A Guide in Choosing the Best Streaming Platform Fit to Your Needs

Last Modified:

Table of Contents

Nowadays, it is common to see many young people aspire to make live streaming their preferred career path.

While gaming is typically the main focus, there are other streamers who branch out by showing a glimpse of their real lives or just chatting with their audience.

Some successful streamers, like Pewdiepie, remarkably made a serious amount of revenue from their live streaming hobby-turned-business. In fact, Pewdiepie recently bought his dream house in Japan thanks to his success on Youtube and various streaming endeavours.

There is a lot of competition around when it comes to finding the best live streaming platform fit to your needs. If you don’t have a clue where to get started, fret not, as this article will help you find the right one to start streaming your gameplay.

Leading Platforms to Choose from

From streaming giant Twitch to underdogs like Smashcast.tv, here are some of the best streaming platforms you might want to check out:

Twitch

When talking about Live Streaming in the Gaming scene, Twitch is always the first choice to come to any gamer’s mind.

Undoubtedly, Twitch continues to dominate the live streaming industry. In fact, the platform has successfully surpassed different records for 2020 due to the various restrictions brought by the pandemic. As of writing, Twitch has 897 Billion minutes watched for this year alone according to TwitchTracker. That equates to 2.16 million concurrent viewers on average.

Twitch is currently composed of 6.5 million monthly streamers where they offer a variety of content from gameplays to Just Chatting streams. Their fans also tune in regularly to catch up and hang out with their Twitch faves.

It’s considered as a great and fun social choice designed for gamers, meaning you are streaming to people who are there to share the same passion for gaming as much as you do! The platform is also full of regular viewers, allowing friendships and connections to be easily established even with people across the globe.

The upside:

  • You can watch your favorite gamers stream their gameplays and interact with them in real-time. What does this mean? The viewer can be a part of the whole streaming experience if the streamer wants them to be.
  • The average daily watch time on Twitch is about 95 minutes per user, giving you a great opportunity to attract viewers and build an audience of your own.
  • Twitch tries to support new streamers in gaining traction by various educational efforts and product features like Squad Streams and Raids.
  • Lots of great communities to browse!
  • Twitch has built-in ways to monetize your stream, including bits, donations, and channel subscriptions.
  • Allows for a variety of content to be streamed. Streamers aren’t limited to stream pure gameplays, but they can also feature real life streams or conversing with their fans through “Just Chatting”

The downside:

  • There are arguably lots of spam and trolls in each stream. It can range from weird comments to bizarre death threats.
  • Non-partner streamers cannot provide viewers with quality settings. People who are watching with a bad connection can struggle with the video resolution.
  • Some entitled viewers believe that streamers owe them something. Coming off as nagging and arrogant, this can bring down the streamers’ spirits.
  • Twitch has an infamous reputation for causing streamers to lose traction when they take a day off.
  • Newcomers often complained they spent years broadcasting to no one. They hoped to build a fan base, with little success over time.
  • Once you become a Twitch partner, you have to exclusively stream game-related content on the platform. You may only stream other types of content elsewhere (daily vlogs, product reviews) as long as it’s not related to gaming.
  • The platform is infamous for allegedly playing favorites and punishing small streamers over the littlest things. For instance, a number of body painting streamers always get flagged down despite not breaking any of the rules and regulations.
  • Some streamers on Twitch recently got Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices, ranging from a suspension to permanent channel deletion. They had to delete content even from years ago which is shown to violate music copyright laws.

Popular streamers: Summit1g, Tfue, Pokimane

Content creators Tfue, Summit1g, and Pokimane are among the faces of Twitch. However, following Mixer’s sudden service shutdown on July 22nd, big stars Ninja and Shroud also made their return to their home platform.

The duo were allegedly offered a generous amount to make the jump over to Facebook Gaming, where Mixer intended to move its existing partners over, but they both declined it.

Smashcast.tv

Formerly known as Hitbox.tv, SmashCast only came to life until it was acquired by Azubu. The platform is big on eSports, but there are other streamers posting other variety broadcasts as well.

As of the moment, the site is still in the process of taking off. Rebranding the already-successful Hitbox and Azubu means it may take a while for Smashcast to soar in popularity.

It is a great option if you’re interested in monetizing your content from streaming in the least amount of time. SmashCast is also fairly easy to navigate, which is good news for beginners, and it is not as heavily regulated as the other platforms.

This live streaming platform is definitely among the underdog options. If you’re interested in starting small as you start your streaming career, Smashcast may just be your niche! Your followers will grow over time, slowly but surely.

