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A Guide to Understanding Streaming Platforms

Why are Streaming Platforms Such an Essential Part of Gaming
Why are Streaming Platforms Such an Essential Part of Gaming
Written by G H

Streaming has become an integral part of the gaming world, and it is expanding like never before. There are now more streaming platforms and streamers and viewers alike are thrilled at what is offered. While the major streaming platforms have some of the same elements, they also have as many differences. With this guide, we will fully break down the three major streaming platforms and what they offer to streamers and viewers alike. 

Why are Streaming Platforms Such an Essential Part of Gaming?

Some would argue streaming platforms have been the best thing to happen to gaming since the invention of the console. Streaming platforms allow streamers to play games while others watch, taking away the loneliness of playing solo and bringing in a social aspect. 

Streaming a game on Twitch or another streaming platform is like getting together with a bunch of friends and laughing over the terrible mess-ups. Streaming has brought a new level of immersion into the gaming world. 

Streaming allows you to either share your skills or check out other gamers to pick up on theirs. It also affords you the ability to watch the gameplay of games you may be interested in, but are still on the fence, regarding making a purchase. 

Streaming has also been a boon to the esports industry. Livestreaming platforms allow big events to be shared with viewers all over the world. This has dramatically increased interest in esports and widely expanded the industry. 

Many esports leagues use streaming platforms to raise awareness of their efforts. Platforms like Twitch help esports leagues to gather a larger following and can even help them gain more sponsors. 

A Guide to Understanding Streaming Platforms
A Guide to Understanding Streaming Platforms

Popular Games on Streaming Platforms

While there was once very little variety when it came to the games being streamed on streaming platforms, there are now more games than ever before, including new and retro titles. There are some types of games that seem to draw in bigger crowds than others. 

  • World of Warcraft
  • League of Legends
  • Fortnite
  • Dota 2
  • Overwatch
  • PUBG

Streaming platforms like Twitch even allow streamers to broadcast themselves cooking breakfast or creating amazing animations. People even stream just to chat with viewers. 

Twitch Remains the Top Streaming Platform

While there are multiple streaming platforms, there is one that gives all others a run for their money. Twitch was officially launched in beta in 2011. Over the years, Twitch has exploded and seen more than 15-million unique viewers a day. 

When Twitch was first launched, there was a lot of speculation, and many thought it would be a passing fad. Thankfully, these people were wrong. Twitch has been holding strong for many years and is more popular than ever. As many have discovered, the gaming community is full of enthusiasts who love to share their skills, tips and tricks, and the fun of a well-played game. 

Statistics on Twitch

To better understand the Twitch platform, it is helpful to consider some statistics. Some of them are quite shocking. 

  • There are over 2.2 million streamers on Twitch each month. 
  • Twitch now has over 27,000 partners in its partner program. 
  • The average Twitch viewer watches around 95 minutes a day. 
  • On average, there are 41,000 streamers and 1.1 million viewers at any given time.
  • Around 20% of all Twitch traffic comes from America. 
  • “Ninja” was the streamer with the most followers and had over 13-million. 
  • At present, the most popular game on Twitch is Fortnite. 
  • The population of the Twitch userbase is around 81.5% male, though females are growing in numbers.
  • Over half of all Twitch users are between the ages of 18-34. 

Twitch became so popular, Amazon paid $970-million to purchase the streaming platform in 2014. Amazon stated they acquired Twitch because of their commitment to standing behind the gaming community. Outside of Steam, Amazon is one of the largest video game vendors in the world. 

Many people were shocked to learn Google offered more than Amazon with a one-billion-dollar bid, but they were turned down by Twitch. As you may or may not know, Google already owns YouTube, another platform for game streaming. 

What Should You Know About Twitch?

Twitch can be viewed via their website or through the many apps that are now available on a wide array of electronic devices, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. 

On its front page, Twitch shows recommendations for live streams and recorded ones. You can search by genre, title, or streamer name. If you find something you like, you can follow or subscribe. 

Twitch allows you to watch streamers play games and chat with the streamer and other viewers. Some of the communities on Twitch have grown considerably, while some remain tight-knit. 

There are many streamers who are making a full-time living by streaming on Twitch. No matter how you use the streaming platform, it will bring you closer to the games you love. 

Twitch Remains the Top Streaming Platform
Twitch Remains the Top Streaming Platform

YouTube Gaming Is Growing in Popularity

YouTube Gaming may not be as popular among gamers as Twitch, but it is not the ugly stepbrother. YouTube Gaming is often seen as a middle man or a go-between for Twitch and YouTube. This platform brings both live and recorded video and has amassed an insanely large library of gaming content. 

One of the things that really sets YouTube Gaming apart from its competitors is the easy search option. Twitch and its competitors simply do not offer the same ease in search options as YouTube Gaming does. 

Another thing that YouTube offers is the ability to rewind and playback live videos without having to wait for them to be released on VOD. 

Statistics on YouTube Gaming

Here are some surprising statistics on YouTube Gaming. See which ones shock you the most. 

