Should You Stream on Twitch or YouTube: A Guide

"Should I stream on Twitch? Or is YouTube better?", "How do I start a stream?", these are common questions from YouTubers who are new to livestreaming, and this article will be the only guide_ you need to find all the answers.

Going live is a great way to grow your YouTube channel, but many YouTubers wonder which platform is best to use, Twitch or YouTube.

The truth is that both platforms have pros and cons. So we'll start by exploring these benefits and drawbacks to help you make the best decision.

This article can benefit any YouTuber who has ever considered livestreaming to engage with their audience in a new way.

We will cover in this article:

  • The pros and cons of streaming on either platform
  • How to stream on either platform
  • How to multistream
  • How to stream on mobile



1. YouTube Live Pros & Cons



YouTube launched YouTube live, a livestreaming platform, in April 2011. Did you know this technically makes YouTube livestreaming older than Twitch?

Twitch was launched in June 2011, so by those dates, YouTube is the OG for livestreaming, while Twitch can claim to be the first live-video-game streaming platform.

Regardless of who came first, let's analyze each platform so you can make the best decision when it comes to your livestreams.

Pros

  • YouTube allows you to monetize your livestreams using Super Chat, which involves users paying for their messages to appear prominently in the chat area.
  • YouTube has the YouTube Gaming platform, which is dedicated to livestreaming video games, and there is a sponsorship program available. According to Mediakix, " The feature allows fans to sponsor influencers by paying $5 a month in exchange for special features, like access to sponsor-only live chats and channel-specific emojis."
  • YouTube created a highlight reel function for livestreams so that streamers can share the stream in an edited, shorter version after the stream has ended.
  • There are metrics available for your livestreams so you can see how your stream is performing, such as by checking the average live view duration or chat rate.

Cons

  • If you want to livestream on mobile, your channel has to have at least 1,000 subscribers. This could be a problem for smaller channels.
  • You must enable livestreaming on your account prior to going live, and it can take up to 24 hours to be enabled. Just keep this in mind if you're planning your first livestream event on YouTube!



2. Twitch TV Pros & Cons



Twitch is without a doubt a fantastic streaming platform that has wisely diversified its reach over time. Although the platform will always be known for its gaming background, it is now host to a variety of different livestreaming channels including Just Chatting, a place for talk shows and lifestyle-related content.

They even have a cooking section called Food & Drink which attracts many talented home chefs to stream their delicacies live.

Pros

  • Since Twitch is exclusively a livestreaming platform, the audience is guaranteed to be seeking out livestreaming content. This means your potential audience could be larger for a livestream on Twitch vs. YouTube, however, it depends on your current subscriber size on YouTube vs. Twitch among other factors.
  • Twitch has several built-in ways to monetize your stream since it's the OG streaming site as far as video games are concerned. This includes with bits, donations, and channel subscriptions.
  • Because of its long history as a streaming platform, there is a built-in audience of regular viewers who use Twitch TV on a daily basis. This means there is a larger pool of potential viewers for your livestreams on Twitch.
  • The average watch time is quite high on Twitch, standing at about 106 minutes per user daily. This gives you a huge opportunity to pull in viewers and the likelihood that they will stay engaged with your stream longer.

Cons

  • Once you become a Twitch Partner, you have to exclusively stream game-related content on Twitch. However, you can stream other types of content elsewhere as long as it's not gaming.
  • If you're completely new to Twitch, it can be hard to stream and actually get viewers to come in and watch. However, if you have an established YouTube channel, you may have better luck by inviting your subscribers to watch you over on Twitch.
  • Just like in any online environment, you will have to deal with Internet trolls. They will likely visit your stream and give you a hard time occasionally. Just learn how to block and report them, and it will make your life a lot easier.



3. How to Start a Stream on YouTube



The below guide will take you through, from start to finish, how to start a livestream on YouTube.
Note: These instructions assume you will be livestreaming via webcam.

Step 1

After enabling livestreaming for your account, click the upload button in the upper-right hand corner of the screen.

Step 2

Click Go Live.
At the top, select Webcam.

Step 3

You'll next enter a title and description for your livestream. You can also adjust the privacy settings at this time. If you prefer to stream at another time, you can set the stream to premiere at a later date.

Step 4

Click the Save button and this will cause your webcam to take a thumbnail shot for the livestream.

Step 5

Click the Go Live button to begin the stream! Click the End Stream button when you're ready to end the livestream.

See the below video for even more details!



