What’s the difference between YouTube and Twitch? Incrementally less and less, and anyone could have told you it would eventually become a problem for one or the other of these massive platforms. Well, it seems that YouTube has struck the first petty blow, temporarily terminating several high profile channels which encourage viewers to also check out their Twitch streams.
As online gaming (and esports by extension) become bigger and more serious business, YouTube has been trying its hand at competing in the livestreaming and gaming content sphere. Similarly, as it becomes clear that comedy, beauty, pop culture critique, and other genres of content creators aren’t just a flash in the social media pan but a growing potential revenue stream, Twitch has been opening itself up to allow non-gaming content. All these blurring lines are making it difficult for either platform to assert that the other is playing in their space… which is why YouTube’s termination of channels Linus Tech Tipc, Aztrosizt and Surny feels particularly uncalled for.
The official word from YouTube, of course, is that there is no new or more rigorous enforcement of their pre-existing rules against content creators directing viewers to leave the platform and go to another – but the suddenness of their actions without so much as a warning makes that seem like, well, cake. Which is to say it’s a lie.
All the channels which had been terminated are back up and running now, but the question has already been raised – exactly how far is YouTube willing to go to stop Twitch from taking their viewers, whilst also actively trying to take Twitch’s viewers. And what, if any, will Twitch’s response be?
Find out in the next episode of the Game of Streams!