What is the Best Platform to Stream Video Games on in 2020?

Streaming in 2020. YouTube Gaming, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming
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Video Game Live Streaming in 2020

It’s no secret that live streaming video games has become a very popular idea. What started out as a niche thing that few people thought would take off has turned into an absolute juggernaut for content. As of 2020, there are many video game streamers making six figures per year and there are millions more who just do it for the love of gaming and a desire to connect with people. If you’re looking to get into streaming in 2020, you may stop and ask which platform is going to be the best option 

There are many things to consider when trying to choose your ideal streaming platform. You could go with a tried- and- true platform such as Twitch. Or, you might want to take a chance and see what Facebook gaming has to offer. The landscape has changed a bit recently with Mixer shutting down and it’s worth taking a look at all of the available options before making your big choice. Keep reading to explore your streaming options in 2020 and why you should consider each of them.   

Twitch  

Twitch is still generally considered to be the king of the mountain in the live streaming world. This is the platform that most people think of first when someone mentions live streaming video games. It’s also the platform that probably has the most “famous” live streaming personalities, but things are definitely changing all the time. Even so, you can definitely say with confidence that Twitch is seen as the king of the video game live streaming platforms in 2020 and has the data to back it up.

video game streaming platforms comparison graph
Via Stream Elements

If you want to get involved in live streaming your video games, then starting a Twitch channel is a good choice. People who use Twitch are going to the platform specifically to watch video games. Yes, there are people who stream other types of content on Twitch, but it’s very focused on games. Brands such as Impact Wrestling started streaming shows on Twitch, and many others use the medium for their own shows and creative content, but this is not the main focus of the platform and the attention has always been firmly grounded upon/rooted in games.   

People who take video games seriously often prefer Twitch to other platforms on the market for a few key reasons. It has more brand awareness than the others when you look at things from a gaming perspective. Also, the Twitch app is fairly intuitive and it feels fun to use. Generally, Twitch has been very accessible and helpful to their streamers as well.   

Those who are starting a video game streaming career in 2020 will want to seriously consider going with Twitch. It’s a great platform that will provide you with the tools that you need to succeed as well as a massive pool of viewers to attract. It’s going to be a good place for your content no matter what type of video games you like to play live. All that said, before you settle on Twitch as your ideal choice, it’s going to be wise to consider the other two major options, though.   

YouTube Gaming  

YouTube Gaming has actually lost some ground in the fight to become live- streaming- king as of late. People are very much talking about Twitch and Facebook Gaming, but they’re ignoring the fact that YouTube isn’t going anywhere. YouTube is still a relevant platform with millions of people using it each day for entertainment. One of the best reasons to use YouTube over the others is that it might make more sense for your brand due to its discoverability and massive user pool.   

Do you have some type of YouTube channel that you’re trying to grow? You might have an audience on YouTube that watches your videos already and this gives you a connection to the YouTube ecosystem. It’s certainly possible to have a YouTube channel and do your streaming elsewhere, but it might be easier to just do your live streaming on YouTube itself. Your audience is already on YouTube and it might be easier to get them to join your streams if they’re getting YouTube notifications.   

YouTube Gaming

Of course, there are going to be issues with the platform and nothing is ever perfect. Some people have issues with the way that YouTube does business and others feel like they don’t do enough to help protect smaller content creators. Regardless, it’s hard to deny that YouTube has given many people the chance to grow an audience and make money by following their passions. YouTube live streaming is still a big deal and lots of personalities choose to stream video games on it with good reason.   

It’s worth noting that YouTube isn’t promoting things in the same way they did a few years ago. YouTube Gaming used to have a dedicated app, but now it simply lives on as a part of the overall YouTube experience. This may seem bad, but it’s actually streamlining things in some ways. Live streaming on YouTube makes the most sense for people who also want to have a YouTube channel and the current state of the platform very much plays into that.

