No matter how much bad news we received this year, the amount of streamers and viewers is growing rapidly. All platforms have seen an increase in unique streams as well as viewership. There is no tell when this spike will flatten out of if viewership will decrease once the pandemic is over. That being said it is not too late to get into live streaming starting in 2021, but what platform should you stream on and why?
The first response when mentioning live streaming is often something along the lines off “You are a Twitch streamer.”. Twitch is the most popular streaming platform going into 2021, with currently holding about two thirds of the total market share. Naturally people gravitate towards Twitch as their choice of streaming platform. Twitch is proven to work, it has created many very successful streamers and there is a lot of money that can be made on Twitch. There are however some downsides to the platform.
Twitch has been getting a lot of negative press in 2020. First the streamer council with the dear, banning doc, DMCA, banning other creators, offering Soundtracks, not licencing Soundtracks properly, banning more streamers, and giving no alternative but to delete all content. Deleting all content and DMCA strikes are the main reason why streamers are looking for alternatives.
Twitch is a platform that relies only on live content. Live content means that if no one would be streaming, the website would be absolutely dead, there is no offline content that can be consumed on Twitch. Online content also implies that you as a streamer can only grow when you are live, and the second you stop your live stream, viewers will no longer find you. Twitch currently does not offer any discoverability tools and with the ban hammer hovering over all creators, clips and highlights have become almost diminished.
There is more to the story. Twitch is owned by Amazon. This means that in theory Amazon could fund Twitch forever and keep the platform alive. However rumors say that Twitch, as its own business, is to this day not profitable. It is costing Amazon money every single day to keep the platform alive. With all the negative press and Twitch not turning a profit, creators wonder how long the platform will be around for. Microsoft made it perfectly clear, that if a service is not profitable they have no problem cutting it at an instance. Will Amazon resolve to the same measures? We do not know, and this uncertainty is a problem for a lot of creators.
More and more creators have switched over to Facebook Gaming or YouTube. Both platforms fill a whole that Twitch has left behind. YouTube has gone through the DMCA struggle years ago and has it figured out, why Twitch doesn’t take notes? No idea.
What both platforms have incommon is the massive amount of offline content and discoverability they offer. Facebook as well as YouTube are platforms that do not rely on live content, but simply offer it as an additional tool to the creators. YouTube is owned by Google. No matter the size of your channel, each video has the possibility to go viral and land in YouTube search. If a video is performing very well, it has the potential to rank in Google as well. At this point, that particular video is driving traffic from multiple sources to your channel 24/7 365 days a year.
Something similar happens on Facebook. Facebook Gaming is, as you guesses, owned by Facebook, therefore Facebook directs traffic to their live streaming platform. Based on the users interests and recent engagements on the platform, Facebook will recommend live streams to the users in the hope of keeping them on the platform longer. As a streamer this means you are getting free exposure by Facebook to thousands of their users every single time you go live. It will be up to you to keep them entertained and make them stick around.
Both platforms sound appealing, however not all is positive. As of right now, Twitch is dominating the market meaning Twitch opens more doors to sponsorship deals. The most money is, and mostly likely will be for a while, made on Twitch.
When it comes to choosing the right platform, the proper strategy will be to try them all. If you are entirely new to live streaming, try all platforms and see what platform fits your personality the best. If you grow your stream the right way, you will attract viewers no matter where you stream and with viewers will come deals and doors will open. We from Streaming Live Academy believe that if Twitch does not change its course, it might run out of business sooner rather than later. Facebook Gaming offers a brilliant algorithm that helps you grow extremely fast at the beginning. If you do not know where to start, restream to all platforms and see what you like best. At the end we do recommend you pick a platform and stick with it for branding purposes.
What do you think? Which platform will you try first?
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