So over the past few months, I have been getting really into creating YouTube videos, for gaming content as well as real life content. However, I have started to think about the fine line between Twitch streaming and YouTube. What are the charms and drawbacks about each platform? Would I still classify myself primarily as a Twitch Streamer, a YouTuber, or somewhere in between? These are my thoughts on YouTube and Twitch.
Let’s talk about Twitch first, my history with Twitch, and what I like and dislike about it.
On Twitch, I have been working consistently (or.. as consistently as I can) for the past 3 or so years. The channel has grown, with slow growth, which is a good thing, because if it was to grow due to “hype” growth, it would never be real growth. I think this, because people that come during “hype” would never stay around for a long time.
Whenever I get to stream, be it for 3 hours or 6 hours, I enjoy my time doing so. I enjoy the community that has grown over the years, with new and old faces coming and going, and enjoying the games that I play, and the chat. There was a long period of time that I would force myself to stream, even when I was feeling unwell, or not in the right frame of mind to do so.
However, over the past year or so with varying different life events going on, that forcefulness has stopped. With Twitch, if I don’t feel like streaming one day, I won’t. If I don’t want to play a game one day, I don’t do it. Why? Because I want to have FUN with the stream. If I force myself to stream a game or stream in general under stress, or illness, I do not have fun. The community know when I’m not having fun, therefore it makes any stream that I force not the usual fun place to spend time.
Favorite things about Twitch
That is one of my favorite things about Twitch. The communities. I will be incredibly biased and say that my community is one of the kindest out there, because they understand that real life is a thing, and they enjoy the fact that unlike some streams on Twitch, i’m real. What you see is what you get on Twitch.
I do try to tone down on swearing slightly (even though if i’m raging in a game, that thought does NOT cross my mind!) and I do try my best to keep up conversations and talking, which isn’t too much different, but if I am in a group of people who i’m I don’t particularly know, I tend to just listen than talk, which is fine.
Another thing I enjoy with Twitch is talking with people while I play games. I would say that this has really helped me concentrate more and complete more games over the past few years. Before this, I would usually have a hard time completing games. However, with the added chat, it allows me to talk to people and have good conversations while trying to get from X to Y in the game I’m currently playing.
Dislikes about Twitch
Of course, Twitch has it’s negative points. Trolls have been around on the internet for the longest time, and trolls being on Twitch is no different. They come into the chat and try to derail the streamer and the current people int he chat. Thankfully, you can have moderators (trusted people in the community, and my moderators are amazing), who can time them out for a designated time, or a straight up ban if they clearly are just going to be causing trouble.
Backseat gamers and people that spoil
I also do not backseat gamers and people that spoil games. Backseat gamers are people that come into the chat and try to tell the streamer what to do. “Go and do THIS”. “You missed X thing, go and get it!” They annoy me to no end. This is especially annoying when I am playing a game for the first time.
Why does this annoy me? Because it sort of ruins the point of me playing the game. If I took everything that anyone tells me to do, then I feel like I am not playing the game, the backseat gamers are, therefore the game would no longer be fun for me. Sure, there are some games were having a tip here or there is fine, but telling me what to do? Don’t do it. It’s irritating and annoying.
People that spoil games are also as bad (if not worse, in my opinion). These are the people that come into the chat and try and spoil any sort of story of the game. For example, if i’m playing a Batman game. Someone could come into the chat and spoil the ending of the game. Again, thankfully I have mods who can sort this out and purge/time out the spoilers but sometimes it could be too late, therefore they are just terrible people, and should feel terrible.
Unlike Twitch, I have only recently started doing proper content for YouTube. However, I did try several years ago to do YouTube content, way before I started streaming on Twitch. This was because back in the day, I did not have the required internet to stream. I did have to stop doing this for a long period of time, due to life situations, and then Twitch started being more or less the main content I would produce.
Recently though, as I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I have recently started to do a lot more content for YouTube. This is due to several different reasons.
