PC Gaming accounts to $622million of the total $5.5 billion digital games market. And the market of worldwide digital games is growing rapidly. So as soon as a Amazon swooped up Twitch from Google, Google was determined to bring in a Twitch competitor from within YouTube. Thus was born the gaming branch of YouTube, YouTube Gaming.
It makes sense for YouTube to have something like this, YouTube already are excellent at videos. And live streaming for events is available on YouTube since 2011. Being the pioneers of online video content on Internet most gamers upload their Twitch streams or stream highlights on their own YouTube Channel. This is one of the biggest reasons why YouTube Gaming is a good move ahead for Gaming on YouTube.
“We wanted to create a one-stop shop for all gaming content,” Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s head of gaming, told the BBC. “At the moment there is a fragmented experience. People go to different places for live content, and YouTube for video on demand. We have amazing gamers that don’t live stream yet. Now they have that opportunity.”
YouTube Gaming has a very sleek interface and a very user friendly UI for streamers. For viewers, it looks like a more polished version of Twitch with everything easily accessible on the stream page. Since people already love and use YouTube every day for video consumption, it isn’t a new gaming platform for them to learn and adapt.
In a way YouTube Gaming is becoming a better gaming platform than Twitch by providing their superior video technology which makes it a viable option for gamers to choose over Twitch. It will support 60 frames per second streaming and playback, which would require less powerful hardware than it is required for Twitch. And with one-click, a Live Stream can be converted to a YouTube video which is a boon for streamers. Google also runs the strongest advertising network which makes monetization for gamers much easier than it is in Twitch. YouTube Gaming recently introduced live mobile streaming capabilities for Android devices to stream directly from smartphones. This opens a big avenue for various mobile gamers too which aren’t accommodated on Twitch.
But YouTube has a long way to go, it is still running under the Twitch’s shadow. If you visit their homepage you are likely to see the same type of popular games as Twitch. Given that most gamers will play the most popular games and so it still would be the same but YouTube needs to sign exclusive partnership deals with streamers and get them to stream on YouTube rather than on Twitch (too). Twitch has a vast range of games and some new categories like Creative, Gaming talk shows and Poker. These categories amass more than 10,000 viewers at any given time of the day. YouTube Gaming is missing such categories. As per SuperdataResearch, Social gamers are growing rapidly. People like to play non-traditional games like online casino which can be a very blooming market to be captured by YouTube Gaming for streaming as YouTube Gaming is a part of YouTube Red which brings in a lot of mobile viewers.
Not just with games, a few necessary things are still missing from this gaming platform. There are no live viewer stats for the streamer to know, the lack of analytics make it difficult for streamers to know about their viewers, streamer-branding is vastly ignored and the live stream chat misses a lot of basic functions which Twitch has master red as of now. The worst of it all is the Copyright algorithm run by YouTube, streamers who listen to music while they stream are likely to face a takedown notice to their live stream recordings. Within the first 6 hours of launch, a gamer faced the brunt of the aforementioned algorithm and was forced to remove two of this videos.
Twitch was launched in 2011 which was a successor to Justin.tv launched in 2007. It mainly was popular for letting anyone stream, even from their consoles which brought the live broadcasting from TV to web. YouTube launched in 2005 claims that people are spending more than 75% of the time watching gaming videos. YouTube Gaming platform is just beginning its journey and for now both platforms co-exist peacefully until YouTube Gaming takes the leap by expanding into areas Twitch has ignored or failed to conquer.