I wanted to put my thoughts down on YouTube Gaming and what it might bring to the table. My ideas might be a bit out there but I’m writing them because I believe in them. At the end of the article I hope that you can see what I’m getting at and what you can do both if you’re new, thinking about switching etc.
Who are you competitors?
Low numbers, easier to be discovered?
Before we do into if or if not we need to look at two things the number and the competitors. At the moment the numbers for YouTube gaming are very low. The 2nd highest at the moment are 300 viewers, yes above that is a 10.000 livestream but that’s a LoL tournament so it’s expected. When the numbers are low that also means your reach is lower, so yes there’s a chance for you to be “discovered”, however you’re still going to need good content go anywhere if not the attention will only highlight how bad your content is faster.
Another thing that I imagine YouTube are doing, or will do, is to use their algorithm to recommend certain streams higher than other for you. I still somewhat seems to go after numbers but I’m guessing that it takes in the amount of followers you have as well since I do see streams with 11 viewers above those with 40 viewers.
Who is YouTube Gaming for?
A big thing is that Twitch partners, at least most as far as I know, have in their contracts that they can’t broadcast on any other livestreaming service. That means that you won’t have any big partnered streamers coming from Twitch to YouTube right now. I doubt it will happen even when a contract is over, at least bigger streamers.
However while you might think that you will faster be able to get viewers on YouTube Gaming, you might be very mistaken. Reason? YouTube Gaming isn’t for someone that is just starting out, maybe right now, but not in the future. Remember that YouTube Gaming livestreaming part isn’t really a seperate platform but instead built on top of their regular content, it’s not 100% correct but it’s along those lines. It’s for the people that already have a YouTube following, and as soon as they catch on they’re going to be your competitors and not new streamers. You’re competing with those that already have a following, even if it’s a small subscriber base they already have that base from making YouTube videos. So no given a day or two you aren’t competing with other new streamers you’re competing with long running YouTube channels.
What YouTube don’t have is the culture and the community, and that’s more than having the viewer count. Twitch really filled a void that YouTube was missing, sure they have comments, and sure there are bad comments on the level of Twitch chat there. But Twitch is much more than that. It’s people getting to know people and bonding over a streamer/game/interest etc. Have you read YouTube comments? It’s not like they greet each other. It’s not just a part of the culture.
What’s your advantage?
You do actually have an advantage over a YouTube channel, they’re focused on getting video out and throwing a livestream on top of that might be hard for some. The bigger the channel the less of a problem it might be, since they might have editors that do that work for them. You’re coming into this with livestreaming as your content, you’re not worried about producing content so you can instead focus all of what you do into livestreaming.
This can set you apart since you’re going to be a lot more consistent than a regular YouTuber might be. Again things might, and probably will within a short time, but until then you have an opportunity to do something.
What if I already have a following on Twitch?
So this might get a bit tricky. Even if you have a small following on Twitch and specially if it’s a dedicated following. There’s little to no reason for them to follow you to YouTube Gaming. It’s the same reason why people don’t go to Hitbox, while it might be better for a streamer don’t make it better for the viewer. YouTube till however most likely start to improve their user experience, something that Hitbox have neglected to do and only focuses on trying to be as much as Twitch as possible, that will always put them one step behind, instead of trying of focusing on the viewer and growing that instead of the amount of streamers.
If a viewer have no reason to follow you to YouTube they most likely won’t. They after all already have people they follow on Twitch and now you’re asking them to split their attention for someone who they might like but compared to the amount of people they subscribe to on Twitch, you might be out of luck.
You could use a multistream service and that might actually be beneficial for you. The one thing you might need to think about is the interaction, if the YouTube chat sees you interacting with people that aren’t in that chat they might leave. You’re after all splitting your attention into more than one place. If you can handle it you can handle it, and it’s just something to think about.
As of right now it looks as if YouTube Gaming is more focused on the viewer than the streamer, or at least that’s the direction they seem to be moving in. It’s not about giving the stream as many options as possible, although at first look it might seem that way, it’s about giving the viewer as many options as possible. So if you’re switching because you think that YouTube will care more about you, you might end up being disappointed.