In the entry Streaming to More Than Just Twitch, we explored the idea of going live to multiple platforms in addition to Twitch every time you broadcast. In that entry, I mostly talked about the monetization side, such as how streaming without an Affiliate or Partner contract can still offer many of the same payout benefits. This time, I want to specifically cover YouTube, which I’ve found very useful as a Twitch streamer- whether affiliated or not. I’ve used YouTube in various capacities over the years for my different content offerings. Before starting on Twitch, I used to stream to YouTube. I also would upload several different types of weekly content, and I used YouTube embeds as the backbone of a larger website I ran at the time. Even in my time as a Twitch streamer, I’ve found many ways a YouTube channel can still come in handy, whether that means multistreaming to Twitch and YouTube simultaneously, posting directly to it, or using it for archive purposes.
➢ ON THE AIR
It's possible to use your existing content
to make more content.
The first thought for most Twitch streamers using YouTube is to re-edit previous livestreams into short, entertaining videos. This can bring in a whole new audience that may not have seen you on Twitch, and diversifies your content offering. Maybe someone doesn’t have the patience to watch a 5-hour long Overwatch stream, but they love seeing little 1-minute compilations of your best plays of the week. It’s also popular for streamers to build their own tutorial series, motivational videos, or regularly scheduled vlogs. All these things can bring in totally new audiences or strengthen your existing one by offering a change of pace. Just make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew- the editing time alone for content like this may take you by surprise. You can find more thoughts on how to build this kind of satellite presence in the entry Expanding Your Twitch Brand.
If you want to make it even easier to build a YouTube presence for your streams, you could of course just go live on YouTube. Many streaming software suites, as well as intermediate web services like Restream, offer the option to go live on multiple platforms at once. It’s even possible to funnel YouTube comments into your Twitch chat through automated tools, so you have everything in one place. Going live to two platforms instantly puts your shows in front of more potential viewers. But this benefit doesn’t come free- it also creates a bit more work in the setup time and troubleshooting of your streams. You’ll have to remember to change the show title, description, tags, thumbnail and more for each show on YouTube, on top of what you already do on Twitch, for example. If you’re a Twitch Affiliate or Partner, this option is also unfortunately off the table. Twitch limits those under contract to their own platform while live on Twitch.
➢ AFFILIATE-FRIENDLY OPTIONS
Even if you’ve already signed a monetization agreement with Twitch, you still have many choices when building a YouTube presence. All the video montage, vlog, and other edited examples from earlier are totally fine to post on YouTube while under contract with Twitch. You can also post any short highlights or clips created from your streams directly onto YouTube. Twitch even has automated tools to help you with that. Within the Video Producer screen of your Dashboard, click the three dots to the right of any highlight or stream, and you’ll see an ‘Export’ option. This will allow you to send a video from your Twitch channel directly to YouTube, without having to download and post it manually.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can technically still stream to YouTube, even as a Twitch Affiliate. As long as the show isn’t going to Twitch at the same time, you’re totally free to go live wherever else you choose. Of course, this would mean essentially creating a whole new set of bespoke live content for your YouTube channel, but if you feel that helps your brand it can be a strong option for building community, who might then later check out your Twitch streams.
If you're playing this series, there's going to
be more than two months between when
you play the first game and the latest one.
And finally, I personally love to use YouTube as a permanent stream archive. Unless you highlight every one of your shows after it ends, they will only be saved for a maximum of two months on Twitch. But YouTube can host an unlimited amount of videos which never expire. Of course, when you stream without a Twitch contract, it’s possible to simply go live on YouTube along with Twitch. And then when the show is over, your broadcast will be automatically posted to your YouTube channel. Using the YouTube export feature on Twitch, you can even take advantage of this archiving feature as an Affiliate or Partner. You’ll just need to wait a day if you want to post a show in its entirety, as Twitch wants the full stream to be exclusive to its platform for 24 hours after broadcast. Your episodes can be organized into playlists, enhanced with extra information and tags, and given many more options for posterity than Twitch offers, like timestamped chapter markers and the ability for viewers to comment after the fact. I find this very useful when streaming story-based games. It’s nice to have an archive of the hundreds of Assassin’s Creed episodes I've done all neatly organized together. My Twitch viewers sometimes tell me about how they went back and binged a playthrough from years ago, or others who never knew my channel before will discover old episodes of mine that I’d forgotten about. Since starting my current Twitch channel, I’ve archived every Twitch stream I’ve ever done. They're all on my YouTube channel for posterity. As of now, that’s over 5,800 videos!
➢ EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS
YouTube can be very helpful as a satellite channel for a Twitch streamer. Because of the nature of our work, we’re already generating a huge amount of video content. Why not take that content, repurpose it, and use it elsewhere? Whether going live directly to both platforms, editing custom videos to be uploaded, or simply using it as a repository for your past shows, there’s a whole lot you can do with a YouTube channel as a Twitch streamer. So if you feel your Twitch channel is in a good place and you want to expand, YouTube is a great place to start.