by Jasper in
Esports General PC

If you are in the gaming world, you’d probably know that online game streaming is THE current trend. It is a fun way of doing something you really enjoy while entertaining an audience. But for some people, streaming is more than just a hobby –– they make a living out of it!

If you are one of the people considering jumping into the streaming game –– whether for fun or for the money –– you are in the right place.

There are so many live streaming platforms accessible over the internet. Choosing the right one may be hard and requires careful analysis. This article lists the best game streaming platforms, their relevant features, and how you can monetize your content. 

What is a video game streaming platform?

Video game streaming platforms are websites that allow you to stream live as you play in front of an audience. These websites also allow you to watch other streamers if you are not into playing in front of a virtual audience.

Before choosing a platform, here are some questions that you might want to consider:

  1. What games do I want to play and stream?
    Some platforms host more popular PC games, while some are known to host PC, mobile, and gaming console games.
  • Do I want to reach the mainstream or a niche audience?
    Many platforms stream a wide variety of games. But if you plan to stream games that are not in the mainstream, you may want to look for platforms where the audience for that game stream.
  • Will my content purely be online gaming streams, or will I combine it with other content?
    You may want to offer other content other than gaming streams.
  • Do I want to monetize my content?
    Some platforms offer easy monetization through ads, while others take more time and effort.

Take note of these considerations as you choose the platform that is more suitable for your plans. Here are 3 of the best live streaming platforms that are popular today.

Twitch.TV

Twitch.TV is like the Google of live streaming and is by far the most popular. In here, you won’t only find a lot of gaming enthusiasts who stream for a living. You’ll also find gaming developers and creators promoting their products.

It is also the platform chosen by event organizers to showcase e-sports tournaments, making this platform very relevant for gamers. Streams are also not limited to PC games. Players of game consoles like PlayStation and Xbox One also stream through Twitch.

Twitch is accessible for free. It is also easy to set up and has a friendly user interface, with extensions that allow customization. It is also compatible with most popular video streaming utilities.

Audience

Being the best gaming community globally, Twitch is a good option if you want to reach the mainstream audience and build a large viewer base. However, this also makes it hard to build a following since the competition is high.

Twitch promotes some streamers, but for the rest, streamers are left to their own devices to build their viewer base.

Monetization

You can apply as an affiliate for Twitch once you’ve gained an audience base and stream with a steady schedule. Being an affiliate gives you access to monetization tools and other features that are not accessible to other streamers.

Affiliates can run ads during their videos. Viewers can subscribe to an affiliate’s channel for $4.99 a month (although streamers only get half of that). They can also drop tips in the form of “bits” once you are an affiliate.

Twitch pays once you hit $100 revenue. Twitch payout is every 30 days. If your channel as an affiliate reaches a significant level of engagement, you may be asked by the management to be a Twitch partner.

Features

  • Creator Dashboard: makes the streaming experience easier by allowing customization through a widget system where you can drag and drop individual panels.
  • Emotes: subscription to a channel gives viewers a set of emotes which they can use in chats. These act like badges to show that they belong in a certain community.

Pros

  • Detailed analytics: Twitch displays information like total views, total followers, and live viewership for your videos
  • Amazon integration: it offers perks to those with Amazon prime accounts and makes set up easier if you have an Amazon account
  • Plenty of officially sponsored video events from publishers and gaming companies due to Twitch’s huge corporate support

Cons

  • Only partners can stream at 1080p
  • Twitch owns the content. Content is only shareable outside Twitch after 24 hrs.
  • Twitch is strict with copyrights. Streamers are prone to experience copyright takedowns
  • A lot of video ads

Facebook Gaming

FB.GG is Facebook’s exclusive portion dedicated to the streaming of gaming-related content. Streaming via Facebook is relatively easy. Set-up is done first by getting a recording software, which Facebook connects to with a stream key or persistent stream key.

Audience

Similar to Facebook Live, you can see people’s comments and reactions to your streams, and you can respond to them. You can also choose your audience if you choose to live stream to your timeline.

Monetization

Facebook’s Level Up program is given to constant streamers, which allows them to unlock certain features and to include monetization of gaming streams. To be eligible, Facebook requires streamers 4 hours of streaming within 14 weeks. Money can be earned in the form of stars (1 star = 1 cent), which viewers give to streamers.

Once the streamer is a partner, viewers can subscribe to the streamer’s channel for $4.99 per month. There is no delineated step to becoming a FB.GG partner. Facebook reaches out to individuals to join the program.

Features

  • Facebook’s Creator Studio: allows streamers to manage their clips, including trimming and posting

Pros

  • It is relatively easier to build a viewer base, especially if you already have one in your Facebook profile
  • Once you have an existing audience profile, Facebook will suggest your streams to a target audience
  • Facebook has a categorized listing of streams, allowing streamers to find your stream by browsing
  • Streaming through your Android mobile phone is possible.

Cons

  • It is uncertain how to become a partner except by being consistent in producing relevant content in the Level Up program
  • Viewers use their real names and are not allowed to use nicknames
  • Facebook prioritizes streamers who pay for ads. If you are a streamer looking into building a following through Facebook, you may need to shell out money for ads to be able to compete with other streamers

YouTube Gaming

Streamers need a recording software to set-up live streaming on YouTube, whether from a console or a PC. However, mobile game players may stream using YouTube mobile without the need of any software.

Audience

Same as how budding vloggers and YouTube content creators, building a viewer base through YouTube takes time. But because YouTube is similar to Google, which receives billions of searches in a month, SEO-optimized content will help to make your content land the top search page.

Monetization

Monetization is much like how vloggers earn money through YouTube – through the YouTube Partner Program. To qualify, streamers must at least have 4,000 views and 1,000 subscribers. New streamers can also earn money by adding ads to their videos. Streamers can also display links such as Kickstarter to allow fans to support them.

Features

  • Streamers have an easier time managing and organizing videos due to the transcoding facilities offered by the platform

Pros

  • YouTube Gaming allows streaming at 1080p, unlike Facebook and Twitch. The platform can support videos at a 60 fps frame rate with a 4K resolution level.
  • Allows YouTube online streaming through mobile, both iOS and Android phone users. It also records in-app audio
  • Streamers can leverage the platform’s massive audience

Cons

  • YouTube gaming streamers suffer a lot more copyright takedowns than Twitch streamers.

Final Word/Conclusion

To be able to have the best streaming experience, it is important to look for a streaming platform that best meet your needs and preferences. While these three gaming platforms are touted as the best and are the most popular ones, there are still a lot of platforms you can find online. Feel free to explore as you start your journey as an online video game streamer!

Gamer, Computer Enthusiast, Hobbyist Photographer, Video Editor
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2 Comments

 by RJ Go in December 20, 2020

Great article Jasper! while each has pros and cons I still prefer Youtube as I really like how they archive the videos after streaming and personally, I find the video faster and smoother.

 by Paul in December 20, 2020

Nice read! Very informative to those who are thinking of doing live game streaming!

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