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 continues to dominate live streaming. StreamElements recently published a report accumulating a total of 2.72+ billion hours streamed by Twitch viewers in the second quarter of 2019, toppling major rivals such as Youtube Live, Facebook Gaming, and Microsoft’s Mixer.
Twitch TV is used daily by around 10 million gamers and game fanatics to watch, stream, and chat about gaming to their heart’s desire.
It’s considered as a great and fun social network 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.
- 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 106 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”
- 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 small streamers on bad internet 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 for building 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.
Previously known as “Beam” before being acquired by Microsoft, Mixer is an up-and-coming competitor to Twitch. In fact, it has seen the transfer of Twitch superstars Shroud and Ninja just this year.
It initially struggled to find its audience, but many are speculating it may now get a major push — thanks to Ninja/Shroud’s recent exclusive deal to stream on Mixer.
The platform has features such as: improved interaction between the streamer and viewers, including voting on in-game decisions like what weapons they should use to either help the streamer or challenge them further. Unique and niche compared to other platforms, Mixer allows its live streaming users to mix and match with other co-creators and other like-minded users on the platform.
- Considered as the most efficient and quick platform for gamers. It has co-streaming options, real-time analytics, statistics, and live chats to make interaction faster.
- It provides a co-streaming option where you can stream your content together with a maximum of four other users at a time.
- Mixer has features which are similar to Xbox Live and PlayStation Live, thus the platform is a top choice among enthusiastic gamers
- Once you successfully grow your channel, you can find various opportunities to partner with big gaming brands and sponsors. You can work with them to make sponsored content, such as featuring their products into your stream in some way.
- Notably, it’s harder to browse through older content that’s been previously broadcast in Mixer compared to other platforms.
- The content on Mixer is less-diverse. It is still much more focused on pure live streaming gameplay.
- Mixer’s audience is still growing. As a newcomer, it will probably take you some time to cultivate a following and become one of the top game streamers.
- The language support feature is still under development. Currently, Mixer supports up to 21 languages but it still lacks variety as Twitch (which offers Vietnamese and Greek)
- While Mixer’s chat is much more interactive than the chats of Twitch or Youtube gaming, the moderation is still fairly limited. Microsoft is still in the process of introducing new ways to help streamers moderate their channel.
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 broadcast 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 in 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.
This is the perfect choice for rookie game streamers who are new to the world of live platform. Gosu gamers 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 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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 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.
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!
- 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 platform relies on ads as its primary revenue generator
- 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.
It’s been 2 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 much 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.
- 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.
- The platform has no official subscription system.
- You can be stuck in repetitive content or run out of content ideas.
- 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, monetization, multiple simultaneous live streams, and analytics.
- Maximum supported resolution is only 720p HD, which is not full high-definition
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 on 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 Streaming Sites?
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 reached 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!
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.