I love twitch I think the culture is amazing I think the features are brilliant and I think most importantly the community of streamers and viewers over there are fantastic and downright hilarious but I feel like if i want to be a content creator long term then twitch might not be my home in the future and it might not be the place where you decide to stream unless they make some big changes, let's talk about that.
Hey I’m Eljay with streamscheme.com, I’m also a variety streamer over at twitch.tv/eljayem_ there are links to both of those in the description if you want to check me out while I’m live, I’m actually a twitch partner I reached it in under a year and I currently stream to about 130 average viewers and i never make videos like this, i've never sat down and made videos where i point out all the problems that a platform has because i don't think it's actionable for you guys, it doesn't help you grow.
So today is a little bit different yes i'm going to go through all of the major problems that i think twitch as a platform has, but more importantly i'm going to give you a series of actionable tips so that with all of those problems that it has and the problems that YouTube has, you're able to make an educated decision about where you should stream and a small spoiler for you if you're the kind of person who wants twitch to die or for YouTube to die and you're heavily fanboying for just one platform you've failed as a content creator and i'll explain why later.
The four major problems twitch has for content creators currently, the first major problem and something that i've been thinking about a lot lately is the permanence of my live streams, as a digital marketer i think a lot about evergreen content this is the idea of producing content that for a few years or a long time that content will continue to bring you value, that value could be growth such as followers or subscribers or it could be revenue such as these youtube videos.
One of the reasons why I create very specific niche videos sometimes such as cloudbot setup or how to set up your webcam is because that is evergreen search content, in two to three years people are still going to be searching for how to set up my webcam or how to set up cloudbot.
A lot of those videos will actually start really badly a lot of you guys watching this won't click it so you're thinking why would we bother releasing content like that well because in a few months or a few years evergreen content often overtakes viral and clickable content because more people search for it long term and it never falls off, evergreen content is crucial if you want to have a long-term and sustainable career as a content creator and twitch has no evergreen content, there's no culture on twitch of watching old vods people don't go back and watch your vods unless maybe they missed last night's stream and they want to stay up to date before they watch tonight and the reason is because twitch vods expire, they just disappear after a few weeks and twitch clips while they're fun they don't give you discovery revenue or general growth unless you take them and push them to other platforms they aren't evergreen content.
The second major problem i have with twitch is actually content based and this is something i've been fairly outspoken about while live but here on this channel i only do actionable growth so i haven't spoken about it but i cannot stand luck based gambling, having a place on twitch luck based gambling is easiest explained as slots you pull a lever you might win you might not, you pull again you lose or you win money i don't really want to get involved in this.
There's like some drama or a debate because i don't like covering that type of content but i want to say that gambling is a very serious thing and it's heavily regulated by governments and people for a reason so when some of the top 50 streamers on the platform are sponsored and spend months pushing their affiliate code to tens of thousands of their viewers a code that they only get paid for and the only reason they get sponsored is because their viewers clicked over and started gambling as well started losing money as well and twitch's only response to that is yeah you just can't show affiliate codes or push affiliate codes anymore then i start to feel really disheartened about a platform that i love.
I want to clarify this in the simplest way possible because i think it will open some people's eyes influencers get paid millions of dollars to promote gambling by these sites because these sites are able to earn those millions back off their audience, if they didn't earn the money back they wouldn't do it there's no return on investment by the way i just want to throw it out there.
During the hot tub met up i got asked dozens of times every single stream and i got hundreds of comments on this channel asking me lj is the hot tub meta gonna ruin twitch, are advertisers gonna pull out this is the death of twitch, these women shouldn't be on the platform but how come i've never received a single comment or a single question while i was live asking me about the gambling streams because to me one of them is a potentially life-ruining addiction being promoted to tens of thousands of people and the other is a woman in a bikini, i really don't know if people are so worried about twitch dying and advertisers pulling out because of hot tubs why am i getting the same reaction about gambling, it just doesn't make sense to me.
Moving on the third major problem is actually the platform's viewer cap which is for live streaming, it is a niche platform with a niche service yes, there are new categories and more content being created on it every single day but at the end of the day it's mostly for live streaming and particularly gaming, there isn't anything wrong with this but if you're a content creator and you want to have the absolute largest potential discovery, the absolute largest potential viewer numbers well then youtube and tiktok have billions of active users constantly seeking out content on any topic not just live streams and not just gaming.
