YouTube Gaming launches as lackluster rival to Twitch

By GamingNexus On 27 Aug, 2015 At 12:00 AM | Categorized As Gaming Industry News | With 0 Comment

Today marked the launch of YouTube Gaming, which many have touted as a serious contender against Twitch, both on the web and in the form of smartphone applications. As it stands currently, YouTube Gaming has some serious hurdles to overcome if it wants to get anywhere close to the quality of Twitch.

As a fan of Twitch, I will admit upfront that the streaming website has been slow in updating and improving their service in the past. If anything is a result from the launch of YouTube Gaming I hope that it pushes Twitch to continue innovating and improving their service. Even with that, Twitch does hold a lot of weight with top streamers that are part of its Partners program as it assures they stream their content exclusively on Twitch and not other services.

The Twitch Partners program is also the source of how top streamers make a living using the service by allowing viewers to subscribe to their channels for $5 a month and also an option to donate additional money. Currently, the only source of revenue for streamers on YouTube Gaming is through Google AdSense. While YouTube Gaming has built-in chat for streams, it’s nowhere close to the feature level of Twitch in which streamers can provide custom emotes for subscribers and employ moderators and bots to provide some sense of order.

While the lack of features such as a subscriber model or better chat support can be improved with future updates to the service, the major hurdle that I see for YouTube Gaming is the extent to which the infamous Content ID system is utilized in streams. As it stands currently, the policy listing of Content ID and how it functions with streams is in my opinion the worst move Google could have been employed for the service.

The new Content ID system will warn streamers when it actively detects either video or audio copyrighted content. Streamers that don’t comply with the warnings will automatically have their streams disabled until the copyrighted content has no longer been detected. Casual music in the background from your Spotify playlist? Pretty good chance that you’re stream will be disabled. It doesn’t help either after hearing the many stories of false positives and take-down notices that are issued with the Content ID system.

Even with the flashy new interface and massive support of Google behind its infrastructure, YouTube Gaming has a long ways to go before it can even be considered an actual rival to Twitch. It will most definitely be an interesting future of developments between the two services as game streaming continues growing in popularity.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Gaming Nexus as a website.


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