The upside:

  • It is a super streamlined and fast live streaming site primarily dedicated to gamers.
  • Often hailed by up-and-coming streamers as a great alternative to Twitch or Youtube Gaming.
  • It boasts super low latency compared to other platforms.
  • The platform has in-built audience engagement tools to allow streamers to manage their viewers, subscribers, followers, and videos with ease. You can also see what’s popular and what’s trending on the site lately.
  • It is popular with eSports event organizers and various broadcast marketing partners.
  • Anyone can easily become a partner as long as they can prove they are at least 18 years old and after attaching their PayPal account.

The downside:

  • Has a variable subscription model.
  • As a streamer, you do not have any direct control over ads showing in your videos.
  • Because of its small viewer base, it may take a while for you to get a following and grow a loyal audience.
  • Compared to other streaming platforms, SmashCast has glaring design issues and management decisions that are difficult to understand.
  • Since anyone can be considered as a partner, it drastically lowers the overall content quality and expectations on streams.

Popular streamers: Kosfaton, Svensson8585

D-Live

D-Live was launched in 2017 as the world’s first and largest streaming platform on blockchain.

Considered as one of the up and coming platforms on this list, D-Live recently gained traction from Pewdiepie’s announcement to weekly stream on the site. The Youtube star has stated that DLive will be the exclusive place to catch his live streams for the foreseeable future.

It is described as a decentralized live streaming platform, designed to help content creators keep more of the earnings from advertisers.

The platform works on the Lino network blockchain, uses its own currency system, and notably does not take a sizable cut of the profit generated by streamers.

It has a unique mechanism for rewarding viewers. You can earn “LINO points” which is DLive’s currency of choice, it is used to give donations and get rewards while on the platform. (88 Lino Points is equivalent to 1.22 USD.)

The upside:

  • Since DLive has a small & growing community, you get to be a part of something very special. You get to grow as a streamer as the platform develops.
  • There’s no censorship unlike Twitch, but you still may get banned — for justifiable reasons of course.
  • Viewers can donate as little as one LINO point, called “Lemon”, or up to 10,000 LINO Points, known as “Ninjet” to their favorite streamers.
  • 90.1% of the subscription revenue and one-time donations go directly to the content creator.
  • As for the remaining 9.9%, it is deposited into an accumulated pool of “Locked LINO”, which goes to the most engaged users on the platform.
  • User-friendly, especially to those who are acquainted with Twitch. By paying a monthly fee, users can get their messages noticed by the streamer more often.
  • Community orientation is extremely important. Developers appreciate direct feedback from users to improve overall user experience.

The downside:

  • DLive’s interface and design is not unique. It is noted to be too similar to other streaming platforms, making users have a hard time coming up with a reason why they should choose the platform.
  • DLive is still considered as a work in progress. You may have to wait for a while for a lot of changes and updates to make the site completely developed.
  • Because it’s relatively new, there aren’t many streamers yet. It needs a bigger audience if you wish to make a living on the platform.

Popular streamers: KurtificM1tchTheRipper

PewDiePie previously announced his collaboration with D-Live where he was seen to share his live gameplays for a while, but he seemed to have terminated the deal upon making a return to YouTube. He had garnered over 828.47k followers on the platform despite having his last livestream 10 months ago.

Gosu Gamers

Branded as “The world’s premier eSports portal,” GosuGamers wants to prioritize competitive eSports content over anything else.

This is the perfect choice for rookie game streamers who are new to the world of live platform. GosuGamers are acquainted with gamers who are new to the community, and it supports your videos to turn out into high-quality video game streams.

It has an attractive layout and easy to navigate user design, and it is concentrated only on e-sports.

The platform offers convenience to gamers for improved and better communication and interaction in the community to further help in building the live gaming stream platform business.

Used by youngsters who want to share their unique gaming experiences, it features many advanced tools and makes things easier to work with— especially for beginners.

The upside:

  • The platform has strong ties to the eSports community and activities.
  • Streamers of all age groups can be found on the platform.
  • Offers better interaction among users and can help your streaming career grow with ease.
  • The platform hosts your livestream with great video resolution and quality.
  • It’s easy to browse competitive eSports tournaments, matches, rankings, and streams on the platform.

The downside:

  • No room for diversity, since the platform is mostly eSports-centric. If you wish to stream live chats or daily life vlogs, it is advisable to use another platform.
  • Smaller audience and user base compared to other other streaming outlets.

Popular streamers: IWillDominate, Gaules

Big streamers on GosuGamers have one primary goal, and that is to deliver the highest-quality eSports content and coverage. Those who are into competitive gaming (DoTA 2, CS:GO, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Overwatch) will surely find a home in the platform.

