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When you think of streaming platforms for gamers, you generally think of either Twitch or Youtube, right? Twitch is great, and if you want to focus on it, you should read my awesome post on how to be a Twitch Affiliate in 30 days! But, for those who think Twitch is over-rated or oversaturated, there are other streaming platforms. I dug deep to find the best Twitch Alternatives for whatever your gaming needs!
8 Twitch Alternatives
Alternatives to Twitch if You’re Trying to Monetize
Let’s face it, many of us are streaming on Twitch because we want to turn playing video games into a full time job. There are tons of ways to make money on Twitch, but there are also other platforms that offer options as well. Our first set of Twitch alternatives are the ones that offer monetization.
1. Facebook Gaming
Facebook gaming is Twitch’s biggest competitor now that it merged with Mixer. The problem with Facebook gaming though is that it takes so much to reach a level where you can monetize. You need ten thousand followers in order to start monetizing with Facebook. That’s a huge number! And it’s very specific -it has to be a page, not a personal profile. It’s easy to friend a bunch of random people with your Facebook profile, but it’s not nearly as easy to get them to follow your page. Trust me, I’ve been trying to get people to follow Partners in Fire for ages, and I still barely have 200 likes.
To be fair, I haven’t actually tried streaming on Facebook. Maybe viewers are more likely to like pages there than they are on Twitch. But, I’d rather have to get to 50 followers on Twitch to start monetizing than to grind my way up to 10,000 Facebook likes. That seems tough.
Twitch’s next biggest competitor is Youtube. You can live stream directly to Youtube using the same software that you use for Twitch. In fact, you can stream to all three of these platforms at the same time with Streamlabs pro! (Though if you are a Twitch affiliate, that’s against the terms of service).
Youtube is nearly as good as Twitch, but it’s not as renowned for gaming. The discoverability is just as good (or bad – whichever way you want to look at it), and the competition is just as fierce.
The limitation with Youtube is similar to that of Facebook gaming – it takes a lot to even start to monetize. Twitch has the lowest barrier to entry in that regard, which makes it my favorite.
Still, some folks make a ton of money with Youtube. In my opinion, it’s best to stream to Twitch, then post highlights of your streams to Youtube.
Smashcast.tv is probably the best alternative Twitch alternative for monetizing. It’s the result of a merger between two smaller streaming platforms, Hitbox and Azubu. Their original intent was to focus on E-Sports, and although they have branched out and support all types of games, they have done a great job of supporting E-Sports.
There are two ways for you to earn money streaming with Smashcast. The first is through their general partnership program, and the second is through their premium partnership program.
Smashcast’s general partnership program is extremely easy to sign up for and use. Any content creator can sign up for it. Any user can subscribe to you, and there are no streaming commitments or exclusivity requirements. You can make money from gaining subscribers and from running ads on your stream. With the general partnership account, you are limited to running 6 ads per hour on any given stream.
You can make more money with the premium partnership, but there are limitations to it. In order to qualify for premium partnership, you need to have over 100 concurrent viewers, and must stream at least three days per week. You also must sign an exclusivity contract with Smashcast, so you wouldn’t be able to monetize any other streaming platforms. A benefit is that you can run up to 60 ads per hour (though I don’t know why you’d want to run that many!) so you can probably make more money as a premium partner than with the general partnership.
I think it’s great that Smashcast allows every broadcaster the opportunity to start making money right away. The platform isn’t as popular as Twitch is (yet) so although you may get less viewers, there’s probably less competition. I’m not a an of signing an exclusivity agreement, but if you are doing well on the platform it might not be a bad decision. It does seem like it’s more difficult to gain a steady following on Smashcast, so the general partnership program may just be a way to entice newbies to the platform. I can’t comment on how profitable it is, but I’d imagine it’s like most things – you get out what you put in.
Caffeine.tv is fairly new to the streaming mix. They advertise that they’ve found ways to decrease lag times, to make communication between you and your fans far, far easier.
