Twitch vs. YouTube Gaming: A ‘Destiny 2’ snapshot

Just before 2PM ET today, the most popular Destiny 2 live stream on Twitch had 6,986 viewers, followed by one with 3,641. At the same time on YouTube Gaming, the top stream had 390 viewers, followed by a stream with 263.

Viewers are crucial to the live-streaming giants, but they aren’t everything. YouTube Live, the hub that houses YouTube Gaming, is actually growing faster than Twitch when it comes to the number of streamers on each site — much faster.

As reported by Streamlabs, the number of monthly active broadcasters on YouTube Live grew by 330 percent between November 2016 and March 2017, while that figure was just 19 percent for Twitch. In March, YouTube Live had a total of 76,179 monthly streamers, while Twitch hosted 259,861. But, notably, YouTube Live added 8,331 new broadcasters in that same time frame, while Twitch snagged only 3,363.

Twitch has been around in its current form, more or less, since 2011, meaning slower growth is expected. However, being the OG video-game-streaming site has definite advantages, especially when that’s paired with financial and structural support from Amazon. Twitch has taken control of its in-stream economy, responding to third-party tipping services like Revlo with built-in options for paying streamers, and expanded support systems for the site’s middle class of broadcasters. All of this means Twitch streamers are raking in far more money than folks on YouTube Gaming, at least when it comes to live content.

Twitch was responsible for 96 percent of all the tips generated on both sites in Q1 2017, with $22.55 million. YouTube Live, meanwhile, generated $940,000. Of course, Twitch had hundreds of thousands more streamers than YouTube Live — and this figure was calculated before Twitch rolled out out its Bits economy in June 2016.

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