What platform offers the most potential to make money, twitch or YouTube?


QUICK ANSWER: both Twitch and YouTube offer a great deal of potential to make money. However, if I had to pick one, I’d pick YouTube. Keep reading to find out why.

If I had to pick a platform between YouTube and Twitch, that offers the most potential to make money, I’d pick YouTube. There are several reasons why. These include: 

YouTube is a bigger platform than Twitch.

The first reason I’d pick YouTube as the main platform to distribute your unique brand of entertainment is that YouTube is a bigger platform than Twitch. In fact, YouTube is vast when compared to Twitch.

According to Backlinko, as of 2022, there are approximately 26.5 million daily active Twitch Users, with over 2 million people watching streams at any given time.

Those numbers seem huge, right?

Well, quite frankly, they are dwarfed by YouTube.

According to Omnicoreagency, YouTube has over 122 million active daily users. That’s nearly 5 times more than Twitch. That means your potential content audience on YouTube is five times larger than on Twitch. You’d need to attract a much smaller proportion of the audience on YouTube to succeed compared to Twitch.

Yes, it’s worth noting that the audiences are slightly more spread across multiple YouTube niches. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that YouTube is a much bigger marketplace to distribute your product.

Like any product, launching into the largest viable marketplace is the surest way to get the most sales.

If you could launch your product to 300 million people in the USA or 5 thousand people on a remote Scottish island, launching to 300 million in the USA would offer the biggest chance of success.

It’s the same with YouTube and Twitch. YouTube offers the largest viable market to launch your product, so that’s where you start.

Youtube offers several tools to develop your audience.

One of the biggest reasons to choose YouTube over Twitch is that YouTube offers a wide variety of methods to grow an audience and cultivate a relationship with them. 

Interacting with your viewers is one of the quickest ways to develop an audience. YouTube offers several well-established tools for you to do that. For example, the YouTube comment system has worked well for many years and gives your viewers and you a chance to exchange views and ideas. However, YouTube is now placing even more tools in the hands of streamers and content creators to help them develop their audiences.

For example, YouTube lets you create community posts to reach out to your entire subscription community. These only reach subscribers, so the message can be tailored to them. You can also use the relatively new YouTube stories, videos that expire after seven days, to reach out to your audience.

Above all, you should leverage comments. By responding to users’ comments, you are creating a two-way conversation that’ll add huge value to the viewer’s experience. The person you conversed with will feel like they are part of your channel.

YouTube offers several ways to monetize your channel.

One of the other reasons why I think YouTube offers an incredible opportunity to the new streamer it’s because of its copious monetization options.

Before I start, I understand Twitch also offers good monetization options. However, I feel that YouTube now does a better job overall than Twitch, helping content creators monetize their content. For starters, YouTube offers the standard monetization menu, such as ads and affiliates. However, YouTube offers so much more options for monetizing your channel.

For example, YouTube now allows content creators to offer paid channel memberships. Viewers on your channel can become paying members to access unique content. You can offer multiple membership tiers for ever-increasing costs as a content creator. Additionally, YouTube has now made it possible for viewers to directly donate cash to you while watching your videos and streams. Unlike Twitch, which uses Twitch bits, YouTube does not use a bespoke digital currency. Instead, money is donated in the donator’s local currency.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that YouTube keeps most of its monetization options locked until you have 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours over the last 365 days. Twitch also keeps its monetization options locked away from new users until they have reached a certain threshold of subscribers and views. However, Twitch’s threshold is much lower than YouTube’s.

YouTube videos earn you money when you are not streaming.

When streaming on Twitch, your product is the live stream. You’re earning donations and subscriptions when you’re broadcasting. However, if you stop streaming, your product production stops. Simply put, if you don’t stream, you don’t earn. When you stop streaming, your Twitch channel starts hemorrhaging subscribers, and donations come to a standstill. By pausing your streaming, you are effectively pausing your business. It’s worth remembering that when streaming on Twitch, you are the business. And when you don’t stream, your business moves backward.

This is not the case with YouTube. On YouTube, you can schedule many videos in advance. Each of these, when they go live, has the potential to pull in hundreds of thousands of views and thousands of new subscribers. Each new video builds new relationships with viewers, turns viewers into subscribers, and crucially, each video keeps on earning revenue through ads and other monetization methods.

If you take a week off, that’s not a problem when you create a business on YouTube. You can schedule a few weeks’ worth of content in advance, and your channel will keep growing and earning as if you were sitting at your desk streaming.

Then, when you come back to work on your channel, you can start the live streams again, knowing that your channel has grown and not shrunk as it would have on Twitch.

Final thoughts. 

YouTube and Twitch are simply distribution platforms for your information or entertainment product. Nothing more.

And just like any product, the more distribution channels you leverage, the more eyeballs you’ll get on your product, and the quicker your business will grow.

You should distribute your videos and streams through as many channels and platforms as possible.

But for now, I’d say focus on YouTube. Grow your channel stream, make videos, and interact with your audience. 

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Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

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