When it comes to the best streaming platform for gaming, there are typically two options: Twitch and YouTube. For years, these two titans have fought relentlessly to be the most popular streaming platform on the market, and they both boast their big-name streamers and enormous audiences. In this guide, we’re taking a look at both of them and deciding once and for all which is the best streaming platform for gamers.

From the services that they offer to the users to the discoverability options, and from the ability to make money to the respective audiences, we’ll cover it all. There’s a strong need to determine which is the best gaming streaming platform to make money – particularly if you’re a new streamer trying to break into the business. So, if that describes you, then read on – you’re about to pick up some extremely valuable information that’ll help you kickstart your journey.

best streaming platform for gamers

How Popular Are Gaming Streamers?

There are millions of streamers around the world, and many of them tend to focus on gaming-based streams. There’s a diverse and dynamic landscape out there, and there are thousands of games that are regularly streamed by countless content creators, making for a massive pool of talent – and an even bigger global audience. In truth, it’s impossible to calculate the true number of fans of gaming streams, but it’s a figure that must number in the hundreds of millions.

These days, streaming is such a popular activity that it has become the aspiration of choice for so many people. There are millions of youngsters sitting at home desperately trying to find out how to start streaming, and they’re all too eager to jump in front of a camera and start broadcasting their gameplay. It’s a progressive and modern career path that allows an individual to entertain (potentially) thousands of people while expressing their passion – which is a rare thing, these days.

On platforms like Twitch and YouTube, gaming streamers rule the roost. There are hundreds of thousands of viewers online at any given time, tuning in to their favourite streamer or content creator as they broadcast their gameplay. From Counter-Strike to Call of Duty and from League of Legends to Fortnite, there’s such a massive concentration of gaming streamers out there across a dizzying array of categories.

But what is the best streaming platform for gamers? Is it Twitch or is it YouTube?

Can You Really Make Money From Streaming?

If you’re stuck trying to figure out the best gaming streaming platform to make money, it’s probably because you… Want to make money from streaming? Before you’ve taken a look at the best live streaming software and built up a streaming setup, you’re likely wondering how realistic a prospect it is to make money while streaming. Let’s be honest here, you’re not going to become a millionaire overnight, but with a little hard work, you might be able to earn a few dollars from content creation.

It’s a tough and dramatically competitive world out there, but there’s plenty of money to be made. Here are some of the ways in which streamers in this day and age can make money from content creation:

  • Sponsorship deals
  • Affiliate programs
  • Merchandising
  • Donations
  • Paid subscriptions
  • Asset manufacturing
  • Ad revenue

There are plenty of ‘avenues of revenue’ when you’re an accomplished streamer, but that’s the important note to read here: accomplished streamer. If you’re just starting out, you can expect to make a grand total of absolutely nothing for the time being. You’ll need to build a following, learn how to grow on Twitch (or YouTube), and really work hard to make a little money from streaming.

Of course, you can’t really stream effectively until you figure out which is the best streaming platform for gamers. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide – read on to find out everything you need to know.

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Build the best streaming setup then decide where to stream!

Is Twitch The Best Streaming Platform For Gamers?

For years, Twitch has sat at the top of the table where gaming streaming platforms are concerned. It has cornered the market and taken over the vast majority of the landscape through sheer popularity alone, despite a few controversies and setbacks that the platform has both suffered from and directly caused. It’s a brand name that’s synonymous with streaming, and almost every brand-new content creator thinks that they should start out on Twitch.

On Twitch, there’s a set path that almost every content creator follows – regardless of what they’re streaming. It doesn’t matter if they’re showing Stardew Valley gameplay, broadcasting themselves cooking, or streaming an in-real adventure, the journey is the same. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for a Twitch profile and build your account
  2. Stream and grow
  3. Become ‘Affiliate’
  4. Stream and grow
  5. Become a ‘Partner’
  6. Stream and grow and maybe become a millionaire

That’s the most basic way of looking at the path that streamers take on Twitch.

Now, bear in mind that Twitch is essentially the home of esports streams, and it has been the number-one streaming platform for games for almost a decade. It has monetisation features that even small streamers can take advantage of, and there’s plenty of customisation that can be done. There are in-built features and widgets, engagement tools to be deployed, schedules that can be laid out, and of course, the infrastructure that has made Twitch so popular.

Read Also: How to Become Twitch Partner

You might be wondering how to stream on Twitch, but does that make it the best streaming platform for gamers?

