Twitch vs YouTube is a hot topic for aspiring and established content creators everywhere. They’ve long been two of the most popular streaming platforms on the internet, each with its pros and cons – but, which one is better for you?

Let’s take a look at the differences and similarities between these two video platforms.

What are the Key Differences between Twitch and YouTube?

When exploring YouTube Gaming vs Twitch, there are a number of factors to consider. The main difference between Twitch and YouTube is the content types people associate with them. Twitch is known for live streaming, while YouTube is known for pre-recorded and edited videos.

While the two platforms share many of the same features, they still have certain differences that set them apart. Here are the key differences between Twitch and YouTube:


Twitch is designed primarily for live streaming, so its browse feature is geared towards that. You can browse by game, streamer, or content type (eg speedrun, IRL). YouTube’s browse feature, on the other hand, is designed around finding specific videos or channels.

Another big difference between the two is that YouTube allows its creators to customize the thumbnails of their videos, while Twitch doesn’t offer the same level of control for streamers. This can be a big advantage for YouTube creators, as a good thumbnail can help your video stand out in the sea of content on the platform.

Plus, Twitch recommends popular streamers when using their browsing feature, which can be quite unfavorable for smaller channels. YouTube’s algorithm, in contrast, suggests users with the most relevant channels and videos to watch based on their viewing habits, giving smaller channels a better chance of being seen.

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Twitch feature browse

Content Rules

When it comes to content, Twitch is a little more lax than YouTube. This is because Twitch is geared towards live streaming, and live streams are harder to control than pre-recorded videos. That said, there are still rules that streamers need to follow when streaming on Twitch, such as no nudity or sexually suggestive content, no violence, and no hate speech.

YouTube, on the other hand, has stricter content rules. For example, YouTube doesn’t allow any nudity or sexually suggestive content, even if it’s not graphic. They also don’t allow videos that promote or condone violence, and have a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech.

However, Twitch tends to ban its creators with zero warnings, while YouTube uses a three-strike system. Keep this in mind if you plan on streaming or creating videos on either platform.


Growth is one of the bigger differences between Twitch and YouTube. In general, though, there are two things to keep in mind when looking at the growth you can expect on each platform:

  1. YouTube’s algorithm allows small content creators to have a chance at being seen by potential viewers, while Twitch’s algorithm favors streamers with a bigger following.
  2. Because video content on YouTube is always accessible, you don’t always have to be on the platform or live streaming to gain viewers. Meanwhile, Twitch requires you to stream regularly and be active in the community to grow your channel.


Both Twitch and YouTube offer many monetization options for their content creators, such as paid advertising and self-promotion. However, when it comes to the question of which platform pays its creators more, YouTube seems to come out on top.

Monetization multiple ways to earn

This is because YouTube makes use of Google’s Adsense Contextual Advertising and their ad revenue share is 55% for most content creators, while Twitch only provides inline ads for its creators, which are often blocked by viewers’ AdBlock software.

Aside from these ads, YouTube also has Super Chat and Super Stickers that viewers can purchase to support their favorite creators. Twitch, on the other hand, has a monthly subscription service called Twitch Prime that viewers can use to support their favorite streamers. Plus, Twitch allows viewers to make direct, in-app donations to streamers.


Affiliate programs are available on both Twitch and YouTube. To be a part of these programs, you must meet certain requirements, such as having a certain number of followers/subscribers, a regular streaming/uploading schedule, and consistent viewer engagement.

For Twitch, streamers can either be Affiliates or Partners as long as they have the qualifying criteria. This two-tiered system makes it easier for content creators to start monetizing their channels, unlike YouTube, which only offers the YouTube Affiliates program.

Gaming on Twitch vs YouTube

There are a number of gamers who opt to stream on both YouTube and Twitch, but there’s no doubt that sticking with one or the other makes things easier. But what’s the difference between Twitch and YouTube when it comes to gaming?

In terms of the literal streaming process, both are easy to set up – especially if you’re making use of Lightstream Studio, which lets you seamlessly add overlays and stream through our powerful cloud-based software. Streaming from consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox is made easy with Lightstream and can be used to stream on Twitch.

Broadcasting on Twitch has diversified over the years from its roots as purely gaming-focused content to include other types of streaming, such as music and talk shows. However, gaming is still the bread and butter of Twitch.

The platform has tools built specifically for gamers that make streaming a breeze, from powerful video encoding software to in-game overlays that show viewer statistics and other information. Twitch also has a vibrant and enthusiastic community that loves to chat with broadcasters and watch their favorite streamers play.

Gaming on Twitch vs YouTube


If you’re more interested in the content aspect than socializing with viewers, YouTube Gaming may be the better choice for you. While it doesn’t have the same features as Twitch for streaming games, YouTube Gaming does offer a powerful editor that lets you easily cut together clips and add annotations and music to your videos.

You also have the advantage of being able to monetize your content through ads, which can be a lucrative source of income – and while Twitch technically has partner ads and other streams of monetization, YouTube is the more lucrative option.

The platforms also differ in terms of:

Engagement level and competition – Twitch is highly saturated with gamers, making it a little more competitive to get attention from viewers. YouTube has a much higher viewership, so there’s great potential for growth if you can get your content seen.

Streamer-viewer dynamics – On Twitch, broadcasters are often more interactive with their viewers, taking questions and chatting while they play. YouTube Gaming viewers are typically less engaged, preferring to watch videos without commentary.

Algorithm – Twitch’s algorithm is largely based on viewership, so the more people who watch your stream, the higher it will rank in the search results. YouTube’s algorithm takes other factors into account such as likes, shares, and comments.

