YouTue vs Twitch – Platform to Choose as a New Streamer

Live streaming is currently in high demand as it offers wide-ranging opportunities for topic themes: from the usual gaming and sports to music shows, podcasts, cooking classes, and pretty much anything that can be captured on video and would be interesting to watch. Many content creators are looking for a suitable platform to start their streaming career, and the top two choices are Youtube and Twitch. In this guide, we will compare them for core differences, growth, audience, stream quality, and monetization.

Table of Contents

Key differences between Youtube and Twitch

There are many similarities between Twitch and YouTube – they are both audio/video sharing platforms for example, but the major differences lie in the audience’s interest. Twitch caters to live streamers and is the largest live streaming platform in the world. YouTube on the other hand is meant for lasting content and has a great search engine to help those interested in a specific topic or niche. While these differences are rather assumptive as both platforms are trying to steal the other’s treasure, they both need to work harder at making their systems more appealing for everyone.

Channel Growth Comparison

Growth is one of the bigger differences between Twitch and YouTube. In general, though, there are two things to keep in mind when looking at the growth you can expect on each platform: YouTube’s algorithm allows small content creators to have a chance at being seen by potential viewers, while Twitch’s algorithm favors streamers with a bigger following. Because video content on YouTube is always accessible, you don’t always have to be on the platform or live streaming to gain viewers. Meanwhile, Twitch requires you to stream regularly and be active in the community to grow your channel. Because video content on YouTube is always accessible, you don’t always have to be on the platform or live streaming to gain viewers.

Twitch small channel Growth Chart
Youtube small channel Growth Chart

Monetization comparison

While both Twitch and YouTube offer many monetization options for their content creators, such as paid advertising and self-promotion, when it comes to the question of which platform pays its creators more, YouTube seems to come out on top. Both platforms have their pros and their cons and it is difficult to say which platform is better as far as making money. On the one hand you have Twitch. Twitch has much easier qualifications to begin monetizing than Youtube does. All you need to do is become a Twitch affiliate and you can start monetizing your channel. To become an affiliate you need 500 minutes broadcast over 7 days, an average of 3 viewers and at least 50 followers. Honestly, that’s not too crazy.

However, although reaching affiliate may not be too challenging, growing your channel into something where you are making a decent income is difficult. This is because Twitch does not do a great job of showcasing new or upcoming streamers. A lot of that is up to you. You may get a few donations and a few subs every month, which is cool for some side money, but growing your channel into something that you can live off of is hard. You also are only making money when you stream on Twitch so the money you make on Twitch is far less passive than Youtube.

To get you a better picture

Youtube Monetization methods

  1. Google Adsense: These are the video ads that are displayed to viewers before the actual clip. Premium YouTube subscribers and AdBlock users do not see them, so your options for monetization are somewhat limited. To receive your cut of 55% (the rest goes to YouTube), the viewer has to make it past the 30-second mark.
  2. Affiliate marketing: Did you know you can make money advertising product links on YouTube? It’s called affiliate marketing, and it’s an easy revenue stream to set up. Here’s how it works: Sign up for various affiliate programs with different brands/companies. Get custom product links to share with your YouTube audience. Earn a commission when viewers buy stuff using your link.
  3. Paid Sponsorships: Paid sponsorships are when brands and businesses pay or sponsor a content creator to pay, use or demonstrate their product in a video. While sponsorships are provided by brands to creators, it benefits both parties as well as the viewers. Sponsorships are hard to obtain, but can be extremely rewarding. If you have an influential channel with a large following, you can pitch to relevant brands in your niche to partner for a video. To secure a sponsorship, show brands your past work, YouTube analytics and engagement rates. Explain to them how you can bring value to their business with your content. You can work with an agency to make your gaming content more diverse, likable, and technically advanced. In turn, you will be required to share your cut with not just YouTube but the agency as well.
  4. Membership program: Channel memberships offer exclusive content and perks to your biggest fans. When viewers hit the join button on your channel, they get a range of extra incentives: loyalty badges, private live streams, exclusive videos, and more. Creators choose what works best for their audience.

