I have recently decided to leave YouTube, and thought it might be of interest to others to share what lead me to this decision and actually taking the jump. My reason for sharing this is I'm sure I'm not the only person have thought about making such move, and this might help solidify any decisions you're thinking of making, or maybe make you re-think and decide to stay.
First off I'll apologise for being a little bit misleading - when I say that I've left YouTube I do not mean I have deleted my channel, nor have I actually completely stopped uploading to it, but what I am uploading is more of a little extra from the content I am now providing elsewhere. I shall explain later in the article.
To give a brief history about myself, as I'm sure most don't know me (possibly at most I'll be recognised as a mod on these forums) - I started on YouTube in November 2012 with a channel called efwaGames, which I ran for about 4.5 years before deciding to start fresh with my current channel, meaning I've been on YouTube for almost 5 years in total. To be completely candid, I never achieved "greatness" in this time on either channel (while the growth has been much better on my current channel, it certain hasn't shot up), but I've always enjoyed making videos and entertaining those who have come by my channel(s). In this time I've seen a few changes around the platform, with the most obvious and currently well known being the Ad-pocalypse and most recent flagging of non-advertiser friendly videos. While YouTube state they are always working to improve things in the interest of the creators, it has seemed in most cases that these updates have only made things harder and harder for new/small channels. Though maybe there's some bias on my part to think this way.
For the last year or two I have toyed with the thought of either just giving up altogether or moving platforms and concentrating on livestreaming over at Twitch. With both of these options (but especially the former) what has stopped me mostly has been the fact I know I love making videos and putting them out for people to potentially watch whenever and as often as they want. With that in mind I just kept trudging along. This is one of the main reasons why I decided to have a fresh start with a new channel earlier this year, which again has seen faster growth than my original channel, and I have actually found more enjoyment making content with the new channel. Despite this I couldn't quite shake a niggle in the back of my head; one that only got worse when YouTubers of all sizes started finding most of their videos getting flagged as non-advertiser friendly at the hands of a bot seemingly in it's infancy of learning exactly what it should be doing.
I completely understand what YouTube are trying to do with attempting to ensure advertisers that their products will be shown in a safe place amongst the worries and reports of racism, etc. But it is so very frustrating to see you videos, that are no different from all other accepted videos on YouTube, get flagged. Especially with people reporting a massive drop in support for those videos by YouTube via Suggested Videos and the like, and with being among those on the site not getting 1,000 views within 7 days to qualify for a manual review. Finding all these flagged videos just made it so demotivating.
I have been doing YouTube, as with most others, around other things in my life - a full-time job, a wife, an infant daughter. And I've worked VERY hard with my channel(s). I'm not saying this to mean "...so I deserve to be one of the big YouTubers!" I say this because it just makes it all the more tiring to see that steep climb become all the steeper. And this lead me to thinking more and more about moving platforms, but this time more thoroughly.
To me Twitch has always had a great community around the website (yes, there are trolls and abusers, but what site doesn't?), whereas on YouTube you can build great communities and find amazingly friendly people commenting on your videos, but it feels a lot thinner on the ground in comparison. Also, along with really thinking about the differences would include I couldn't help but think about this one thing:
When making a video I will spend, typically, between 30-60 minutes actually playing and recording a game, which is then followed by anywhere from 2 to 4 hours of editing (depending on the type of video). From there you then have however long it takes to render - this depends on your computer but, with videos anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour like I did, for me rendering would be as little as 2 hours and up to 7 hours. And then you have the upload time, writing your title/description/tags, and making a thumbnail, and THEN you get it out for people to watch...
An average of 45 minutes playing a game versus 5 to 10+ hours editing, rendering, preparing, etc. And after all that do you finally get to interact with people about that content. THIS was the realisation that solidified my decision to move.
I only moved to Twitch last week, and in that times I've done 3 livestreams. Those livestreams have been the most fun I've had putting out content in a long time. That's not knocking what I've been doing on YouTube and I never faked my enjoyment in my videos, but this has been greater. Also I generally feel a lot less stressed about finding time to get everything done for my videos, and I know I now actually have some more time to spend with my family or actually start reading books again. I, of course, have no idea how well this venture is going to go, but I'm definitely excited.
I said before that I've not stopped uploading to YouTube. Basically what I've decided to do is export any Let's Plays of games over to YouTube, as well as any interesting/funny highlights. This comes at very little extra cost because I'm not having to do much editing (some basic trimming of the start and end), and no rendering. It's just a little extra that I can do for those who may not make it to the streams and/or just generally prefer watching content on YouTube.
This, by no means, is meant as some kind of advertisement for Twitch, nor an advertisement for me. I spent a lot of time thinking about making this move and I'm just sure I'm not the only one, so I thought hearing about how it was for me might be of some use or reassurance to others. Feel free to comment with any questions and I'll answer as best I can. Hope this has helped.
Moving Away From YouTube
Having recently made the switch from uploading to YouTube to streaming on Twitch, I thought I'd share my thoughts on making the move in the hopes...
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