Each live streaming platform tends to cultivate audiences with different preferences for content and stream culture. What works on Twitch might not always work on YouTube Live or Twitter Spaces, though there is certainly overlap between different platforms.
Twitch is the most popular live streaming platform, and has developed a unique stream culture over the years. Twitch viewers have their own lingo and even have unique “emotes” that function like Twitch-only emojis. Initially finding its niche in games live streaming, Twitch has recently expanded to one of the biggest platforms for live music, art, and “Just Chatting.”
<aside> 🧐 🔥 Our Hot Take: Twitch is The Go-To Platform for live streaming. There’s a reason why it’s the most popular site of its kind—users of Twitch tend to be pretty loyal to that platform, as well as the streamers that they choose to patronize. Twitch culture is unique and immersive, so it’s rarer to find casual viewers on there. Twitch tries to escape its gamer origins, but there’s a fundamental shortcoming in trying to relate to an audience that just isn’t there. Even non-gaming streamers like those in the “just chatting” category often struggle to find an audience that doesn’t tend toward the misogynistic gamer crowd.
YouTube live occupies a somewhat novel space in the live streaming world. While Twitch is a streaming-only platform, YouTube began as a video upload site that later expanded into live territory. Its audience expanded during the pandemic, but YouTube’s main strength is that live streams are automatically uploaded as regular videos once they conclude. Even some Twitch streamers take advantage of YouTube’s popularity in video-sharing to upload recordings of their own Twitch streams to YouTube.
<aside> 🧐 🔥 Our Hot Take: ****YouTube Live occupies a slightly awkward space in the live streaming world. Because of the recognizability of YouTube, it’s the go-to streaming platform for many major corporate entities and news channels. It’s definitely expanding in the direction of catering to live streaming major events and regularly tests out innovative new features. There are successful communities of live streamers much like Twitch, but they share space on the platform with well-known TV channels and live sports games. However, if you find a niche that has an audience on YouTube Live and set up a regular streaming schedule, you can find success as an independent streamer.