Streaming your every move is now a common practice for youngsters around the world. Whether it’s a walk around the park using the Stayblcam, the moment the beat drops at a concert or a personal rant in front of the camera, people are now giving the world an insight into their lives through their smartphones and webcams.
One of the most popular activities to stream is gaming. From console games to poker and puzzles, many love to entertain the masses with their gaming exploits. However, if you’re someone looking to launch your own gaming stream, then it can be difficult to know where to start with the number of competing streaming platforms out there.
Although the top options basically do the same thing, there are subtle differences between them which might make one more suitable than another. In this article we’ve taken three of the top players and outlined what makes them tick and why they might be right for you.
Twitch: The Gamers’ Home
According to the stats, 241 billion minutes of gaming content were streamed on Twitch in 2015, with the top three games – League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 – each receiving millions of monthly views.
One of the main reasons Twitch has become such a hit is because of streamers like “Syndicate” (2.4 million followers). Born Tom Cassell but better known by his online handle, Syndicate first came to prominence with his Halo and Modern Warfare 2 videos. However, it was his “zombie mode” Call of Duty: Black Ops video that made him a star. In fact, such is his popularity that he now has his own merchandise and has enjoyed sponsorship deals with major brands such as Microsoft and Razer.
Beyond traditional gamers like Syndicate, Twitch now attracts broadcasters and viewers with a variety of interests. Some niche games are growing in popularity, from Starbound and Darkest Dungeon to card games such as poker, which even has a dedicated channel.
Leading the way in the platform’s ever-expanding poker hub is professional Texas Hold’em player Jason Somerville. Known primarily as a tournament expert, Somerville has more than 5 million channel views and is part of a new movement bringing more diversification to Twitch and poker. Indeed, thanks to his live and online poker titles, including a WSOP bracelet and SCOOP win for $234,333, poker fans and traditional gamers alike are eager to learn from Somerville. This dynamic has allowed him to turn his Twitch channel into an educational tool as well as an entertainment medium.
Should You Use Twitch?
If you’re looking to offer something different to the gaming community, like a poker stream or a truly new and original way to look at mainstream games, then Twitch would be the platform for you.
YouTube: Your Way to Stream
Given YouTube’s size (it’s so big you can now access it through third-party apps) and natural links to the streaming world, streaming was always going to become a part of its arsenal and by the start of 2016 live broadcasting took hold.
Much like EyeGames’ database of games, YouTube’s gaming platform now offers streams for a plethora of titles, including World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Dota 2 and Battlefield 1. Basically, if you’re a gaming fan and want an alternative to Twitch (possibly because you don’t want to pay for certain streams), then YouTube has the answer.
Leading the way in terms of popularity and presence is Jordan Maron. Otherwise known as “CaptainSparklez”, Maron has more than 9.4 million subscribers and at the last count his total views had topped 2.5 billion. Those stats not only make him one of the biggest gamers on the planet, but one of the most popular YouTubers in the world.
After making a name for himself as a Call of Duty player, Maron moved to Minecraft. However, instead of simply playing the game as his peers have done, Maron has fused gaming with electronic music. On his channel today you’ll find a host of Minecraft music videos that combine in-game footage (which he has created as a player), electronic beats and parody lyrics.
As well as being highly entertaining videos, Maron’s efforts are a testament to the popularity of gaming online and how fans around the world are hungry for any content that taps into the genre.
Should You Use YouTube?
Like Twitch, YouTube has a large user base and that means you’ve got a huge potential audience, so if you’re a creative type like Maron then you could certainly make full use of YouTube’s streaming services.
Kamcord: Streaming on the Move
Thanks to the influence of Twitch and YouTube, new players are now starting to enter the market and one of the latest platforms to go live is Kamcord. Known as a mobile-only streaming app that focuses on gaming, the idea behind Kamcord was to create a platform that appealed to the masses. Instead of hardcore celebrity gamers stealing all the limelight, creators Aditya Rathnam, Kevin Wang and Matt Zitzmann wanted everyone to have easy access to a streaming service.
Although Kamcord initially offered gaming clips and recordings when it was launched in 2012, it eventually attracted one million gamers by 2014 and thanks to the movement towards live streaming it switched things up in 2015. Since redesigning its app and website, Kamcord has become one of the leading mobile streaming platforms and that’s given rise to a number of high-profile users.
Just as Somerville and Maron are leading the way in their respective fields, Chief Pat is a popular figure in the Clash of Clans universe. With 222,000 Twitter followers and channels and YouTube and Twitch, Chief Pat was already a star before Kamcord; however, since launching his mobile channel he’s picked up more than 121,000 followers. While this might pale in comparison to someone like Maron, it’s worth noting that Kamcord’s live streaming services have only existed since 2015, which makes Chief Pat’s rise to prominence all the more impressive.
Should You Use Kamcord?
If you’re a mobile gamer, then Kamcord is the perfect option as it allows you to broadcast your screen to the masses with ease. Not only that, but the people who frequent the site are hardcore gaming fans – which means the reception to your streams is likely to be positive.
Streaming into the Future
As is quite obvious, live streaming is now a major part of the gaming world and it’s only set to get bigger. Indeed, as we move forward and virtual reality continues to evolve, it might not be long before we see streams of this nature. Linking headsets like Oculus Rift to a platform capable of broadcasting its screen would literally take the genre to a new dimension and that could increase the popularity of streams exponentially. Until that happens, however, we’ll all just have to sit back and enjoy the streams currently entertaining the masses.