If you have been watching games, you will probably have heard of (or used) Twitch, Hitbox and YouTube Gaming. You may be wondering which is the best and how they compare to each other. In this article we’ll be pitting the three titans of game streaming up against one another, and we’ll help you figure out which one is the best for you.
The meat of this article will be divided into three sections, with each section telling you all that you need to know about each platform, including background information and a list of pros and cons for each.
At the end of the article we’ll explain which platform is suited for you based on your needs as a content creator.
Twitch started as an offshoot of Justin.tv which was a general-purpose streaming service back in the day. Twitch was an offshoot focused on gaming, though, and it quickly took off, resulting in a company rebrand to Twitch.tv, the closing of Justin.tv, and a full focus on Twitch and what it offers.
In addition to gaming, Twitch has also been used to broadcast live events unrelated to gaming, as well as art and other forms of creativity.
Twitch’s popularity quickly made it one of the most popular video-streaming platforms on the Internet, making a noticeable impact around the web. Because of this, Google and Amazon both looked to purchase the service, but ultimately Amazon won out in the end, and Google decided to make their own game-streaming platform.
- Size. As the pioneer, Twitch is by far the largest and most popular game-streaming service, and its capabilities only increase as time goes on.
- Great for growing as a creator and finding a new audience, especially when compared to YTG and Hitbox, due to its larger size.
- Higher average revenue than Hitbox and YTG.
- By far the most powerful chat/moderation system.
- While Twitch is the best for growing, it’s still tough to get noticed in the early days of your streaming.
- Additionally, you won’t be able to monetize your Twitch stream until you reach Partner status, which can take quite some time. Compared to Hitbox and YTG, meeting the bar to make money on Twitch is much more difficult.
- Limited allowed bitrates prevents streaming above 1080p 60fps.
- Uses Flash instead of HTML5.
Hitbox launched in 2013 amidst community unease with Twitch. As a competitor to Twitch, Hitbox looks to offer a truly superior streaming platform. While it lacks the storied history or massive size of Twitch or YTG, Hitbox does offer up to 4K 60FPS streaming (It was the first to do so!), but YTG also offers this feature.
- The first to offer 4K 60FPS streaming.
- Uses HTML5, unlike Twitch.
- Has a smaller community more focused on personal interaction. Also easier to get noticed, due to the much smaller pool.
- Allows monetization without a partner status, including mid-stream ads and user subscriptions. By far the lowest bar to start making money.
- Due to its small size, is less than ideal for growing your following as a creator.
- Also means that monetization is nowhere near what you can make from YTG or Twitch, since there aren’t nearly as many people using the site.
Gaming is easily the largest part of YouTube, so when Google opted to launch an entire sub-site of YouTube called YouTube Gaming, few people were surprised. A lot of YouTube Gaming takes pre-existing YouTube gaming videos and offers them in a slick, red and black theme, but the real attraction is using the YouTube Gaming streaming service which is starting to rise as a worthy rival to Twitch.
Suffice to say, Google wasn’t happy about Amazon getting Twitch instead. Let’s see how it stacks up.
- YouTube integration. This means all your stream archives are automatically saved, and a DVR function is available during the stream as opposed to needing to wait an hour until the stream archive becomes available (a la Twitch).
- The absolute best for reaching your pre-existing audience if you’re a YouTuber. No need for anyone to sign up for Twitch or find it – anyone subscribed to your channel will get notified when you start streaming.
- Monetization is easy, with the only requirement to become a partner being in good standing on YouTube. This allows you to monetize ads, as with normal YouTube, as well as enable Sponsorship subscriptions which function simiarly to Twitch’s.
- Uses HTML5 like Hitbox and avoids Flash.
- Offers up to 4K 60FPS streaming.
- Not nearly as good for growing your audience as Twitch is.
- Doesn’t offer the depth of chat and moderation functions that Twitch does.
- Lower average revenue than Twitch but higher than Hitbox.
Ultimately, who wins this battle depends on your personal needs as a content creator. If you’re just starting out streaming and don’t have a pre-existing YouTube presence, Twitch is your best bet to start climbing up the ranks, though the climb will be slow and rely on you being consistent and providing high-quality streams for people to enjoy.
YouTube Gaming, meanwhile, is the best for reaching a pre-existing audience on YouTube. Many gaming content creators start on YouTube, and since YouTube Gaming is a very good platform, it’s always growing. Its reach to your pre-existing audience is way better than Twitch’s, too.
Finally, there’s Hitbox. Despite this article’s title, Hitbox isn’t really competition at the time of writing. You won’t make the money you could make on Twitch or YTG, and you won’t grow how you could on Twitch or reach a pre-existing audience the way you can on YouTube Gaming.
The only real benefit of Hitbox right now is its small size, allowing a humble community and great customer service. If you aren’t interested in the money and are just doing this for fun, Hitbox may be a contender, if only because of its high-quality streaming options.
In short, here’s how Twitch vs. Hitbox vs. YouTube Gaming breaks down. Use Twitch if you want to grow with a new audience, Hitbox if you’re just in it for fun, and YouTube Gaming if you want to engage with your pre-existing audience.
Despite this article’s nature as a comparison piece, there are a few other options out in the wild. For instance, you may not even have to choose. With a platform like Restream.io, you can stream to Twitch, Hitbox and YouTube Gaming simultaneously, alongside other streaming platforms! However, note that you will need to abide by Twitch’s bitrate limit, so you won’t be able to take advantage of the other platform’s 4K 60FPS maximum.
That aside, what do you think? Do you feel like this fight turned out the way you expected it to? Anything I missed, anything you’d add? Sound off in the comments below, and let us hear you!