  • YouTube. com was activated in 2005. 
  • Google purchased YouTube in 2006 and paid $1.65 billion. 
  • By 2010, YouTube was experiencing around two-billion viewers a day. 
  • YouTube has over 1.9 billion logged-in users each month. 
  • Eight out of ten users are between the ages of 18-49. 
  • YouTube can be navigated in over 80 languages. 
  • “ToysReview” is the highest-earning YouTuber and makes over $20-million a year and he is a kid!
  • One-billion users watch YouTube every day. 
  • PewDiePie is the second most-subscribed YouTube channel with 101-million subscribers in 2019. 
  • YouTube Gaming has 83-million subscribers as of 2019. 

What Should You Know About YouTube Gaming?

If you visit the opening page of YouTube Gaming, you will see a somewhat similar layout as Twitch and some other streaming platforms. At the very top, you will see a category called ‘Top Live Games”.

You will also see recommendations based on your browsing history on YouTube.com. There are also categories for trending videos and top live streams. 

As we said before, the easiest part about using YouTube Gaming is the big search bar at the top of the page. Here, you can type in your search request and find live and recorded streams in one second or less. 

Just like with Twitch, you can subscribe to your favorite streamers and content providers, so you never miss out on their streams. You can even set up your notifications so you will be alerted every time they add a new video. 

Mixer Continues Rising

Mixer first launched with the name Beam, but it was later changed to Mixer. This Seattle-based streaming service is owned by Microsoft and allows users to easily start streaming from a console or their computer. Microsoft purchased Beam for an undisclosed amount and changed the name to Mixer, integrating it with Xbox One and Windows 10. 

Mixer has a smaller following of gamers and viewers, but it does offer something other streaming services do not. When Mixer was launched, it ran on the promise of offering streaming with only one second of latency, versus the 10-20 seconds of latency that occurs on platforms like Twitch. This allows viewers and streamers to experience a more effective and immersive dialogue. 

Statistics About Mixer

Because Mixer has not been around as long as Twitch, it has not gained the same level of popularity. Here are some interesting statistics about Mixer. 

  • On August 1, 2019, Ninja, the Twitch streamer with the highest number of followers, announced he would be streaming exclusively on Mixer. It will be interesting to see what this does for Mixer’s popularity. 
  • Since July 2019, Mixer has experienced an increase of over 16,000 viewers. 
  • “Season Two” was launched in November of 2018 and offered new features like skills adjustments and premium features that must be purchased. 
  • In April 2019, Mixer launched “Channel Progression” which tracks a user’s engagement with channels and rewards them for their support. 
  • Beam (Mixer) was started by two teens named Matt Salsamendi and James Boehm. They were only 13 and 15 at the time. One dropped out of high school to run the multi-million-dollar platform. 
  • Mixer is available in eighteen languages
  • There are two mobile apps available for Mixer. One allows you to view content and the other is Mixer Create which allows you to stream content. 
  • Viewers can interact with players, giving them more ammo or making the game more difficult by taking it away. 
  • To become a partner, you need at least 750 followers and then you can start making money. 

What Should You Know About Mixer?

When you visit the Mixer website, you will see a carousel of live streams to choose from. At the top of your screen, you can choose the top streams, games, be a partner, and more. If you click on games, you can browse through covers or search for the game you want. 

Mixer is one of the only game streaming platforms that allows up to four players to play a game together and show as a split-screen. When players play with other streamers on Twitch, they cannot bring in a split-screen at this time. 

With Twitch and other streaming platforms, streamers may have to purchase extra equipment, but Mixer allows you to stream right from your Xbox One or mobile device within seconds. 

If you go pro, you will not have any ads, along with enjoying premium features that are not available to non-paying viewers. Mixer continues to bring in new improvements

Benefits of Live Video Game Streaming Platforms
Benefits of Live Video Game Streaming Platforms

Benefits of Live Video Game Streaming Platforms

If the thought of playing video games while people watch sounds appealing to you, choosing the right streaming platform is essential. The following offers some insight into the many benefits of these streaming platforms. 

  • Although you could stream on your own, having the right platform gives you access to a larger audience. Since most people start streaming to have as many people watch as possible, this is important. 
  • When you use a streaming platform, you will experience a much higher-quality of stream than when left to your own devices. 
  • There is a high level of customer support associated with all three of the top game streaming services. Having this support will keep you on track with your channel and each stream. 
  • Many of the most popular streaming services offer analytics tools that help you understand the impact you are making on the gaming community and how well your efforts are paying off. 
  • It is free to stream on Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Mixer so everyone can afford to stream their favorite games. 
  • You can make money and some have become millionaires by simply streaming the video games they love. 


There are many game streaming services on the market, so it is important to check out your options if you plan on streaming. Each of the above offers different benefits and some streamers choose to have content on all platforms. 

Game streaming services are here to stay and are surpassing the views experienced by prime-time television. Some believe these streaming services will eventually be ranked with the likes of Netflix, but only time will tell. 

Check out the above and see which offers the features you like most. While Twitch is a gamer favorite right now, Mixer could be giving them a run for their money with their latest acquisition of “Ninja”. It looks like the battle of the streaming platforms has fully begun.

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