So, which platform is right for you? If you’re serious about streaming and want to build a community around your content, Twitch is the better choice. It may be hard to get viewers at first, but it largely comes down to how watchable your content is. The best games to stream on Twitch are those that keep the audience engaged and interested.

If you want to also create videos on top of streaming, YouTube is a great option that comes with a lot of built-in features to make your life easier.

The Future of Twitch vs YouTube Streaming and Gaming

It’s hard to say which platform will come out on top in the long run. Twitch has been around for longer, and its gaming focus has given it a loyal following. However, YouTube Gaming is quickly catching up, and its strong editing tools make it a great choice for content creators.

The future of Twitch and YouTube Gaming is uncertain, but it’s clear that both platforms have a lot to offer content creators and gamers.

Twitch vs YouTube Gaming: Which Pays More?

When it comes to monetization, YouTube is the clear winner. Not only do you have a variety of options for ads, you can also make money through Super Chat and Super Stickers. Twitch Prime is a good option, but it can’t compare to the earnings potential of YouTube.

However, it’s worth noting that when it comes to affiliate programs, Twitch pays out more than YouTube. So, if you’re looking to make a little extra money from your content, Twitch may be the better option.

Mobile Game Streaming: Twitch vs YouTube

Mobile games have become increasingly popular in recent years, and as a result, both Twitch and YouTube have added features to their platforms to accommodate this growing trend. You may be wondering: what’s the difference between mobile game streaming on YouTube vs Twitch?

Twitch has been streaming mobile games since its early days, and since the platform is known for gaming, it’s easy to find broadcasters playing your favorite mobile games. Streaming mobile games on Twitch is easy, as the app has a number of user-friendly features that allow streamers to broadcast live and record their sessions.

YouTube Gaming also offers support for mobile game streaming that makes streaming directly from your phone easy. You can even use your phone’s front-facing camera to stream yourself playing games.

So, which platform is better for streaming mobile games? It largely depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a wide selection of mobile games to choose from and easy-to-use tools, Twitch is the better option. If you’re more interested in streaming yourself playing games, YouTube Gaming is a good choice.

Regardless of whether you stream from YouTube, Twitch, or both, a powerful stream editor like Lightstream can take your production quality to the next level.

Lightstream Studio Gamer is a professional-grade live streaming production software that gives you all the tools you need to produce beautiful, high-quality streams – no downloads required. You can easily add professional graphics, titles, and other overlays to your stream, and even switch between scenes to keep your content fresh.

To try out Lightstream Studio Gamer for yourself, head over to our website and sign up for a free trial of the Gamer membership. We think you’ll be impressed with the results!

Is it better to stream on YouTube or Twitch?

The short answer? It’s complicated. Although no one likes to hear this kind of answer, it really depends on the individual and what you are looking for.

YouTube is generally better for those who are looking to create videos and monetize them, as it has a number of features that make the process easier. Twitch, on the other hand, is better for those who want to build a community around their content and engage with their viewers.

On one hand, YouTube is better than Twitch because its algorithm promotes videos that are more likely to be clicked on and shared. This is good for those who want their content to reach a wider audience.

On the other hand, Twitch offers features like powerful video encoding software and in-game overlays that aren’t available on YouTube. This makes it great for those who want to stream games and have a more interactive experience with their viewers.

So, in the end, it really depends on what you’re looking for. It’s also worth noting that many content creators use both platforms to reach different audiences, so feel free to experiment until you find the one that’s right for you.

Twitch vs YouTube: FAQs

Is it easier to grow on YouTube or Twitch?

When it comes to growth potential on the two platforms, YouTube is generally seen as being easier to grow on. This is because its browsing feature and algorithm gives smaller creators a chance to be seen. Plus, YouTube allows you to customize the thumbnails of your videos which allows your content to stand out.

With that said, Twitch does have a built-in advantage when it comes to Gaming content as the platform was created specifically for gamers. This means that there is a higher chance of viewers coming across your content organically and, if you’re good at streaming, you can grow a large following quickly.

Can you stream on YouTube and Twitch at the same time?

Yes, you can stream on both YouTube and Twitch at the same time. Many broadcasting software options allow you to do this, such as Xsplit and OBS. However, it’s important to note that your streaming quality may suffer if you try to do this.

Streaming a podcast, talk show, or just chatting? Stream to both destinations without any quality loss using Studio 2!

Does YouTube own Twitch?

Twitch is actually owned by Amazon. It was bought in 2014 for just over $1 billion. Meanwhile, YouTube is owned by Google.

How will cloud gaming affect streamers on Twitch vs YouTube?

Cloud gaming is a new technology that allows gamers to stream games directly from the internet, without needing to install them on their computer. This is a big development for the gaming industry as a whole, but it’s especially important for streamers, as it means they can now stream high-end games that wouldn’t have been possible before.

Plus, with cloud streaming services like Lightstream, there’s no need to have a powerful computer in order to run games at high settings. This means that more people will be able to stream games on Twitch and YouTube, which could lead to even more competition between the two platforms.

Final Thoughts: Where Should You Produce Content?

After looking at all the key differences between Twitch and YouTube, as well as the FAQs, it’s clear that both platforms have their own unique strengths and weaknesses.

Whether you’re streaming content on Twitch or YouTube, Lightstream has you covered! From streaming from your console with Lightstream Gamer, to a talkshow or podcast with your friends on Studio 2, to a full production setup on Creator, Lightstream can make it fast and easy to get started.