Granted this problem is mostly for people outside of gaming and of course also for people who have thousands of viewers and are looking to have the largest viewer potential possible the fourth major problem is something i'm incredibly outspoken about and i try to teach you guys about all the time, twitch revenue and twitch income is incredibly unsustainable for small, medium and large creators for three reasons in particular which is active income, this means if you do not go live if you do not stream then you won't earn revenue.
Youtube videos though are passive to an extent yes, you have to create them but once you release them they will earn revenue as long as they're getting views, during september through december i only uploaded one video a month last year and i earned 2.5 times more monthly than i did on twitch by going live on my regular schedule and this isn't including the revenue that i earn from owned and other sponsors on this channel, i really want to hammer this home on average if i go live for three to four hours then i will earn four times less than on a day where i don't upload here on youtube to say it again just one more time to make sure you understand if i don't upload a youtube video i earn four times more than if i spend four hours streaming, let that sink in.
If i didn't go live for those four hours and instead spent those four hours making videos scripting editing or doing anything else i would scale this channel exponentially and much faster than what i do now, heck i could just spend those four hours with my family and have a lovely life but i don't stream for money and i don't stream for general growth i stream because i love it and that's not even the most crucial part to understand.
The most important part to understand is that if you get sick or you want to go on a vacation and you cannot stream then you lose a huge amount of potential revenue, you will lose a huge amount of viewers who go on to find someone else to watch while you're gone, that is just how twitch works and if those things happen you might not be able to pay your rent you may not be able to pay your bills and you don't get sick leave you don't have any safety net unless you have a youtube channel or something else bringing revenue in.
I took a week and a half off over Christmas and i didn't stream that means i missed seven streams i lost 170 ish subs most of them are gifted but i have friends who had to continue to stream on christmas day on new year's on all of those things because if they didn't they wouldn't be able to pay rent, that sounds awful.
Youtube though as i said earlier i barely uploaded and i had an incredibly healthy income that allowed me to take time off for christmas to be with my family but i'm not done there, the worst part about twitch revenue, about streaming revenue, the most unsustainable part the reason why i think it is the worst platform for a solid sustainable income it's because subs, bits and donations which make up a large majority of streamers income comes directly from your pocket directly from your hard earned income and i'll tell you what i kind of hate that to my core i don't have a direct donation link while i'm live because i think it encourages you guys to donate your hard-earned money directly to me and a lot of people don't like using subs and bits because they don't want to naturally support amazon with that cut.
This means that i'm losing a huge amount of potential revenue on my streams and before you say well you don't know you're losing out on money, no, i did test for a month i had a donation link and i had a huge increase in the amount of revenue i made, people are much more comfortable doing direct donations than bits and subs and don't get me wrong i appreciate anyone who uses subs and bits by doing that it allows me to invest back into my stream, make it better and make videos better as well but they don't have to and if they choose not to youtube funds me and that means i can just continue to stream for enjoyment and yet streaming is still stressful as heck i have no idea how creators whose entire income comes directly from twitch can handle that stress the idea of making good content dealing with fluctuations in viewers, dealing with sub goals and donation goals needing to get exactly 10 subs every stream or else you can't make rent that sounds impossible to deal with so props to you if you manage it i couldn't, i feel like small and really summarizes what it means to have financial freedom while trying to create content in this clip about ludwig leaving so i'll just play that anything about ludwig leaving twitch it's a very exciting time for him he has secured the bag i imagine by switching streaming platforms uh he's got to be set for life at this point basically it takes all the pressure off streams will probably be like better than ever because now there's no risk, right you can focus on you know good content.
So those are my four major problems i think twitch has as a platform, now i am going to give you my actionable steps about how i choose to overcome these problems and i want to also talk about which platform i'm going to be focusing on and streaming on in the future so stay tuned but first i want to talk about something that bernie burns, one of the major founders of rusev a massive digital media company over the last 10 years said about content creation and running a business sustainably as a creator who puts content out onto platforms.
you have almost no control over the choices those platforms make you might wake up one morning and find out your type of content has been completely banned or that platform has been sold off and shut down, this happened on only fans they tried to ban all adult content, this happened with bebo, myspace and so many other social media platforms.
Youtube might have another ad pocalypse you might get sick and can't stream on twitch or maybe just maybe you'll play baby shark live on stream and get banned for three days right after signing a multi-million dollar contract to move from twitch to youtube, not in this car and don't even get me started on the amount of content creators whose career has been ruined by an unjust ban on twitch or youtube.
