

I suggest trying both platforms out over time while keeping track of the numbers. You’ll start to see which platform is better for helping you succeed while growing an audience.

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop to name a few.