While YouTube Gaming does not currently have the best live streaming tools or the most reliable low latency system, they do have the best system in place to help your other content get discovered by far. Another thing to consider is that at any time Google could decide that their next big focus is growing their live streaming service and with a few service improvements and live stream promotion tweaks could really disrupt the current ecosystem.  

Facebook Gaming  

So many people were shocked when Mixer announced that it was going away in late June 2020. Not a lot of people saw that coming since Mixer had exclusive deals with huge personalities such as Ninja and Shroud. With Mixer going away, Facebook Gaming has become a more powerful live streaming platform than ever before. Microsoft, the company that owned Mixer, has decided to officially partner with Facebook Gaming moving forward.   

Before this deal with Microsoft was put in place, Facebook Gaming was essentially in fourth place as far as streaming platforms were concerned in terms of active streamers and hours watched. Mixer was positioned as the second biggest live streaming platform for gaming with YouTube coming in just behind that. That said, in 2019 Facebook Gaming saw its largest ever increase in live streaming growth and grew over 300% from the previous year. Twitch might still be king in 2020, but Facebook Gaming is now poised to be a strong second-place contender for the crown.   facebook gaming, fb.gg

Two of the biggest reasons to consider Facebook Gaming as your live streaming home is that you will have, in some respects, a built-in audience in your existing friends list, and it has a huge overall user base. More than one billion people are using Facebook and this means that the potential is there to gain a large following. However, you have to take that information with a grain of salt. People go on the Facebook app for a multitude of reasons and most of them aren’t related to gaming in any way. There are people who have become popular on the Facebook Gaming platform, but it still isn’t seen in the same light as Twitch.   

Can Facebook Gaming start to close the gap and become a true competitor to Twitch? They certainly have the money to do so and there are indications that they’re committed to making it happen. At the moment, Facebook Gaming is still fighting a battle of perception. Gamers don’t perceive Facebook Gaming as the ideal place to be, but that could change with Microsoft offering support and possibly partnering with them for specific Xbox and xCloud-related events.   

Making Your Choice  

Making your choice should really come down to what you want to accomplish with live streaming and what type of audience you’re going for. If you’re looking for a casual audience and you want to take a chance on the sheer number of people using Facebook, then Facebook Gaming might be the ideal home for you. Twitch is a sensible place to go when you just want to live stream games that you’re passionate about while trying to grow a community. YouTube might be best for people who are already using YouTube for their own channels at this point or who want to take advantage of the existing infrastructure and ride out the existing shortcomings.   

It’s also possible that new contenders to the live streaming battle-royal will emerge in the years to come.   

Video game live streaming is going to continue to be a big deal for years to come. Your chosen platform will have an impact on your live streaming career, but it’s also good to just try to have fun. Which platform do you most want to be on? It might be fine to just pick a platform based on which one you prefer as a fan and then to go on from there.   

If you’re worried about the monetary potential of video game live streaming, then know that you can keep your options open. Many famous streamers started on Twitch and then signed lucrative deals with the now-defunct Mixer streaming service. If Facebook Gaming does take off, then you could try to go with that when it seems practical to do so. There might be some advantages to getting involved with Facebook Gaming now, too.   

The Facebook Gaming partnership with Microsoft is both intriguing and mysterious at this point. Some are wondering whether they’re going to have some special new Facebook Gaming integration in the new Xbox Series X console. The Xbox Series X launches during the holiday season in 2020 and it could be a game-changer despite the Playstation 5 receiving significantly more industry buzz at this point. Keep your eyes open for gaming news and make the decision that makes the most sense for you as a live streamer and as a gamer.   

If your dream is a long-lasting career as a content creator, my advice on the best move you can make in the current market would be to brand yourself across multiple platforms and use the strengths of each of them to grow your brand. What I mean by this is make content related to the games you play or your passions on YouTube, engage in the communities on Facebook and Twitter, all while also streaming on Twitch. This gives your brand the most exposure possible and builds your following on every platform so that no matter what platform is “King” in streaming, you will already be there producing content.