And before you start telling me that twitch bans are worse and they're less consistent than youtube i have a surprise for you, it's just that youtube doesn't have a culture of having its audience be intensely outspoken about their bans seriously, go look at the youtube support they're being tweeted tens of thousands of times a day about false copyright strikes and bans that were unjust, even northern lion got a strike because of a video title that was similar to a movie coming out.
When you're famous it's not a ban, when you're just a little we youtuber with 750 000 subscribers and you get a false strike from a movie studio because your video for escape from tarkov has this similar title to a movie that is coming out in seven theaters uh in may 2019 uh you're on your own, don't worry about that but yeah if you like on purpose accidentally listen to baby shark and get banned but recently we handed you a canvas bag with a dollar sign painted on it then yeah we'll even get that fixed up.
The only solution to this is to diversify where your income comes from and this isn't just for streaming or content creation, this is for any business, if one revenue source makes up the majority of your income and you lose that then you are in trouble.
Personally i have multiple income sources, the first being youtube makes up about 40, the next being sponsorships to make up about 40 and then finally twitch making up about 20 and even i think having those two be 40 each is way too much if i lose this youtube channel i'm in trouble that's just a fact and yes if i wanted to i could make twitch more profitable and make it a little safer myself that comes at the viewers expense so instead i'm working on other revenue funnels.
If you take one thing away from this entire video please let it be the fact you have to diversify your content and what platforms you're putting it on because it can all go away overnight and then you're going back to a nine to five job after years of no actual work experience in the field.
The second takeaway by the way is if you're sat there saying i want twitch to die or i want youtube to die then you lose all rights to have this conversation about which platform is better.
Apple vs microsoft is the reason why we made such large strides in computers and phones sony vs xbox and console exclusives are the reason why consoles have had to adapt and grow so much in the past few decades, without real honest competition we end up in the exact same spot we're in now, we have a platform like twitch which doesn't need to make any large feature changes, any large improvements because they had a monopoly on live streaming and gaming content but now youtube is coming out swinging and trying to take over that which means twitch has to roll out features and they are and they're good features by the way and that is what we want, two people to compete to be better so that we the creators have better platforms.
If youtube does become the winner and there's no real competition for it anymore and there is no incentivization to listen to its audience and to improve and if you don't believe me look at the video side of youtube, they have a monopoly nobody is competing with them and that is the exact reason why they don't care what you think about the dislike button being removed, they don't care that you don't like the youtube rewinds and most importantly they don't care if you're a small streamer getting banned for copyright strikes, where else are you going to upload?.
You never want a monopoly, you want competition because it breeds excellence and hopefully leads to better platforms, with all this in mind and considering the major problems i've covered in this video where am i going to stream where are you going to stream and what is my plan of action to overcome all of this.
The first step is i stopped focusing purely on follower based growth and average viewers over on my live stream i could sit there and stream minecraft every single day for months and months and months and i probably would eventually have a few hundred viewers and i'm probably getting 50 plus follows every single stream but that would lock me into one game and i would probably want to quit within a week, instead when it comes to what i'm streaming i'm going to focus on two things, the first being collaborations and networks, i'd love to do more streams of people of my size.
The second stream i'm going to focus on is the fact that i want at least one stream a week or fortnite to be something that could be turned into a really good youtube video even if it means a loss of average viewers i would rather treat the stream as a recording session to create content to go on my other youtube channel, this actually isn't the best for vsco or general growth on youtube because as you guys know highlights of a stream even when they're packaged nicely have a great premise and a story are much harder to get discovered with when you're very small, but because i have this channel and i've got search based discovery for these guides i'm going to try and push that anyway because while it will be slow i'll still get some decent growth.
I've been experimenting with shorts and practicing some editing techniques over on the other channel it's linked to the description if you're curious, i will have to admit to you guys those first two steps that i mentioned will cause a drop in average viewers for me and also i already have had a drop in average viewers because of it but that said my unique chatters is up my chat messages are up, my retention rate is up as well and i'm streaming for longer because i'm enjoying the content i am producing, i'm focusing on my long term of wanting to be able to create content on my other channel rather than the short term growth of having a large average viewership because in the long term rather than having 200 or 300 viewers i might be able to get 600.
