their popularity continues, with the average YouTube Gaming viewership hovering around half a million. YouTube Gaming, an offshoot of YouTube Live, competes primarily with Twitch. As of 2021, Twitch was the most-used streaming platform according to US-based gamers, with YouTube Gaming coming in second. Yet gaming is just one facet of YouTube’s livestreaming services. As with its prerecorded videos, live streams cover just about every niche. Whether it’s an endless loop of lo-fi beats or simply a random facet of someone’s life, YouTube Live operates as background noise in the eyes of some consumers. Much like radio in a department store or television in a doctor’s office, live streams can be a passive source of stimulation.
But this isn’t always the case. As with esports, YouTube Live also showcases traditional sports. For instance, YouTube livestreams the Champions League final, which gets a viewing average of close to 400 million across all platforms, and YouTube gets a slice of that pie. Rather than serving as a substitute for TV altogether, live streams offer select matches, press conferences as well as bespoke content. This is largely due to rights agreements between leagues and their broadcasters. Right now, live content isn’t mutually exclusive; YouTube Live can complement TV broadcasts, giving companies the opportunity for more exposure rather than competition. The same can be said for YouTube versus Twitch – creators can utilise both.
WATCH ME! US esports team Cloud9 come back
to win the 2018 Boston CS:GO Major title
Unlike Twitch’s business model, YouTube channels do not require a paid subscription. While it may seem counterintuitive, both platforms have their benefits: Twitch streamers earn an obvious income, while YouTubers take more of a gamble, possibly reaping the rewards of extra accessibility (and more, if they’re on the Partner Program). As of late, there’s been a push for YouTube to contract Twitch streamers to bring in new audiences – almost like buying an athlete from another team. For example, YouTube Gaming
AS WITH PRERECORDED VIDEOS, LIVE STREAMS COVER JUST ABOUT EVERY NICHE
WATCH ME! Justin Bieber’s With You cover on YouTube catapulted his career
GAME THEORY The top interest group on YouTube is gamers – and crossover with Twitch is more common than you may think
Powered by FlippingBook