An insightful, stat-packed quarterly update from Streamlabs compares Twitch and YouTube Live on measures of monthly active streamers and revenue.
The analysis, which was limited to just Streamlabs’ streamers across both platforms, shows that while Twitch is still where the money is, YouTube Live is growing much, much faster.
- YouTube Live is adding more streamers per month than Twitch is. From October 2016 to March 2017, monthly active streamers have grown 330% for YouTube Live compared to 19% on Twitch. YouTube is much smaller in absolute terms than Twitch, which is part of why it’s growing much more rapidly. If YouTube continues to add streamers at the current rate, it could be as large as Twitch in the next 18-24 months, Streamlabs reports.
- Twitch generates much more money per stream than YouTube Live. The primary vehicle for broadcasters earn money from their streams is through tips, which are basically cash donations sent in by viewers. Twitch accounted for nearly 96% of tipping volume for Streamlabs streamers in the past five months, with YouTube making up the rest. The financial incentive to go live on Twitch is thus much greater than on YouTube.
Tipping volume on YouTube Live may catch up to that on Twitch by 2018, Streamlabs estimates. Monetization lags growth in monthly active streamers because revenue often comes after a large, loyal, and engaged user base has been built. Twitch’s user base is well-established, hence its superior monetization. But YouTube Live’s streamer numbers are growing fast, so greater revenue will likely follow soon.
If 2015 was the year that brands and advertisers embraced online video, then 2016 saw the medium take the next step as live streaming took off.
Live streaming video refers to broadcasts in real time to an audience over the internet. While the concept of live streaming has been around for years, mobile-first video platforms with user-generated content have just recently begun to make serious waves thanks to improved video quality, faster broadband speeds, and enhanced mobile technology.
Online video has become a key part of the strategic business model for both brands and marketers as they seek more innovative ways to capture consumer attention. Creative live streaming video initiatives and campaigns are a way for companies to cut through the digital clutter and have emerged as the medium of choice not only for person-to-person sharing, but also for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) communication.
Brands are increasingly using live streaming to reach audiences. Its importance has grown significantly thanks to substantial investments by social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter to build and enhance their live-streaming platforms.
And advertising dollars are likely to follow. 88% of agency respondents stated that they “might” or “definitely will” invest in live stream video advertising over the next six months, according to a recent Trusted Media Brands survey.
BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on live streaming video that examines the eruption of online video from the perspective of both consumers and advertisers and assesses how live streaming is emerging as the medium's next catalyst for growth.
Here are some key points from the report:
- Live streaming video will further accelerate streaming videos overall share of internet traffic. Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic, and this share is expected to jump to 82% by 2020, according to Cisco’s June 2016 Visual Networking Index report.
- Live video’s value comes from its unique ability to add an authentic human element to digital communications. As a result, brands are leveraging three main streaming methods to connect with their viewers: tutorials, product launches, and exclusive and behind-the-scene footage.
- Advertisers will continue to invest heavily in online video, especially as live streaming video gains traction. Already in the US, digital video ad revenue reached $7.8 billion in 2015, up 55% from 2014, according to figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau.
- While live streaming is still in its early stages, brands are leveraging micropayments, mid-roll video ads and direct payments from social platforms, to monetize their live streaming videos.
- The success of live streaming video hinges on brands overcoming a lack of measurement standards in the space, as well as changes in social media sites' algorithms that affect what content users see.
In full, the report:
- Examines the eruption of live streaming video.
- Explores the differences between platforms that host live streaming video.
- Breaks down successful approaches from both brands and publishers.
- Discusses unique monetization opportunities live streaming presents.
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The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of live streaming video.
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