If i create more content on other platforms but now what platform am i going to be streaming on am i going to move to youtube am i gonna be streaming on twitch i'm gonna be streaming on this channel here, no, i'm gonna continue to stream on twitch because for me personally it is still the best place for me to stream the content i want to create but the biggest reason i'm continuing on twitch is because i'm in the twitch and zed region and they are the most supportive tight-knit and hilarious people i've ever met both the twitch anz streamers and the twitch and zed staff but by taking the steps that i've just talked about and diversifying my content if anything happens on twitch where i don't feel like that's the platform for me anymore it's incredibly easy for me to move over and start streaming here on youtube instead because i diversified and i covered my own arse.
I don’t want to move across but as a creator and not as a fanboy i want to make sure that i'm safe to do so if necessary, that is the platform i should be streaming on not the platform a beginner starting from scratch should be streaming on tomorrow let's cover that all now straight out of the gate.
Twitch has an amazing culture, emotes, raids, features how streamers interact, bttv, all of these things are ingrained in it and have taken years to build up, it'll take years to build a culture for youtube that can compete with twitch and it might never actually happen because there are so many different content creators in different fields and different niches meaning different demographics that it's almost impossible to have one consistent culture in the live streaming space.
On youtube that's the same reason why youtube rewind has never worked and if youtube does try and force a culture like they tried to force the youtube rewind or they make decisions without listening to their content creators like the dislike button well then it's not gonna go well yeah, if i was starting entirely from scratch tomorrow streaming i would still pick twitch, i think that i could get more viewers faster and a higher average viewership if i streamed niche categories with better discoverability the same way i did 19 months ago when i first started.
Is twitch discovery good? by no means no but youtube for a solely stream based channel has such major discovery issues currently from what i have seen in the research i have done, youtube won't recommend a live stream to you unless you are already subscribed to that person which means they don't need to recommend that live stream to you, this is the same for giant creators on the account that i'm not subscribed to ludwig despite watching all of his videos on it i don't get recommended his stream, he's one of the largest on the platform and i'm not being recommended him and i'm certainly not being recommended any smaller streamers either especially not zero viewer streamers.
If you want to watch a live stream on youtube if you want to try and find a new content creator who is a streamer on youtube you have to actively seek out where youtube live is you've got to go over to the side scroll down you click live because let's be real it's live streams wait no you realize this isn't right it's actually under gaming then you click the categories because no i just want to see what games are currently being streamed i don't want to see all these videos and then you have to click live because it still wants you to watch videos instead and then you can scroll through to find a live stream you like but there's no filtering options so it's incredibly difficult to find good ones.
I'm totally okay with being wrong in this situation by the way, if this isn't how you're supposed to find all the live streams that are currently there so you can browse around then please comment down below but i will stand by after a month of me looking this was the only way that i could find live streams easily so there's a serious issue there and yes user interface and user design can be fixed they can make this easier for people to browse through live streams but what can't be fixed is the current culture of live streaming easily.
People go to twitch to look for live streams of their favorite games or to find new creators whether that is fortnite, stardew valley or skyrim, i can go to the top and search any of those games and i will know what i'm clicking is a live stream where i can interact with the person, you can't do that the same way on youtube people don't go there for live streams they go there for videos and that is another crucial part of this entire video, if you are switching from twitch to youtube because you think it is better for you to grow but you aren't making discoverable videos on your youtube channel then you have missed the point entirely.
The reason you move to youtube is because you have videos that are getting views bringing subs in because that is the discovery method, if you can't grow a twitch stream purely from streaming on twitch then by moving to youtube you won't suddenly see a boost in growth, it's just not how it works.
Is youtube better for streamers who are also making discoverable videos? yes by a wide margin, i would have way more viewers if i streamed from this channel here but most of you aren't making discoverable content, if you want to grow a stream social media or anything at all you need to think about discovery how users use platforms and how they're going to see your content whether that is posting xcom stories to reddit and then promoting your twitch stream in the comments whether that is posting to tiktok daily for six months, whether that is of course posting videos on youtube it doesn't matter you need to focus on and think about how people will see your content and why they will click it, oh also very importantly if i was starting out tomorrow as just a streamer i would also multi-stream to multiple platforms, i'd pay attention to which platform was doing the best just for my streams and i would focus on making that platform experience the best as possible and the most discoverable, just saying multi-streaming is incredibly powerful and none of you do it.
So here's something that i'm sure none of you are surprised about the answer to what platform you should be streaming on is diversify across multiple platforms focus on making long-term evergreen discoverable content that will give you a sustainable career as a content creator and if you want to learn how to be discovered better as a creator if you want to make better higher quality content then youtube, I think that this video is exactly what you want to click so why not click it while you're at it and make yourself a better streamer and a better content creator, i'll see you guys next week!