Stream Services Analysis
Updated: Sep 13, 2020
Last week I wrote about how Mixer is going to be no more as of July 22nd, 2020. I also provided my personal views on why I think the service had some rough times.
This week, I wanted to turn to Twitch. Although twitch has the most viewership of any streaming platform, it also has its downsides. I wanted to outline below the tings that I think are good and things that are not so good about Twitch.
I have been streaming seriously on Twitch for about 3 years now. There was about 2 years where I was trying to find what kind of streamer that I wanted to be. I also tried a few different streaming sites but I always came back to streaming on Twitch.
When I first started, my first attempt was with Beam (became Mixer). Back then it was very new and I did not know what to expect. As I mentioned in my previous piece, I did not have a bad time streaming on this service. In fact, starting to stream on it was very simple. Especially back then, I was using only the Elgato software to capture my game footage. I only started using OBS Streamlabs in the last year or so. The main issue that I had with this service were the eyeballs. Yes, when you are new, it is always more difficult to obtain an audience. However, if you are a variety streamer, it was even more difficult. I felt like if I was a streamer that streamed the same thing every time, it would have helped. I understand that even now I do not have a huge following, but I feel like my channel at least gets more passer by's than on Beam / Mixer.
After that experiment, I tried my hand at Facebook Streaming. Keep in mind back when I tried, the concept of Facebook Gaming did not exist. I was just streaming on Facebook on my Corporate Gamer Facebook page. The experience that I had with it was very lacklustre. Back then, if let's say I streamed Fallout 3 and there was copyrighted music, the stream would just stop. With no warning with your page being blocked if you did it 3 times. Unlike Twitch, which just mutes the Past Broadcast and that is it. It happened to me more than once and that was enough for me to get away from this service.
However, I have had some people that have advised that Facebook Gaming is fine and it has improved a lot. I believe though, now that Mixer suggested ex-streamers on the platform to go to Facebook Gaming, I am not sure many streamers will go there.
The first reason why I think people will not go there is the name itself, Facebook. In the last year or so, Facebook has had some pretty negative press. From big companies pulling their ads to controversies with data privacy. I am not sure this was the right time for this to happen.
The second reason is, although it is one of the 3 big players in game streaming, I do not think that Facebook Gaming is mainstream enough with the streaming community. That is why I expect anywhere between 5% to 10% Mixer streamers to go there.
The last streaming service that I tried was YouTube Gaming. Since I had a YouTube Channel, I figured that uploading my videos would be easier. In addition, technically everyone knows YouTube so there must be a bigger audience.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. Similar to Mixer, YouTube Gaming lacks the viewership. You would think the opposite but I guess it is hard to find a needle in a haystack. So, for that reason alone, I did not stick around too long.
Yes, I know you need to stream for a while before getting an audience but I feel like I was getting more traction on Twitch than any other platform. So, then I made the decision to stream exclusively on Twitch.
Like I mentioned before, I have been streaming for a little over 3 years now and I have loved every minute of it. I have met some amazing people and it is fun to interact with them.
Having said that, Twitch is far from being the perfect platform. It has quite a few things that I am not a fan of.
Like Facebook, it likes to change the UI numerous times. Although from the Twitch perspective, there might be a good reason for this, for me, it does not work.
The first thing that I am not a fun of, is the redesign of the channel pages. I do not like the banner at all. The default banner looks horrible and trying to make one is not super easy. In addition, it is more difficult now to find your followers. This used to be a one click thing and you were able to find your followers. This has now been put deep down in your channel preferences. There was no reason for this change.
Another aspect of Twitch that I feel has gotten the rotten treatment are auto hosts. Some people like this and others do not. As a smaller streamer, I used to love when the auto host would appear on my streaming dashboard. It gave me an opportunity to see which channels supported me and also to give them a shoutout. Unfortunately, this has been removed now and there is no way of knowing who auto hosts you or not. I can understand how bigger channels can either find it annoying or not like it at all. I have a solution, have an opt-in option. There you go. I have a feeling though that in about a year or so auto hosts will be completely eliminated from the platform.
For the longest time, Twitch ads were only visible for users that did not have a Twitch Prime subscription. However, a few years ago this was changed. Now even Twitch Prime users needed to see an ad when first watching a channel. I am not a fan of it but I understand. But now even if you watch Past Broadcast, every 15 minutes an ad pops up. I think that is too much. I get it is to spread the revenue but that is just too much. You also have the opportunity to put in an ad when you are streaming. I know very little streamers that use this feature. In addition the revenue you get is peanuts and it is not worth losing a viewer because of it. People have short attention spans and this does not help the situation.
The last bit that I will be complaining about is the Streamer Dashboard. I have learned to work with it, but it does not mean that I like it. I do not like the way the widgets work. Also, I stopped using that and I exclusively use the OBS Streamlabs one. It is more concise and gives me the information that I need.
I will not really get into streamer abuse as to be honest, my channel has been pretty good. I have not been hit with a lot of trolls. The most that I get are bots trying to get followers. I guess that is good news and I hope that it stays that way. However, I know where other streams have a big trolling issue.
I know that this post has been mostly negative in regards to the various streaming services. Keep in mind, nothing is perfect. Twitch is a victim of their own success. However, they need to shape up as many streamers are not happy with the platform. From the point of view of Twitch though, they are king and it is easy to be complacent. What options are there really? We shall see as time goes by if Twitch decides to be a leader or be greedy.
I know that I outlined my experiences and my point of view. What is your point of view? What experiences are you not too fond of with any service? Let me know below.