Best Live Streaming Platforms for New Streamers- 2021

With the growing popularity of streaming sites such as Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Live there has been a rise in the number of new gamers looking to make and grow their communities. Streaming platforms have become a great way for people looking to make a name for themselves in this industry, as they allow you to promote your content and interact with your audience at the same time.

So which one is the best to devote your content to?

Twitch.tv Streaming Platform

If you are even interested in streaming you have had to hear about Twitch; they are the king on the throne as far as live streaming platforms. It is the fastest growing platform in the market, beating out its own record year after year with a 29% growth. Here are some stats:

  • May 2021: 3.1 million average concurrent viewers
  • May 2021: 9.0 million total streamers went live
  • May 2021: 2.3 billion total hours watched

Twitch’s popularity and first-mover advantages give it 65.8% market share in terms of hours watched.

PROS

  • Best Chat Atmosphere
  • Desktop, Mobile, Console Apps
  • Extensive Varied Content
  • Completely Free with Premium Options
  • Largest Viewerbase
  • Monetization

CONS

  • No app for Roku or Nintendo
  • Viewer Ads have become too much
  • Video Transcoding locked behind Partner status

Chat
The biggest thing Twitch has going for itself is the Streamer and Viewership interactions through chat. It’s hands down a step ahead of the other streaming platforms. Its emoji ecosystem alone should justify keeping viewership engaged and coming back. There are also countless numbers of ChatBots for moderation, loyalty points, and mini-games. Overall, Twitch Chat provides the best community vibe out of all the streaming platforms.

Monetization
Twitch has the most to offer as far as monetization options when comparing to other streaming platforms. While many of these items will seem great, unfortunately, most are locked behind Affiliate and Partner status.

  • Tips / Donations (3rd Party)
  • Emotes (Affiliate/Partner, 3rd Party)
  • Subscriptions (Affiliate/Partner)
  • Gifted Subscriptions (Affiliate/Partner)
  • Ads (Affiliate/Partner)

YouTube Gaming Streaming Platform

YouTube Gaming can be a great place to start, especially if you already have a Youtube following or may plan to. YouTube Gaming offers all the same features as a standard Youtuber. YouTube Gaming coming in as the second most popular streaming platform, earning 23.3% market share for hours watched. That’s a third of what Twitch holds!

PROS

  • Discoverability
  • Video Transcoding Options
  • DVR / Video Rewind Feature
  • Can Leverage YouTube Platform
  • Easily Transition Live Stream to YouTube Videos
  • Great Analytic Stats (Creator Studio)
  • Good Mobile App

CONS

  • Website Interface takes up more space and feels more cluttered
  • Chat seems limited

Chat
Unfortunately, chat on Youtube is pretty basic and bland. It’s still a way to interact with your viewers, but it’s not as special as Twitch Chat. There is little available for moderation features and the special incentives are limited.

Monetization
YouTube Gaming has moderately comparable monetization options when comparing to Twitch and even some unique features of its own.

  • Tips / Donations (3rd Party)
  • Channel Membership / Subscription
  • Ads (Pre-roll, Mid-roll, Screen Overlay)
  • Super Chat and Super Stickers
  • VOD Uploads
  • Channel Membership Live Streams (Private Streams) – beta

Facebook Gaming Streaming Platform

Facebook Live is the underdog, yet it is seeing growth faster than YouTube Gaming. Facebook Live currently holds 10.9% market share for hours watched. That’s 1/6th the size of Twitch and half the size you YouTube Gaming! Don’t be fooled though, Facebook Gaming is blossoming with growth as it boasts a 27% year-of-year increase in hours watched.

PROS

  • Easiest Barrier of Entry
  • Pulls from existing Facebook Interests
  • Integrated Facebook Games
  • Easy Mobile Broadcasting

CONS

  • No Console Apps
  • Limited iOS App
  • Smallest Viewerbase
  • 1080p, 60 fps locked behind level up program
  • No Usernames – Chat uses real name

Chat
There’s not too much to be said about Facebook Gaming chat. The biggest con would be that there are no usernames. So if you decide to participate in chat you are putting your real first and last name out there for everybody to see.

Monetization
There is a monetization option on Facebook Live, although it is not as extensive as the other platforms. As a Streamer you can unlock ‘Stars’ (like bits on Twitch) which can then be exchanged for real money – the current rate is one cent per star. Additionally, your viewers can also subscribe to your channel just as one would on Twitch.

  • Level Up and Partner Programs
  • Donations (Level Up / Partners)
  • Subscriptions (Level Up / Partners)
  • Ads (Partners)
  • Special Sticker Packs (Partners)
  • “Bounty Board” (Partners)
  • Affiliate Links (Partners)

Streaming Platform Takeaway

Overall, we think Twitch is the best streaming platform to choose to broadcast on. Sure competition is tough, and other platforms may be easier to grow on, but your growth potential on Twitch will be greater in the long game. Twitch is outperforming both YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming in acquiring new accounts and total cumulative hours watched which means if you start sooner than later your potential to grow will follow. Twitch also has one of the best community vibes atmosphere which is simply unmatched by the competition, this will be meaningful once you start building your following.

At the end of the day, choose whatever streaming platform calls to you. Or simply try each streaming platform out and get a feel for each yourself. There’s ultimately no wrong decision; there are plenty of streamers that are successful and making a comfortable living on each platform. You simply need to understand which each platform offers and where its weaknesses are to determine the right fit for you.

Looking for tips on starting off ahead of your competition and enhance your growth?
See our Top 5 Best Tips to be a Successful Streamer (Twitch, YouTube, Facebook).