Data & Research

Are Twitch games streamers earning more than their YouTube counterparts?

Are Twitch games streamers earning more than their YouTube counterparts?

Research firm SuperData has released its findings for the video games market last year, and it has highlighted some interesting trends in the influencer space. 

The report states that 2017 was the biggest year for digital games and that trend shows no sighs of halting.

Game on

Twitch's 15m daily users pales in comparison to YouTube's 1bn daily users, but Twitch has managed to make up over half of all gaming video content revenue in 2017.

Twitch users often support their favourite streamers directly via monthly subscriptions and optional donations. This accounted for a whopping 51 per cent of GVC revenue on the platform.

To compare, only 20 per cent of YouTube's GVC earnings came from direct user spending, with 69 per cent coming from advertising, and 11 per cent acquired from sponsorship.

To the suprise of no-one, YouTube's GVC revenue dropped by 50 per cent in 2017. Uncensored and controversial content led a lot of advertisers to drop from the video service. 

This led to a large amount of YouTube Creators being deemed 'unfit for most advertisers', and unable to fully monetise their content.

With it's subscription tiers and donation options, Twitch is now looking like the more favourable option for those that want to maintain a sutainable income from playing games online, but of course, livestreaming isn't for everyone. 

All sorts of esports

The report also states that Esports generated $756m in revenue in 2017 and is on track to become a billion dollar business in 2018. Big titles such as League of Legends have been leading the trend, and the launch of the Overwatch League helped esports attract an astounding 258m unique viewers.

The esports trend is making gaming one of the most lucrative things to watch online, which is favouring gaming creators massively.

According to SuperData's stats, gaming is now the second most popular content category on YouTube, shadowed only by the music category.

Though that being said, YouTube creator Pewdiepie has more subscibers than Rihanna's and Justin Bieber's VEVO's combined.



Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.