Twitch Monetization methods

  1. Sponsored streams: Twitch streams can take sponsored deals and promote the advertiser’s goods or services during the broadcast or in their profile. It can be merchandise, clothing, or any other product relevant to the content of the stream. Sponsored streams are where a third-party advertiser pays you to promote their brand or product on your live stream. And, they are extremely profitable. In fact: Industry research shows that 96% of advertisers intend to invest in video ads of some kind, and 60% feel that in-stream adverts are the most valuable. So, there’s money to be made here
  2. Donations: Twitch allows users to set up their own in-app donation pages. Twitch also provides a list of popular apps that can be used as an in-app donation tool. Streamers should make sure that their in-app donation tool is as clear and easy to use as possible.
  3. Subscriptions and Bits: Twitch offers the ability to enable paid subscriptions. Usually, paid subscriptions to come with benefits for users, like enhanced quality or custom emoticons. You’ll get 50% of the revenue from the subscribers to your channel, based on the tier they’ve chosen. The bits can also be a source of earning. When a viewer uses 1000bits, you will get 10$.

Chat Comparison

Twitch chat displays messages based on the stream time-line. Unlike YouTube, where messages are ranked for relevance, and viewers can be commenting on completely different parts of the stream at the same time, Twitch chat displays messages in a time-line format, and messages are ordered chronologically, with messages being displayed when the stream is paused or rewound. Twitch chat is moderated more strictly and streamers can assign their own moderators. YouTube chat displays messages in a ranked fashion and users can only comment on messages within their own viewing timeframe. There is no ability to upvote or downvote comments in either platform. Twitch chat offers the option of assigning moderators to the stream and streamers can set their own chat policies. Both platforms offer the option of making in-app donations to streamers, but Twitch offers more features.

YouTube chat
Twitch Chat

Content-Type

Twitch is mainly a space for gamers, and while it does have different content categories, they are not as specific as the game-based separation for streamers that play in live mode. YouTube’s audience mainly prefers to watch the pre-recorded content of a much wider scope, and there are no extra features to distinguish between different games. Broadcasting on Twitch has diversified over the years from its roots as purely gaming-focused content to include other types of streaming, such as music and talk shows.

However, gaming is still the bread and butter of Twitch. The platform has tools built specifically for gamers that make streaming a breeze, from powerful video encoding software to in-game overlays that show viewer statistics and other information. Twitch also has a vibrant and enthusiastic community that loves to chat with broadcasters and watch their favorite streamers play. In terms of YouTube vs Twitch, there is a clear winner in terms of current popularity. Twitch has substantially more daily viewers than live game streaming on YouTube. Obviously, for non-live content though, YouTube easily wins given how much wider the audience is. For new content creators, the vast majority flock over to Twitch too.

Partnership Program

Twitch and YouTube both offer affiliate programs that allow content creators to monetize their channels. To be a part of these programs, streamers must meet certain requirements, such as having a certain number of followers/subscribers, a regular streaming/uploading schedule, and consistent viewer engagement. For Twitch, streamers can either be Affiliates or Partners as long as they have the qualifying criteria. This two-tiered system makes it easier for content creators to start monetizing their channels, unlike YouTube, which only offers the YouTube Affiliates program.

Content Policy

Twitch’s content rules are less strict than YouTube’s in terms of what is allowed to be shown. This is because Twitch is geared more towards live streaming, which is harder to control than pre-recorded videos. Although there are still rules that streamers need to follow, such as no nudity or sexually suggestive content, no violence, and no hate speech.

YouTube has stricter content rules, for example, not allowing any nudity or sexually suggestive content, even if it’s not graphic. They also don’t allow videos that promote or condone violence and have a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech.

However, Twitch has a tendency to ban its creators with zero warnings, while YouTube uses a three-strike system. So keep this in mind if you plan on streaming or creating videos on either platform.

Browsing experience

Twitch is designed mostly for live streaming, so its feature is designed like that. You can browse by game, streamer, or content type (eg speedrun, IRL). YouTube’s browse feature, on the other hand, is designed around finding specific videos or channels. YouTube allows its creators to customize the thumbnails of their videos, while Twitch doesn’t offer the to-do so. This can be a big advantage for YouTube creators, as a good thumbnail can help your video stand out in the sea of content on the platform. Twitch recommends popular streamers when using their browsing feature, which can be quite unfavorable for smaller channels. YouTube’s algorithm, in contrast, suggests users with the most relevant channels and videos to watch based on their viewing habits, giving smaller channels a better chance of being seen.

Twitch Browse Page
Youtube Browse Page

Conclusion

The two platforms are strong competitors as streaming platforms. You better use them together to get the most out of streaming. Use twitch to live stream you gaming content. Also, upload clips and important videos on youtube. Twitch tends to pay streamers better than YouTube pays and it’s also easier to start monetization. While youtube has better growth algorithm for new streamers. So you know what to do now.

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