YouTube vs. Twitch

Silas Gonzalez ‘24

The recent PR spirals of media platforms YouTube and Twitch have led to a mass difference of opinion when it comes to their viability.  

Recent Changes

What was originally a Washington Post Twitch leak was confirmed true on September 21: A message from Twitch President Tom Clancy confirmed that Twitch would be cutting the salaries of their users.  What was once a salary 70:30 split ratio for major streamers to the company is now a 50:50 ratio across all affiliates.  To compensate for this, Twitch has incentivized 8+ minutes of ads per hour.  Streamers alike are upset about this new change. AsmonGold, a twitch streamer, stated that, “Twitch is effectively paying streamers to kill their channel and ultimately the website.”  Not only are streamers perplexed at this change, but the revisions have caused discord among its viewers as well.

In the current media era, videos are the top priority.  The grand spike in viewership for TikTok in recent years has caused other social media, such as Instagram, to be influenced by short videos to hook viewership.  The everyday viewer on Twitch (those without Amazon Prime) are now subject to ads lasting 8 or more minutes.  It is critical that streamers and alike hook their audiences from the very beginning in order to captivate them.  

YouTube is also making changes to the way it supports its creators.  YouTube has offered to monetize their new YouTube Shorts, allowing a wider range of creators to profit off of their video content.  This also means more ad time, naturally.  Revenues for said ads have increased, and content creators will now receive 45% of ad revenue.  Creators are now also able to include popular music in videos without receiving a copyright strike.  YouTube’s monetization plans may appear tame compared to Twitch’s, but YouTube’s recent actions have stirred some controversy as they began. Deploying seemingly random copyright strikes towards creators.

Which is Better?

In my eyes, YouTube and Twitch offer different viewing experiences. However, with the bizarre ways Twitch has treated its creators, YouTube seems to be the better choice.  Several Twitch streamers such as Ludwig, Sykkuno, LilyPichu, and Myth have joined YouTube instead.  YouTube offers a better variety for content, albeit less of a focus on live streamed content.  Twitch’s tailor made live streams and live chats are what YouTube is currently lacking.  Hopefully, the negative reaction to these controversial changes in terms and conditions for both services allow for a wake up call.