Steam Broadcasting

In 2014, Steam introduced a new service called “Steam Broadcasting” that allowed players to watch their friends’ gameplay with just a click of a mouse.

Steam users can select who gets to watch their games, with options ranging from anyone to friends-only. Additionally, you may set up viewing privacy further by allowing only the friends you sent invites to, or giving access only when you accept your friends’ request to watch your gameplays.

Players will also be able to request their friends to watch them play, should they be inclined.

Steam offers a massive audience, so popular games and streams are expected to draw a lot of attention and views.

The upside:

  • Great for gamers who are active on Steam. It has an built-in following if you have a lot of people in your Steam account friends list.
  • Helps people observe a game properly before making a purchase.
  • It requires less effort and setting up on the streamer’s side, aside from clicking “Allow or Deny.”

The downside:

  • The platform is purely intended for streaming purposes only, there’s no monetization system yet.
  • It can get difficult to form and grow a following, since the audience base is lesser compared to major platforms.
  • You cannot promote yourself as a streamer and gain sponsorships from it.

Popular streamers:  Gameforge, SCS Software, All in!Games

A number of the most popular streamers on Steam Broadcasting are community managers for their respective games available on Valve’s leading video game digital distribution service. Oftentimes, they also feature a number of small streamers and influnecers to share their gameplays of the unique titles.

Youtube Live

Youtube Live is the video sharing giant’s response to dedicated streaming platforms. At its core, Youtube Live can be used as an avenue to share various gameplays.

The platform is the leading contender when it comes to searchability and SEO. This is grounded on the fact that Youtube videos usually show up first in the search results. What does this mean for your streaming career? Your livestreams and videos can rank relatively high.

Browsing videos on Youtube Live is also easier. With its search functionality much more powerful, Youtube strives to make each video reach everyone.

The service also has a Youtube Live API to allow programmatic access to the live streaming service. This is why it’s easy to stream live on Youtube while also streaming on other services.

Users can also integrate apps with Youtube live streams. If you’re someone who plans to stream for the long run, this functionality is something you’d be thankful for in the future!

The upside:

  • It is considered as the easiest platform to get started with.
  • Easily bridges the gap between pre-recorded footage and real-time live stream.
  • Well-defined and very accessible, even for small streamers.
  • The SEO can be specifically designed and geared for gaming-related keywords and searches.
  • Completely free to use, with no extra software and hidden fees you need to keep in mind.

The downside:

  • The platform relies on ads as its primary revenue generator
  • Some of your audience might report your channel if you do not specify any paid collaboration present in your content. Hence, it’s always important to put an initial disclosure of information beforehand. This might discourage some new viewers to check out your content, though.
  • Viewers in some countries may be unable to donate and support their favorite Youtube streamers directly
  • Youtube is one of the most-blocked websites globally, especially in offices and schools. Your content cannot fully realize its potential if your target audience remains unable to access it whenever they want to.

Popular streamers: PewDiePie, DanTDM, Valkyrae

DrDisrespect, arguably one of the faces of Twitch, was handed a permanent ban on June 26. No specific details have been released regarding the platform’s decision. As of writing, the streamer still claims that he had not yet been informed on the exact reason for the ban.

Regardless, he began to stream his usual gameplays on his YouTube channel in early August.

According to his representative, the Doc hasn’t signed an exclusive deal with the video service (the second-largest live video-game site trailing after Twitch), and even plans to experiment with Facebook Gaming and streaming on his own site, ChampionsClub.gg.

Facebook Gaming

It’s been 3 years now since live streaming was made possible on Facebook. With such a massive audience reach, many users have been widely adopting this feature since then.

Some streams easily reach hundreds to thousands of viewers — which is not a surprise. The platform has a built-in audience you can use to your advantage. If you’ve built a successful social media following, chances are, you can easily get as many viewers in each stream.

The service is also sufficiently powerful. Thanks to the Facebook Live API, you can stream from selected high-quality cameras for live streaming sessions. The Video API also allows you to integrate with existing workflows.

The upside:

  • Facebook is easily accessible for everyone.
  • It is easier to form and grow a following from your audience, because of its built-in following.
  • It promotes mobility and easy access via mobile devices.
  • Facebook offers a Level Up Program, which helps emerging creators jumpstart their streams. Through this, aspiring streamers can learn from other established creators as well.
  • The minimum qualifications to enter the FB Gaming Creator Level Up Program is relatively easy. With at least 100 followers and a total stream hours of 4 hours in the last 14 days, streamers may begin monetizing their content through stars.
  • There’s a great chance for you to find the best demographic by streaming your content on Facebook, mainly because the platform is known for advertising and SEO.