Is YouTube The Best Streaming Platform For Gamers?

YouTube is older than Twitch, but it has spent less time in the live streaming game. For almost two decades, YouTube has been a video hosting site, and it can be argued that it was the birthplace of modern content creation. For years before Twitch even existed, players were uploading gameplay to YouTube, sharing their talents with the World Wide Web. Today, it’s one of the most popular sites in the world, and every minute, thousands of videos are uploaded.

Since YouTube started offering up a live streaming service, it has started slowly peeling away users from Twitch. For the most part, it’s a developing platform, but there are already some features there that streamers just love. It operates in a very similar fashion to Twitch, but while it has a bigger audience overall, there are far fewer streamers on the platform. At the time of writing this guide, there are still issues with discoverability on YouTube, but apparently, developers are working on it.

As YouTube is something of a less controversial and more rewarding platform for streamers, it has grown rapidly in popularity while Twitch’s viewership records have shrunken slightly.

If you’re thinking about how to stream on YouTube, it might not be such a bad idea.

Read Also: How to stream on Twitch and Youtube at the same time

Does What You Play Matter To Where You Stream?

There are countless things that you can broadcast, but does what you stream make a difference to where you stream it? There’s a strong possibility that it does because typically, Twitch does better for non-gaming streamers. If you’re broadcasting IRL streams, cooking streams, ‘hot tub’ streams, or Just Chatting content, then Twitch is the best place to do it. Most of the top-tier streamers on YouTube are there to play games, not just sit there talking to a camera and an audience.

However, Twitch is probably the most diverse platform out of the two, and it doesn’t matter if you’re playing Warzone or The Sims, there’s certainly a place for you as a creator. At the same time, if you want to do body painting, an art stream, or broadcast yourself doing a puzzle, Twitch is the place to be. As YouTube grows in popularity as a streaming platform, it’ll start to compete with Twitch in these areas, but it certainly does mean that the latter platform carries a little more pulling power.

It’s a good idea to take a look at the streaming platforms and see what’s more popular. Most of the time, these platforms remain transparent, and all it takes is the click of a button and you’ll see roughly how many people are watching any given streamer at any given time, letting you know what the hardest-hitting game or stream category is on the site.

best streaming platform for gamers

© Dr DisRespect – Dr DisRespect relocated from Twitch to YouTube

Which Platform Has The Most Popular Streamers?

Without a doubt, Twitch has the more popular pool of content creators, but that’s slowly changing over time. There’s something of a constant exodus taking place, with more top-tier streamers relocating from Twitch to YouTube. Recently, the likes of Dr Lupo, TimTheTatman, Dr DisRespect, Swagg, IShowSpeed, and Valkyrae have all made the move from Twitch to YouTube.

And it’s worth mentioning that they’re making this move even if it harms their numbers. For instance, Dr Lupo left behind 4.5 million Twitch followers and, at the time of writing, he has amassed just 1.87 million subscribers on YouTube. It’s a similar story for the likes of Dr DisRespect, who was once one of the most subbed Twitch streamers before being banned from the platform and relocating to YouTube.

With that being said, the biggest streamers in the business currently boast a firm home on the Twitch platform:

  • Ninja – 18.5 million followers
  • Ibai – 12.3 million followers
  • xQc – 11.5 million followers
  • Tfue – 11.3 million followers
  • Shroud – 10.4 million followers

So, that essentially answers that question!

Read Also: Banned Twitch Streamers

So, What Is The Best Streaming Platform For Gamers?

Ultimately, we’d have to say that Twitch is the best streaming platform for gamers. If you’re learning how to get started streaming, then it’s certainly the better place to be, as the new user journey on Twitch is much more forgiving and slightly easier to navigate. As it’s the most popular platform of the two for streamers, there’s an abundance of resources online that you can use to learn how to grow on Twitch from a very early point in your journey.

As the two platforms grow more or less side-by-side, there are plenty of ways in which they crossover. There are so many similarities between the two that it can make it hard to pick one or the other, but Twitch is more ‘known for’ streaming, and that’s one of the reasons why it attracts new users more easily than YouTube. For the most part, people still associate YouTube with a video-on-demand platform, not live streaming.

If you’re trying to learn how to become a streamer, consider giving Twitch a try first. There have been some controversies in the past, but at the end of the day, they haven’t impacted the day-to-day running of the platform or its infrastructure. While YouTube boasts advantages – such as a higher streaming resolution capacity – it still is sitting in second place in the streaming platform race.