You can’t really blame them, can’t you? Projected revenue from the gaming industry is set just downwards $200B in 2022, and YouTube just reported in 2020 that it has around 40M+ gaming creators in their ecosystem. In the same year, Facebook Gaming reported more than $50M worth of stream currencies were spent, excluding supports (the platform’s version of subs). It’s really no question why gamers want to get started streaming; it’s becoming more and more of a viable career.
With that volume of new creators, you’ll start to wonder: which is the best live streaming service for gaming? Which platform will give you the best shot at building your audience?
The grand-daddy of live streaming, Twitch has been around for years. And because it existed for so long as a dedicated streaming platform, it has the most sophisticated features that should attract creators.
Add to the fact that it’s now backed by Amazon, it offers unbeatable integrations like Prime Gaming, and more, that are just currently unavailable in other platforms.
However, one big criticism of Twitch is discoverability. Browse pages are designed to showcase streamers with already established viewership. So creators have to resort to marketing their stream off-site to gain that initial traction.
A relatively new player in the game streaming wars, Facebook Gaming annexes Facebook’s massive user-base. Anyone with a Facebook account can get started, and anyone with a Facebook account can start interacting with your streams—which is to say, basically, everyone and their aunt’s cats.
Algorithmically, Facebook Gaming is superior to Twitch. It’s easy to pull 2-digit viewership even if you’ve literally just started. The barrier for entry in terms of monetization, too, is quite low. You only need 100 likes/follows to get access to Stars (the platform’s equivalent to Twitch’s Bits). There’s plenty more that Facebook has to do to keep up, but it’s rolling out great features that should appeal to creators.
YouTube’s own live streaming platform is great, as it works in great tandem with its core product, which is to host videos. If you’re posting gaming highlights on YouTube, it might make sense to stream on the same platform—exactly why massive creators like Valkyrae and CourageJD decided to stream exclusively on YouTube. Plus, YT Gaming is miles beyond when it comes to discoverability, with it being the second-largest search engine in the world, next to Google.
That being said, YouTube is still lacking on some crucial features. For instance, there are currently no way to raid fellow streamers. Monetizing your streams and highlights, too, takes a bit of work. You need 1,000 subscribers (+ more criteria) to be eligible for AdSense revenue.
Hailing from the Philippines (where I’m from!), Kumu is gaining great traction as a newcomer. Starting off as a mobile streaming application, Kumu now has a gaming arm and can be accessed using a desktop, which should directly compete with the likes of Facebook Gaming and Twitch.
It comes with staple streaming features, discoverability comes far easier than its peers, and it has an incredibly engaged community ready to support its favorite creators. It’s still in its infantile stages, but it’s hard to imagine a future where Kumu doesn’t thrive to any significant extent.
Caffeine.tv is an interesting platform. It seems to embrace a certain crowd, which is a distinct mix of entertainers (rappers, predominantly), athletes, and gamers. On its homepage, you can see Drake very prominently showcased.
It has all the basic features you need to get started streaming, but the biggest plus for Caffeine (right now, at least) is how small and tight-knit its community is. If you’re looking for a platform where you can own a certain game—for context, it’s hard to break through in Twitch with a game like Valorant or League Of Legends—Caffeine might be a good option to check out.