YouTube Gaming Review: Is It the End of Twitch?

At first glance, YouTube Gaming may seem to be a Twitch clone. But, upon closer inspection, you’ll see that YouTube streaming service offers some features and advantages that Twitch doesn’t provide. When Google created YouTube Gaming, the main idea was to combine live streaming and on-demand videos in one platform. You can already watch a plenty of game videos and live streams on YouTube. YouTube Gaming just presents the existing content in a new, more convenient and game-oriented interface. The new platform curates YouTube existing videos allowing you to more easily find your favorite games without accidently stumbling onto Carly Rae Jepsen video. As it was stated in the announcement post, YouTube Gaming is a place where everyone can search with confidence, knowing that typing “call” will show you Call of Duty and not “Call Me Maybe.” So let’s go ahead and make our own investigation. Here we present some features that distinguish YouTube Gaming from other streaming platforms:


YouTube Gaming allows viewers to select the video quality they want to watch in. If you have low Internet speed, you can watch stream at 480p. On Twitch, for example, you simply wouldn’t be able to watch broadcasting at all (most viewers have too high bitrate). The video player is better, compared to Twitch: it doesn’t rely on Adobe Flash, so there is little or no crashing or seizing during the broadcast. YouTube Gaming viewers can watch playbacks of favorite streams. Moreover, the DVR mode automatically records the last 4 hours of any stream allowing viewers that have just joined to catch up on what they’ve missed. And what is more, videos can be stored and be viewable on YouTube Gaming forever, which is impossible on Twitch (it is 14-day store for regular streamers and 60-day store for partners).

Easy Start

If you work on a PC, you can stream using certain applications, such as Open Broadcaster Software or XSplit. If you are not tech savvy or prefer playing mobile games, you can stream to YouTube Gaming directly from your Android device. It is also possible to stream right from your PlayStation 4. Here you can find more detailed instructions on how to start streaming to YouTube Gaming.

Interface and Design

YouTube Gaming has a smooth, user-friendly interface with advanced archival and searching system. When you enter YouTube Gaming website, the first thing you see is an on-air stream in the middle of the screen. For users’ convenience, it’s muted. If you scroll your screen down, you’ll see the most popular recommended streaming channels. You can always customize your preferences in profile settings to see the games and channels you like most. Large icons for your followed streaming channels and games are placed on the left and right sides of the screen, making it easy to choose whatever you want to watch. As for the appearance of your interface, it is based on your settings in the main YouTube channel. Thus, the color of your channel is the same as on your channel art; the sections of your gaming channel correspond to the sections in the home tab of your channel. If you have already subscribed to gaming channel on YouTube, you can import them to your YouTube Gaming with a few clicks. Design of game hubs and channel pages is intuitive and simply-organized. For instance, the “Dota 2” page has separate dedicated tabs for live streams, recommended and most popular videos, let’s plays and reviews, which makes it easy to find the content you’re craving. YouTube Gaming Review

Event Hubs

In June 2016, YouTube Gaming launched “event hubs” feature, starting with E3. A hub is supposed to house streams and recorded videos related to a specific eSport tournament or expo. Each hub is dedicated to an ongoing or past event and includes all related videos, official YouTube shows and live streams.

Strict Copyright Rules

YouTube is notorious for harsh copyright limitations. Before starting your broadcast, make sure that your content is legal and you don’t break copyright law. If YouTube detect any copyrighted materials, your stream can be muted or even switched off. Because of the copyright dispute, many YouTube videos containing background music or music of label artists are geoblocked in Germany since 2009.

How Does YouTube Partner Program Work for Gaming Channels?

There are 2 main ways of earning money with ads on YouTube Gaming. First way is becoming a part of InStream video ads system. However, it is realistic only for those rare streamers having more than 10 millions monthly views. The second option is more accessible: you can generate ad revenue as a YouTube partner through AdSense. The famous Let’s Play gamer PewDie Pie has attracted millions of people to his channel, making them click on pre-roll ads that show up earlier in his videos. These days, almost everyone can immediately become a YouTube partner and start monetizing gaming content. Requirements for partnership are not strict: However, it is not all that simple: there are some restrictions regarding gaming content. Video game content may be monetized only if you have a commercial use right given by the license of game publishers. Some of the publishers allow you to use all video content for commercial use. If you demonstrate software user interface, this content may be monetized providing that you have a contract with the publisher or has paid a license fee. However, if you tied to live actions with instructional or educational value, the following content can be monetized without limitations.

Most Frequent Questions about YouTube Gaming

  • Are YouTube and YouTube Gaming separate services?
Your channel on YouTube and YouTube Gaming is the same, associated with Google account that you use for signing in to YouTube. The main peculiarity is that in YouTube Gaming you have a different interface, more convenient for live streaming, uploading stream archives and watching your favorite creators. The same as with standard YouTube, on YouTube Gaming you can follow channels to stay in trend with new content.  Unlike standard YouTube, you can also follow specific games.
  • If I subscribe to a streaming channel on YouTube Gaming, do I get automatically subscribed on my YouTube account?
When you subscribe to streaming channels on YouTube Gaming, it is not added to your subscription list on your main YouTube channel and vise versa.
  • Can I find the game videos from YouTube Gaming on YouTube?
Yes, you can watch game videos on YouTube website or app. But, on YouTube Gaming you will find only gaming content.
  • How do I know that my game videos are available on YouTube Gaming? 
Along with the content of your video, YouTube Gaming administration examines the metadata to see whether it is a game-related or not. Make sure that you correctly state the name of the game your video depicts.
  • How to upload videos to YouTube Gaming?
You just need to upload your video to YouTube. If your video is game-related, it will automatically appear in YouTube Gaming.
  • How Is YouTube Gaming Different from Twitch?
YouTube Gaming puts an equal emphasis on developing live and on-demand content, while Twitch’s priority is live streaming. YouTube Gaming also provides its distinct features, such as: rewinding during a live broadcast and the ability to save recorded content forever.

Take Away

The good news is that Twitch finally has a real competitor and this rivalry is only going to bring good things for both viewers and streamers. In spite of many advantages of YouTube Gaming, its appearance doesn’t mean an immediate doom of Twitch. While there are some aspects which Google is doing better, the service is not perfect yet, and it’s unlikely that already established Twitch community members will make the switch right away. Moreover, many gamers disagree with YouTube copyright take down system. And what do you think? Are you excited about YouTube Gaming? Do you think that it could be a Twitch killer?