Twitch and past broadcasts
Whenever I stream on Twitch, there used to be a time that any past broadcasts would stay on your Twitch channel forever. Anyone could go back to them and watch. However, now past broadcasts only stay for a set amount of time before they disappear forever, never to be seen again. I really don’t like this. A lot of Twitch streamers have started uploading past broadcasts that they have done onto YouTube. This is a great idea, because then everyone can watch you play the game forever, since YouTube never removes content (unless it’s breaking ToS, of course).
Uploading past broadcasts to YouTube
What I don’t like with this though, is that when people just upload the past broadcast in segments onto YouTube without any sort of editing. This includes keeping in arbitrary moments during the game, like sitting in one spot for a long period of time, and breaks. I hate this.
Another thing which isn’t really a “bad” thing, but can be a bit disjointing for a YouTube audience, is that whenever you stream a game on Twitch, you would be chatting to your community on the chat. On YouTube, that chat is not there. So you are in fact talking to an imaginary audience. That can be somewhat of a problem, but I think it can be overseen as long as people are AWARE that it was indeed a past broadcast from TWITCH.
Editing past broadcasts for YouTube
I have recently started doing this, but I am putting time and effort into producing high quality content for YouTube. Whenever I stream a game to Twitch now, I record the stream locally. Whenever I finish a stream, I will then go into the video and edit out any unnecessary moments for YouTube. This could be me editing out long periods where I’m thanking a new sub, or breaks. I want to keep the content I put on YouTube via Twitch based purely on the game.
When I upload the newly edited past broadcast, (which I put up in segments, so they are in bite size chunks, which makes watching them so much easier) onto YouTube, I make sure that in the description of the video I let people know that this was indeed a past broadcast that was part of a live Twitch stream.
Exclusive YouTube content
Apart from uploading past broadcasts onto YouTube, I have really started making proper YouTube content in the traditional “let’s play” format. This is when I play a game in a more episodic format while recording locally, editing them and uploading them onto YouTube. It feels very different than streaming on Twitch, because of course you are not trying to entertain and keep up communication with a chat, but you are trying to just continue a conversation with anyone that would be watching the video. This makes it way more friendly for a YouTube audience, cause they can relate to it more.
Also, when I record videos in an episodic way, it means whenever a video releases, people can comment on the video saying what they think about it, and if there is something I am missing, they can let me know. I feel differently about backseat gaming with YouTube, because it’s not right there in my face, I can easily just ignore it if I want, but getting feedback is a great bonus.
Bexy Tries is another series that I have recently started on which would be really hard to do on Twitch, but is perfect for YouTube. This is when I try out various different games, ranging from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, and giving my first initial thought on a game. This is a fantastic way of checking out games that I have no idea about, and wouldn’t want to dedicate an entire stream to, because I wouldn’t know if I’d enjoy the game or not. It also allows me to recommend the game to other people, in a sort of first impression review format. Of course, not every game will be great, but at least I would of tried it, and let people know about it!
Doing this also let’s me see games that I might potentially do a full playthrough of at a later point, either on YouTube or Twitch.
Over the past year as well (had a break of about 6 months inbetween) I have started creating various different real life vlogs for the YouTube. These have mainly came from different moments in and around the house, with Irdy’s cute dog Spike, niece, family members or nature. But, what I love about creating these vlogs is that it can also capture moments where we would go out somewhere, so we can look back on them and remember them. For example, when Irdy, myself and his family went to Centre Parcs last year (2015). I recorded several videos from this time, and I can now look back at them and enjoy the memories.
With vlogging, a lot of people use their face and talk to the camera, however most of the videos I create are just of everything else. But, with some more recent vlogs (which at the time of writing this have yet to be released) I have started to try out the stereotypical “vlog” format. It’s an interesting way of recording, but I think if I was to record videos that way I would want a better camera, since the quality isn’t the best.
Perks of YouTube
The best thing for me when it comes to YouTube is recording times. I enjoy recording exclusive videos for YouTube because it means I don’t need to play a game for a long period of time. I can easily record a video for 20 minutes, and then stop and do something else. It makes recording videos a little bit more home friendly. If I need to do something in the house and I don’t have time to stream for 3 hours, I could record 2 or 3 episodes of a game and then stop and continue at a later point. It’s great!