Another cool thing about Caffeine.tv is that it gives you the ability to host your own broadcast of some Fox Sports and ESPN features. I’m not entirely sure how that part works, or which of their games are eligible, but it’s a cool concept. Can you imagine hosting your own broadcast of your favorite team? I doubt anyone other than your real life friends would watch, but it would be fun!
The interesting thing about Caffeine is their monetization options. They don’t do ad sharing or subscribers, and I don’t see a feature for built-in affiliate marketing. Instead, you monetize by asking your viewers to purchase digital items for your stream. There are no partnership requirements for monetizing your stream.
Trovo is fairly new, but I can see it becoming a top competitor to Twitch. It’s followed some of Twitch’s footsteps in regards to the business model, with adding the option to subscribe to your favorite channel with a similar subscription fee.
If you want to get in on a brand new and growing platform, Trovo.live is probably the place for you. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether it will blow up to be Twitch’s number on competition, or fizzle out the way Mixer did.
A Word About Mixer
Mixer merged with Facebook gaming, so it no longer exists. However, I needed to give it a mention, since it was the number one alternative to Twitch for a long time. Facebook gaming is now leading that charge.
Twitch Alternatives for Serious Gamers
Some people care way more about the game than making money. If you are streaming because you love gaming and want to build a network of like-minded people,
Instagib seems like a fun platform with all the ease of use of the ones above. However, I can’t find any information anywhere on how to monetize your Instagib account. If you are looking for a gaming community that isn’t about the money, Instagib might be right for you. But let’s face it, you’re reading a finance blog. We are looking for ways to make extra money! I couldn’t find a way to do that with Instagib.
Although I couldn’t find a way to monetize your GosuGamer account through ads and subscribers like the other platforms, you can make money on it by winning tournaments. Gosugamer is the best platform for E-sports. It runs a variety of tournaments and challenges that you can make real money by winning. The downside is that you have to be really good at the game in order to make any money off of it. But if you are super into E-sports and other competitive fighting games, it’s a platform that’s worth checking out.
Mirrativ is cool in that it allows you to stream mobile games directly from your phone. You don’t need any fancy hardware! It’s a great way to connect with people who are into the same mobile games that you are, but I couldn’t find any information on monetizing.
Gaming Platforms to Skip
I put Afreeca in the skip column because most of my readers are from the US. The majority of streamers featured in Afreeca are in Asia. However, if you are in Asia, or speak an Asian language, it’s definitely worth a second look. It’s one of the top streaming platforms in South Korea.
Bigo live markets itself as a live streaming platform for anyone, but unfortunately, it’s over-run with mostly cam girls. It does have a gaming element, but most of the featured gamers are – you guessed it – cam girls gaming. At least that’s the impression I got from their thumbnails. Hard pass.
Who is Twitch’s Competitor?
Twitch’s number one competitor is now Facebook gaming. Mixer was the top, but they lost out after paying big bucks to woo top streamers to the platform. As it turned out, many users didn’t want to follow their favorite streamers to Mixer.
Facebook isn’t trying to sign any big players to exclusivity agreements. It seems as though they learned from Mixer’s mistake. This merger is brand new though, so it’s anyone’s guess as to whether Facebook will figure out how to draw some of Twitch’s audience.
What Platform is Best for Streaming Games?
I may be biased, but I still think is the best out of all of these alternatives. Twitch has been around for a long time, so it has a huge user base. There are pros and cons to that – there are tons of users looking for new gamers to follow and support, but there is also an over-saturation of gamers, so it can be tough to get noticed.
But Twitch is also incredibly stream-lined. It’s easy to get into their affiliate program, and easy to use extensions and third-party software to enhance your stream. Most of the streaming software that you will need to use integrates very easily with Twitch.
Finally, because Twitch is owned by Amazon, it’s much easier to monetize your stream with affiliate marketing. That Amazon extension can easily add an Amazon panel or overlay which gives your viewers ways to support you.
Other Twitch Alternatives?
Does anyone know of any other streaming platform that’s a great alternative to Twitch? I’d love to check them out! I’m totally going to turn streaming into a valid side hustle someday. And if you want to start streaming but aren’t sure where to begin, check out this Beginner’s Guide. It tells you all the equipment and software you need to get started!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.