The downside:

  • You can be stuck in repetitive gaming content or run out of fresh, new content ideas for gameplays.
  • It can get difficult to stream gaming content sometimes, due to technical issues.
  • It does not support useful live streaming features like: access and security restrictions, subscriptions, and multiple simultaneous live streams.
  • Maximum supported resolution is only 720p HD, which is not full high-definition
  • The level-up program is not yet available in all regions.

Popular streamers: Corinna Kopf, BadMan, StoneMountain64

Facebook Gaming remains to be an underwhelming and unpopular choice for Western content creators. However, the platform finds success in Asia― where a great number of streamers remain loyal to the platform.

A mix of both PC and mobile gaming content currently finds great success on the platform. It’s a flexible choice for gamers who are doing content on both platforms.

Trovo Live

Trovo Live is arguably the freshest choice to be included on this list. The Tencent-backed streaming platform is slated to shake up not only the western live streaming market, but the global gaming scene in no time.

With Mixer out of the picture, many gamers are growing curious over the next big contender coming from the East. In case you missed it, we’ve recently written a short guide to help you get acquainted with Trovo Live.

While major live streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming have been heavily focused on broadcasting PC games, Trovo Live wants to focus on mobile titles for a change.

Whichever streaming platform you check, PC and console titles like PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds, League of Legends, and Valorant land its way on the homepage easily. This has been the norm in the gaming livestream industry for a while now.

However, it’s undeniable how mobile gaming continues to be on the rise as of late. More and more streamers opt to play mobile titles like PUBG, Fortnite, or Call of Duty. Trovo Live wants to put their primary focus on mobile titles, providing an avenue for content creators on the small screen.

The upside:

  • The platform is relatively new and fresh since its launch in July, which provides a perfect opportunity for aspiring streamers to make a name out for themselves.
  • Not as saturated as Twitch, so there’s a higher chance for streamers to be successful and well-known in such a short period of time.
  • Trovo Live focuses on Mobile gaming, perfect for those who play on Android or iOS.
  • With its plans to move forward, Trovo wants to invite and reward its content creators with a $30 million partnership program.

The downside:

  • Does not have a big audience reach yet compared to mainstream platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming.
  • Since the platform wants to focus on Mobile gaming, there’s only little interest from PC and Console gamers at the moment.

Popular streamers: BobbyPlays, YungDoubleAiM

Although Trovo wants to focus on Mobile gaming content, there are still a number of content creators on the platform who share PC or Console gameplay content.

Mobile gaming content is considerably the mainstream for this emerging platform though, which is something you might need to keep in mind.

What to Keep in Mind

It is important to be careful in selecting or choosing a platform to stream on, especially since each platform has different perks and features.

To help you decide, figure out your goals for streaming. If you want to become a long-term streamer, with the prospect of making it your primary bread and butter, you might want to stream on major and leading platforms such as Twitch and Mixer. These platforms can help you efficiently monetize your content, based on ads and viewer count, and more.

However, if you are planning to only stream occasionally, you can go for Steam Broadcasting, Youtube Live, or Facebook Gaming. These platforms aren’t demanding when it comes to maintaining a regular streaming schedule, plus you are guaranteed easy viewers because of its built-in integration.

Major Platforms or Underdog Choices?

Remember that choosing the best streaming platform boils down to your intent in doing so.

Some streaming apps are best suited to help you gain revenue off your content, while others are designed for casual livestreams if you wish to share your gameplay just for fun.

What you need to keep in mind, though, is how major streaming platforms usually have an existing large and varied audience. Streaming as a newcomer might prove to be a challenge when other streamers already established a name for themselves and have hit the hundred thousand follower milestone.

Meanwhile, underdog choices may be platforms still in development. There’s little to limited audience, so it may take a while for you to gain footing. Some days may feel like your follower count is stagnant, but remember that patience is a virtue.

Both choices present pros and cons, so the decision is entirely yours to make!

Conclusion

Streaming isn’t just limited to Twitch. In fact, there are plenty other alternative streaming platforms to choose out there.

In deciding which platform is the best for you, keep in mind your priorities, budget, and final goals. Each platform has its own unique set of features and advantages. Carefully weigh each option to figure out which one is best suited to your needs. Remember: even if you are a huge fan of Twitch (which undoubtedly has a lot of perks), it won’t hurt if you try out a new service for yourself.

Choosing the best streaming platform is only one step towards achieving your goals. You also have to put in your effort and perseverance, like Shroud did which took him to where he is right now: as one of the top streamers in the word.

While livestreaming can be a way for you to potentially gain profit, it’s undeniably always a ton of fun! Whatever streaming platform you decide to start on, always remember to enjoy yourself and just do it.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *