As some of you may already know, I've been preparing to go live again in February of this year! I've missed streaming sooooooooo much, and I've missed all of you as well! I'm incredibly excited to get back to streaming on a regular schedule so we can build some awesome projects together. ❤️
The thing is... I won't be doing it on Twitch.
I know, I know. Twitch is the place to livestream these days. In fact, when I first started streaming all those years ago I was using YouTube! I ended up switching to Twitch because the experience from the streamer's perspective was just so much better.
A lot has changed over the years, though. YouTube Live has been making a bid to take on Twitch in terms of features and content, and you know they're serious because they've poured tons of money into getting some of the biggest streamers on Twitch to move over.
Speaking of people moving from Twitch to YouTube, the list is impressive. Here's a few of them in no particular order:
...and these are just the popular streamers that had big contracts with Twitch and now have big contracts with YouTube. The list gets much longer if you add in regular, every day streamers like myself that have already made the transition. There are rumors of even more popular streamers that are thinking about jumping ship, too.
I'm not doing this because of them, though...
The Real Why
I would be lying if I said none of this has had an impact on my decision, but the core reasons are (I hope 🤞🏻) a bit less superficial. Let's talk about the three core reasons that I'm moving.
Twitch has basically zero discoverability. What that means is that if you're not already a large streamer on Twitch, you're not likely to get there just by streaming because nobody can find you on the platform.
That's because when a viewer goes to Twitch, the front page lists everything based on viewership. If a channel or a category has the most viewers, it'll stay at the top of the list and gain more viewers. The opposite is true for channels with few viewers: they'll be staying at the bottom of the list, undiscoverable.
The only remedy for this is to build your audience on other platforms and funnel them to your Twitch channel. There's one platform that's most effective above all others. Care to guess which one?
Now, the discoverability for livestreams on YouTube is just as dismal (if not moreso) than on Twitch. However, if you create static content on YouTube — that is, normal videos rather than live content — it is imminently discoverable. Now when somebody subscribes based on your static content, they'll also be notified when you go live. You don't have to promote your Twitch channel in every video and hope viewers will jump on over to another site to subscribe there. The channels are locked together, and viewership on one begets viewership on the other.
It may seem like a small thing, but I'm making a bet that it'll have a large impact for a smaller streamer like myself.
If I just cared about building a brand and becoming a gazillionaire from my videos and streams, I'd probably stop with discoverability. That's not the whole story, though. The main reason I care about discoverability is because it contributes to my community.
Twitch was good to me for almost 3 years as I grew my audience and my community. During my hiatus it's certainly dwindled, but I love the amazing folx over on my Discord server (you should come hang out with us!) and I want to see that group growing again. By growing my audience through better discovery, I'll also be growing my community on Discord!
If you want me to get in–depth with my plans for growing the community in a later article, let me know on Twitter!
Let's Get Technical
The final reason is also the first thing that got me looking into jumping ship, and that's the technical capabilities of YouTube.
On Twitch, there's only one quality setting for most streamers. If a streamer is broadcasting in 4K, all of their viewers are going to need good enough connections to watch in 4K. It's great for people like myself with fast internet, but it's awful for viewers with slower connections! To be fair, Twitch does offer transcoding for some streamers, but you need to be partnered and have a very high viewership for it to be available. Ths is why most streams on Twitch are limited to 1080p and 3,000kbps or less.
On YouTube, everybody gets transcoding. When I go live on YouTube next month, I'll be streaming 4K content with a bitrate of 15,000kbps. For those with fast internet, this will be an excellent experience! For others, they can watch a lower resolution version of the stream without issue. ❤️
Twitch was the right platform for me for several years, but it's time for me to move on. I'll be going live on YouTube for the first time on February 17th at 6pm CT, and I hope I'll see you there. ❤️🥰❤️