This isn’t really a YouTube perk, but more so a me perk, but I also just love video editing. I use Adobe Premier Pro to edit up my videos, and once you learn how to do it, it’s super simple and fun depending on the type of video you’re wanting to edit. Then, once you render out and start exporting the video, you can do whatever you want while the program works it’s magic, unlike Twitch where you need to be constantly on.
Dislikes about YouTube
Of course, not everything is sunshine and roses when it comes to YouTube. Comparing it to Twitch, it is sometimes hard to tell who enjoys the content you produce. Of course, I am just really starting out my YouTube, so I might come back to this dislike at a later point, however for now it’s a dislike. Whenever a video is posted out, the only way for me to really know if someone enjoys the video is the following:
- People to like the video
- People to comment on the video
Whenever I see comments on a video, I enjoy reading them and replying to them when needed, because with YouTube, that is really the only interaction you will get with people. Likes on a video also help me see who has seen a video and enjoyed it.
When I don’t see any interaction in a video, I wonder if I did something wrong. Was the video not engaging enough? Was it not entertaining enough? Of course, there are the YouTube lurkers that watch a video and do nothing, same with Twitch lurkers, but it’s harder to pinpoint how people enjoy the videos.
Spoilers and spam
However, of course there is the problem that arises that is the same issue I have with Twitch. People who spoil games. Like I mentioned above, if i’m doing episodic playthroughs, I don’t mind people in the comments telling me things I can and can’t do, cause it means they get to feel like their interacting with me more, but you still have people that can spoil story aspects in a game. Thankfully, I can just remove these comments and not worry about viewers being spoiled, but I will be spoiled, and that could ruin the fun of a game.
Spam is another thing that happens a lot on YouTube. In the comments section, you can have random people/bots commenting on your video with complete and utter tripe. Either about their own channel, or just spam. Complete spam. Random numbers. Basically, nothing that makes sense. It gets quite annoying, but once again I can just easily remove these. YouTube is also really good with their spam detection for comments, and if there is a comment that arises that looks like spam, they will flag it as such until I look at it.
What do I classify myself as?
So it comes down to the very big question. With me doing so much on YouTube recently, would I classify myself more as a YouTuber, or a Twitch Streamer? Well, the answer is in two parts. The first is the money aspect.
For me, when it comes to a full time job, it would be with Twitch. I am a Twitch partnered broadcaster, therefore I get paid for any subscriber that subs to my Twitch channel. I also get money for ad rev that accumulates on my channel. Would I want this as a full time job forever? No.
The money that I make on Twitch (without discussing numbers) is enough for me to just get by and pay for any bills I need, which is good. However, the money that I make via Twitch varies from month to month, depending on how many subs I make and have.
I am also a verified partner on YouTube as an independent creator, however you only start making money via this once you have a set amount of views on videos and you get above a certain threshold, which I will openly say I have not hit due to only just starting.
So based on an income aspect, I would classify myself as a Twitch Streamer.
Other sources of income
Of course, there are other sources of income that I could receive, either via Patreon, GreenManGaming affiliate program, or from the merch store on Design by Humans. The more reliable one of these would be Patreon, since you receive money on the 1st of each month, but it falls in the same line as Twitch, where a patron might drop off before the 1st comes around.
But if I am not thinking about Twitch and YouTube as a source of income, what is my favorite thing?
Content creation. That is my favorite thing to do, on both Twitch and YouTube. I absolutely love streaming games to Twitch, while talking to my community and I adore creating videos for YouTube. I enjoy playing games, and I have two fantastic platforms to do this on. I am looking forward to recording more playthroughs on YouTube and seeing how the channel will grow, and I am really looking forward to playing more games on Twitch and enjoying the community there.
But would this make me a Twitch streamer? Or Youtuber?
It would make me a content creator. So I would be both! Until the day that my life does not allow me to create content for one or the other, or if one of the platforms die, I think from here on out I would classify myself as a content creator. It is what makes me happy, and I look forward to seeing what the future goes with content.
This has been one of the longest blogs I have ever written, and if you read all of this, you are amazing.
What do you think about Twitch and YouTube? Where do you prefer watching content? What are YOUR likes and dislikes about both platforms? Let me know!