The COVID-19 pandemic has not been kind to the global economy. Industries all over the world have not worked and things are not going well. But one particular sector that has seen a huge increase in numbers is that of streaming. This is not a surprise in itself considering that everyone is forced into the house because of the pandemic and well, they had to find a source of entertainment. This is where the big 3 come in: Twitch, Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming.
Twitch vs YouTube vs Facebook
These 3 platforms managed to entertain the public during the blockade. Not only have these platforms seen an increase in audience, but also the number of streaming channels available. Both content creators and consumers have seen an increase in numbers and is an excellent sign for a booming industry globally.
Mixer was another major player, but unfortunately, Microsoft made the decision to shut it down. The news was a shock to everyone, but it had to happen at some point. It was started in 201
So this leaves us with the 3 giants which are Twitch, Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming. All three platforms have something different to offer in terms of functionality and content. So the question arises: what is the best streaming platform? Here we will discuss the quantitative and qualitative aspects that will help us determine which is the best of the 3.
Twitch is the undisputed king when it comes to game streams. Previously Justin.tv, Twitch was born in 2007 and has never looked back since. It was acquired by Amazon in 2014 and has grown exponentially over the years. Twitch boasts an excellent user base and long watch times for its streams. Even the biggest streamer in the Ninja world has become famous thanks to Twitch. He is still the most followed person on Twitch but he no longer scrolls across the platform. Let’s take a look at the numbers to support Twitch’s domain.
According to the Streamlabs report for the second quarter of 2020, Twitch has watched around 5 billion hours! This is substantially higher than Facebook and YouTube put together. Twitch now has a 67.6% market share. It had a flow of 197 million hours, which represents approximately 76.5% of the market. During this time it even saw around 9.9 million unique channels, 63% more than the previous quarter. Twitch dominates each category simply on the basis of numbers.
What makes Twitch so different? Well, for starters, Twitch is simply playing. It’s where the players are located, export players / leagues, game content creators. The community is based on their love of games and the other content that people do here are also largely related to the culture of the game. For example, there are many DJs who perform live on Twitch. Rapper Logic has also now signed an exclusive deal with Twitch. All the biggest streamers in the world are or have been on Twitch which includes Ninja, Shroud, Tfue, Nickmercs, Gaules, Dr. Disrespect, etc.
Twitch has had a history of banning people who may or may not have been in favor of the platform. But it still manages to outperform the competition, which shows it’s still the # 1 choice for both creators and consumers. In addition to streams, Twitch has a semi-annual Twitch Con which is a gaming convention for the community. It also has regular drops on Twitch for upcoming games and an invitation-only tournament called Twitch Rivals. All in all, Twitch is still the king and has yet to see anyone tiptoe with it.
Read also: Doctor Disrespect will not be streamed with Twitch Compagni after the return
2. YouTube Gaming
YouTube Gaming would definitely be in second place if we classify streaming platforms. This is no surprise considering that it is the largest video platform in the world. The amount of content available on YouTube is surprising. But when it comes to streaming, it still stays behind Twitch. YouTube moved YT Gaming to its main site to bring it all under one platform. This may have been a good decision for the platform because it has seen numbers grow.
In the second quarter of 2020, YT Gaming watched around 1.5 billion hours. This is 39% more than in the previous quarter. The total hours broadcast were almost 16 million and the number of unique channels increased by 22% on the platform.
You may be wondering that although YouTube is the largest video platform in the world, how it hides behind Twitch. For example, YouTube is abundant in content other than games and has seen such content growth only recently. In addition, the number of live streamers is much lower on the platform. But this does not mean that there is no growth potential. With the mixer turned off, people were forced to choose between these 3 platforms.
The whole world is on YouTube. It may not be specific to game content, but they are there. It would certainly make sense for a content creator to switch to a platform that already has a huge audience and a future gaming community. Twitch can be difficult to decipher considering that it already has creators for the same type of content. But the opportunities here are endless. Even Ninja had some live streams on YT after Mixer crashed. It may not do specific things for the gaming community, but that doesn’t mean it never will. There is a lot of potential here and Twitch needs to tie up for the “streaming wars”.
Read also: Contraction: DMCA Strikes Worry Streamers
3. I play on Facebook
Facebook may not be as big as it used to be, but that doesn’t rule it out in terms of content creation. The FB game was launched in 2018 with the aim of capturing a slice of the streaming market. The platform already had a live feature and this was to facilitate new content creators on the platform.
FB Gaming doesn’t have such staggering numbers as Twitch or YT, but its growth has been remarkable. Total observed hours grew 11% in the second quarter, streaming hours increased 22%, and the number of single channels increased 55%. The 822 million hours watched on the platform are remarkable because it has almost three times what it was last year. So, don’t rule out Facebook yet.
Yes, it may no longer be the platform of choice for many of us. But the gaming community here is still growing and Facebook is helping in every way possible. They recently launched a Facebook gaming app dedicated specifically for the community. It also has a “Tournaments” mode which helps users host tournaments in different formats, which YouTube or Twitch don’t have. This shows that he is fully prepared to facilitate the streaming industry and is ready for big leagues.
With the Mixer community moving to FB, it will also see an increase in numbers as there are now a multitude of streamers arriving on the platform. That’s not all. Microsoft’s upcoming xCloud service will also collaborate with Facebook.
Twitch still dominates, YouTube is not far behind and Facebook is looking to recover soon. Mixer’s arrest has shocked the industry and things will be very different in a year. The freeze was the driving force behind the staggering numbers in the last quarter, but real competition begins after things return to normal. We will continue to update this space as new information arrives.
We would also love your input. Any insights or points that we may have missed are welcome and we would be more than happy to incorporate them into the article. Let us know what you think in the comments.