When you think of streaming platforms, you generally think of Twitch. Twitch. Owned by Amazon, Twitch is one of the leading live-streaming platforms for streamers in the United States. It’s also a top choice for viewers looking to make new friends and check out games before purchasing.
However, it has many limitations, and with the news that it will be taking even more revenue from its Partners, many might be looking for Twitch alternatives. These platforms are great alternatives to Twitch for both content creators and viewers.
The Top 13 Twitch Alternatives
There are various reasons why streamers and viewers alike want to leave Twitch. Some platforms offer better monetization options, while others are more community-focused than money. Others just don’t like Amazon and want to support a different platform.
8 Alternatives to Twitch if You’re Trying to Monetize
Let’s face it, many of us stream on Twitch because we want to play video games as a full-time job. There are tons of ways to make money on Twitch, but other platforms let you make money as well. Here are some Twitch alternatives that offer monetization options if you’re over streaming on Twitch.
1. Facebook Gaming
Facebook gaming is Twitch’s most significant competitor now that it merged with Mixer. The problem with Facebook gaming is that it takes so much to reach a level where you can monetize.
You need ten thousand followers to start monetizing with Facebook. That’s a huge number! And it’s concrete -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. I’ve been trying to get people to follow Partners in Fire for ages, and I still barely have 200 likes.
I haven’t tried streaming on Facebook. Maybe viewers are more likely to like pages there than on Twitch. But I’d rather have to get to 50 followers on Twitch than grind my way up to 10,000 Facebook likes. Ten thousand is a daunting number.
A Word About Mixer
Mixer merged with Facebook gaming, so it no longer exists. However, I needed to mention it since it was the number one alternative to Twitch for a long time. Facebook gaming is now leading that charge.
Twitch’s next most significant competitor is Youtube. You can live stream directly to Youtube using the same software that you use for Twitch. You can stream to all three of these platforms simultaneously with Streamlabs Pro.
If you are a Twitch affiliate, that’s against the terms of service. Twitch affiliates can’t multistream, as Twitch owns the content for 24 hours. However, you can upload the video to Youtube after the 24-hour mark. Twitch’s seemingly unfair hold on your content is a top reason many streamers look for an alternative.
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), and the competition is just as fierce.
The limitation with Youtube is similar to that of Facebook gaming – it takes a lot even to start making money. 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. However, you can also do a Youtube live stream, which has many similarities to Twitch’s monetization options and community building.
DLive is an attractive Twitch Alternative because it was created in response to the “big” platforms’ attitudes toward their content creators. Both Twitch and YouTube have high bars for monetization, and they take more and more of the profit from their creators.
DLive seeks to change that with a system that rewards both content creators and viewers. It takes 20% of all revenue as a flat fee (which is better than the large streaming services that generally take 50%) and rewards viewers for their engagement, which is revolutionary for a streaming platform.
Another big difference between Dlive and the other platforms is that it uses blockchain technology and cryptocurrency for viewer rewards and transactions.
Caffeine.tv is relatively new to the streaming mix. The platform advertises that they’ve found ways to decrease lag times. Lower lag times and higher bitrates make communication between you and your fans far more accessible.
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. Streamers will need to read the fine print to ensure they are following all the correct rules and regulations before broadcasting live sporting events, but it’s a great way to enjoy a game with family and friends from a distance.
The exciting thing about Caffeine is its 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 regarding the business model by 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 your place. It’s anyone’s guess whether it will blow up to be Twitch’s number one competitor or fizzle out the way Mixer did.
YouNow is a free-to-use live streaming broadcast service founded in 2011 by Adi Sideman. Broadcasters include gamers, musicians, and those in marginalized communities who are simply looking to connect. What’s remarkable is that YouNow focuses on money via the community, whereas platforms such as Twitch are ad-supported, meaning you can make more with fewer people on YouNow.
YouNow uses an in-app currency known as bars for monetization. Viewers purchase these bars as they allow further engagement with broadcasters. You will be paid once you reach a $75 payment threshold.
YouNow has strict content restrictions: no adult content, so nothing that wouldn’t work in a PG-13 movie. These restrictions help keep the worldwide community of over 55 million registered users safe.
NimoTv is a global platform with broadcasters from all over the world. The platform is primarily for gamers, but the live show platform is also popular.
NimoTV is community-driven. A viewer can offer peer-to-peer awards to their favorite streamer. NimoTV is more prevalent in Asia than in the United States, so you may have difficulty finding an audience if you are a streamer from America. American viewers may not find many English-language streams.
Picarto is the best alternative to Twitch for creatives and artists. Picarto is not for gamers. The platform is specifically for artists to live stream their creative projects. Viewers can find artists drawing, painting, or creating digital art.
