Gamers: Right now you’re spending tons of time at home, and you’re ready to start streaming what you’ve been playing. There’s a long list of streaming platforms, each offering different strengths — from audience size to customizability to special features — so it’s important to consider your goals and your specific audience. Remember: it’s not necessarily what platform is the best, but what platform is the best for you.

Twitch

Twitch is a dedicated live-streaming platform that earned its stripes in game streaming, but over the years it’s transitioned to include more mainstream content. Still, its bread and butter is gaming, featuring channels for nearly every game people are playing today.

Perhaps the biggest reason Twitch is so successful as a streaming platform is its active and vibrant community constantly on the lookout for entertaining gaming content. In February 2020, viewers watched more than 981 million hours of live content. With features like friend lists and Whispers (private conversations), Twitch mimics sitting on a couch and playing games with friends.

This personal touch is where Twitch shines. By creating a true community around your stream, you can amplify the performance of the many alerts, donations, and chat moderation tools that are out there, and Twitch boasts compatibility with more of them than any other platform. There are also other ways to monetize your stream that are unique to Twitch, such as subscriptions and Bits (emoticons that can be purchased to use in chat).

Mixer

Mixer is a streaming platform specifically for Xbox gamers. Bigger isn’t always better. Mixer has a smaller, more gaming-focused user base, which means less competition for you and a better chance of being discovered.

Mixer is also one of the more inventive live streaming platforms, offering interactivity features that separate it from its competition. While watching your stream or navigating Mixer, viewers earn “Sparks,” a virtual currency that they can spend to activate soundboards and alerts on your stream. There are also games supported by Mixer that allow viewers to move objects and mess around with the streamer, creating a wildly entertaining show.

In addition to all of that, Mixer also has unique features such as HypeZone, a dedicated PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) channel that features random streamers when they make it to the top 10 of a match; co-streaming options; and FTL technology, causing less delay between you and your audience when chatting. You can respond faster, giving the feel of a true, real-time chat, making your streams more engaging and helping you build a closer following.

Facebook and Youtube

These well known platforms (2.5B and 2B monthly users, respectively) are less gamer-specific, but still house plenty of gaming live streams. In particular, search for game-specific Facebook groups to live stream to.

On Youtube, start your own channel to live stream your gaming. A word of advice if you don’t currently have a Youtube channel: It’s difficult to build a subscriber base on Youtube. Unlike Facebook, where you have a built in audience (i.e., your Facebook friends) that may see your live stream while scrolling around, no one will get notified about your Youtube stream, so you’ll have to promote it aggressively.

Custom Destinations & Pro Setups

Looking to customize the viewing experience rather than limit yourself to just the tools the platform provides you? There are options out there that give you more creative control over the experience of your stream.

The benefits of using one of these services is that you can choose how your stream is delivered and fine-tune what your audience is seeing. While you have separate options for going this route, these are some notable services worth checking out:

There are, of course, other options out there for streaming your content, and more are popping up frequently. Some of the newer or smaller streaming platforms have their advantages in that you can become a big fish in a smaller pond or reach a niche audience that may not have found you on one of the bigger platforms. See if one might be right for you:

  • Periscope: Owned by Twitter, so it has a similar benefit as Facebook in that you could potentially have a head start in building a streaming audience using your already established follower count.
  • Smashcast: Integrates with Discord and is geared toward eSports users. Smashcast is best for gaming related streams.
  • Mobcrush: Focused on mobile gaming while most of the other game-streaming options are geared toward PC and consoles.

While these are several of the live streaming options out there, be on the lookout because there are new and exciting platforms popping up all the time that may best cater toward your interests. We hope this helps get you started with your new stream! 

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