4. How to Start a Stream on Twitch



Now let's take a look at the steps to start a livestream on Twitch!
Note: These instructions assume you will be livestreaming via PC.

Step 1

According to Gamesradar, you should have a "decent CPU to host a good quality stream and a minimum of 4GB of RAM". Keep this is mind when you're setting up for your stream. Of course, the type of content you'll be streaming will determine how powerful your PC should be. For example, streaming gaming requires a more heavy-duty set up than streaming in the Just Chatting category.

Step 2

Download a streaming program for your PC such as XSplit or OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). According to Twitch, "Streamlabs OBS is free, open source, and easy way to get started streaming."
The advantage of XSplit is that it allows you to adjust your settings with precision, and it will notify your social media following of the stream.

Step 3

Once you've decided on the streaming program you'll use, how you set up the stream will be determined by what program you use.
There are additional resources to learn about how to set up a stream with OBS or how to stream with XSplit.

We've also provided two videos below to teach you how to start a stream on Twitch in either OBS or XSplit. Enjoy!

OBS

XSplit



5. Streaming on Twitch & YouTube at the Same Time

It is possible to stream across multiple platforms at once. You'll want to use a third-party service, and in this article we'll be sharing the Restream service with you. This service allows you to stream to over 30 platforms simultaneously, and if using the service for personal use then it's free to use!

Restream is a well-known multistreaming service, having delivered 21 million broadcasts to date, they've certainly made a name for themselves in the livestreaming community.

According to LVLUP Dojo, "The way the process works is: you stream to restream.io, and in doing so you’re streaming to restream.io’s servers. The site then takes your stream and sends it to the individual feeds of the other streaming platforms you want to be on."

The personal plan, which is Restream's free plan, is labeled as 'forever free' as a promise to the customer that Restream will not change this policy at any time. This free plan includes an unlimited bitrate and the ability to multistream from over 30 different platforms.

If you do decide to upgrade, you can choose the professional plan to eliminate all Restream branding from your livestream. However, most choose the slightly more affordable standard plan for $16/month. Of course, the free plan is usually more than enough for most streamers. So choose your plan according to your stream budget.

Question: Is it worth it to multistream?

Possibly. Some say that multistreaming is a poor choice because it divides your communities and your attention so you cannot fully interact with the different audiences.

However, multistreaming is a good idea if you're not sure which platform, Twitch or YouTube, is the right choice for you. You want to livestream on the platform where you have the best reach, so comparing platforms with a multistream is a great way to achieve this.

6. Livestreaming on Mobile



Both YouTube and Twitch have the option to livestream from a mobile (smartphone) device. Livestreaming on a mobile device has a few advantages compared to using your PC. For example:

  • You can livestream spontaneously anywhere, anytime.
  • You can take the stream with you if you are traveling or going somewhere interesting
  • It's quick and easy to set up a livestream on your mobile device

YouTube App Streaming

The YouTube app is free to download, and thanks to some updates it can now support livestreaming right from your phone!

How to livestream on the YouTube app:
1. Open the app and click on the camera icon at the upper part of the screen.
2. Click on Go Live to start the process to set up your livestream. Note: The camera will automatically be front facing when you start the stream.
3. Write the stream title under Create a Title.
4. Next, choose if you want your livestream to be Unlisted or Public. Tip: Try Unlisted at first if you want to try it out before broadcasting to your subscribers.
5. Finally, click the Next button. Your camera will take a thumbnail image of you before you start the stream by clicking the Go Live button.

Twitch App Streaming

The Twitch app is incredibly easy to navigate and you can start up a livestream in less than a minute.

How to livestream on the Twitch app:
1. Open the app and click on your avatar at the upper left side of the screen.
2. You will see a Go Live! button below your avatar - click this.
3. You will be asked to comply with the Twitch streaming guidelines. Click Got it! at the bottom of the screen to continue.
4. The camera will open and you'll have the chance to write a title for your stream in the "Describe your stream" section.
5. Choose the category of your stream from the drop-down menu, such as Travel & Outdoors, Just Chatting, etc.
6. Click the Start Stream button to begin your livestream!

















7. In Conclusion...

If you've been wondering how to break into livestreaming online, then we hope this article has given you enough information to make an informed decision. Going live is exciting and can be very profitable for your channel.

This guide showed you the pros and cons of streaming on Twitch vs. YouTube and tutorials on how to start a livestream or stream on both platforms at the same time.

Check out the articles below if you're also interested in learning how to monetize your YouTube account and get more views.