Although Picarto currently doesn’t have a subscriber function, the platform allows viewers to support their favorite artists by tipping kudos, an in-app currency that translates to real money for creators.
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, check out these Twitch alternatives.
1. Instagib/ Vaughn Live
Instagib was Vaughn Live’s gaming platform. Unfortunately, it didn’t take off as Vaughn had hoped, so the gaming portion of live streaming has gone back to Vaughn.live.
Vaughn.live is a platform that allows you to live stream nearly anything. There are gaming, news, music, creative, and many streaming categories to choose from. People use Vaughn Live because they love their niche and want to build a community around it.
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 competitive at a professional gaming level. However, those with the skillset may find that GosuGamer is an ideal alternative to Twitch. Fans of Esports and competitive fighting games may prefer to watch on this platform as well.
Mirrativ is different because 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 and one of the only platforms dedicated to mobile streaming.
Steam is one of the top platforms for online gaming in the world. It’s primarily known as a marketplace to buy your favorite games, but you can also post your artwork and videos or stream to the platform.
Top broadcasts on stream include games like Counter-Strike, World of Tanks, and Warhammer. The option to purchase the streamed game on Steam is right below the broadcast, so it’s easy to watch a game, see if you like it, and buy it if you do. Streamers don’t get a revenue share. The platform is for building community, not for making money.
Steam also offers forums, discussions, gaming workshops, and a marketplace where users can trade game items. It’s genuinely a well-rounded community for all things gaming.
If you want to stream to a private audience of family and friends, Discord is the ideal solution. Discord had both live steam and live video functionality. The versatility of Discord gives users the option to either broadcast their gameplay or just video chat.
Because Discord servers are invite-only, you don’t’ have to worry about broadcasting your game to a wide audience. However, you will still need the standard streaming tools, such as a capture card, microphone, and webcam, for good stream quality, which is still essential even among friends.
Platforms for Creating Live Broadcasts
Although these two platforms aren’t precisely Twitch Alternatives, they can help creators with their broadcasts. They are web-based platforms with built-in studios that help streamers create live video to transfer to the streaming platform of choice. These are ideal solutions for businesses that need to love stream or content creators who need a more professional look.
It’s important to note that both platforms are paid subscription services, though one offers a free plan.
Streamyard provides streamers with a studio to build high-quality and professional streams. StreamYard is an ideal solution for creators and businesses who want to create live broadcasts for Facebook, Youtube, or Twitch with multiple participants.
The free version allows up to six participants, green screen capabilities, and the ability to share your screen. The free version has limitations in that it only allows for up to 20 hours per month, and your streams will have the Stream Yard branding.
Upgrade to the basic plan for unlimited streaming with up to 10 participants and the ability to add your branding via overlays and background.
2. IBM Video Streaming
Ustream used to be a top competitor of Twitch. It transitioned to IBM Watson Media, and then in 2018, the company canceled the free streaming options on the platform.
The platform is now called IBM video streaming. It’s ideal for professionals who need to create live videos and recordings. The plans are expensive, starting at $99 a month, so it’s not suitable for broadcasters looking to have some fun or make money with a live stream.
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 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.
Defunct Alternatives to Twitch
Many Twitch competitors have come and gone over the years. Here are a few streaming platforms you may have heard of that no longer exist.
Smashcast.tv was one of the best ways to monetize outside of Switch, but unfortunately, the company shut down in November of 2020.
Transitioned to a paid video recording service, IBM Video Streaming
More of a Youtube competitor than a Twitch alternative, Periscope was a place to upload videos. Twitter canceled the platform in 2021 and rolled out Twitter live.
We mentioned previously that Mixer was sold to Facebook and merged into Facebook gaming.
FAQs About Twitch Alternatives
Who is Twitch’s Competitor?
Twitch’s number one competitor is now Facebook gaming. Mixer was the top, but they lost 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 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 Twitch is the best streaming platform available. Twitch has been around for a long time, so it has a vast 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 you need to use integrates very easily with Twitch. Even those who don’ know how to stream can quickly get set up on Twitch.
Finally, because Amazon owns Twitch, 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.
Live Streaming is a Constantly Changing Landscape
Live streaming is a highly competitive niche. New Twitch alternatives are constantly arriving on the scene, and large corporations like Google and Facebook are acquiring little guys like Mixer to get rid of the competition.
The list of alternatives to Twitch is constantly growing and changing as the live streaming landscape grows and changes. Some companies may blow up to become the next big thing, while others will wither away in the tombs of the internet.
This list will be updated every year to ensure that you have the latest information on the best alternatives to Twitch for both streaming and viewing live stream content.
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.