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...
By Jack Muskrat, Published: Oct 29, 2017 | Updated: Oct 29, 2017 | | |
  1. 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.

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    About Author

    Jack Muskrat
    Small gamer on Twitch, and ex-very small YouTuber of 5 years. Also Sound Designer for Running With Scissors; developers of the POSTAL series of games.
    Jack Muskrat on Twitch

Comments

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  1. King Dippy
    I like to try and do both, but it's hard because it takes away focus from my youtube channel largely just to maintain 0 viewers on every stream I do. I barely get anything on Youtube, but I'm concerned that trying to split my focus may hurt my Youtube efforts even more. However, GameOverViper is right, you can use one for the other. But stream gameplay is a bit different (or can be) when you get people commenting, so it changes the style of video. Still deciding how I'm going to do things myself.
      Jack Muskrat likes this.
    1. Jack Muskrat
      I felt exactly the same way, regarding not wanting to split attention. Before moving to Twitch, I used Restream to stream to YouTube, Twitch, and Mixer, but only found people chatting on YouTube. This might sound weird because if people were mainly hanging out on YouTube, why move to a different platform? This part of my decision was where YouTube's management/operation swayed me - the lack of communication and support, and so heavily relying on bots with unfinished programming to do their work.
      Jack Muskrat, Nov 20, 2017 at 4:43 AM
    2. Jack Muskrat
      I still use YouTube to upload my Let's Play stream, though I do first highlight them on Twitch and leave at least a week before making it available on YouTube. I also still REALLY hope things turn around for YouTube - it is a platform with so much potential that currently seems to be wasted. I may be blowing it a little out of proportion there, but you get what I mean.
      Jack Muskrat, Nov 20, 2017 at 4:44 AM
    3. King Dippy
      Yeah it's crap what they do. But they're also the biggest way to get exposure unfortunately. I also use restream to do both at the same time when I'm streaming. It's funny because I end up getting more stream views on YouTube and keep getting zero on Twitch.
      King Dippy, Nov 21, 2017 at 2:06 AM
  2. GameOverViper
    You can live stream and still create great content that could be used in creating content for YouTube. Clips of moments you have on Twitch. Even entire streams can be downloaded and re-uploaded to YouTube if you really wanted to. Not only that, but you could use 3rd party services like Restream to live stream to numerous platforms at once, which would save your content on YouTube as well.

    Great article, thanks for sharing!
      Jack Muskrat likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Jack Muskrat
      I do recommend Restream. I did use it for my Saturday streams but thought I'd commit to one platform to keep everyone in one place. But with Restream I mostly found I'd have people talking in the chat on Twitch and others in YouTube, and they'd get confused at not being able to see/reply to each other. Something I'm sure most have no problems with but it was all part of deciding to contain the streams to just Twitch for me.
      Jack Muskrat, Oct 29, 2017
    3. GameOverViper
      Yeah, but with Restream and multiple platforms you're able to capture different audiences. That's where people start to add on screen somewhere that's not annoying what is being posted by people. You can include your chat logs on screen. However, it can takeaway from gameplay. There's always the loading screens that you could add it to and switch scenes inbetween games.
      GameOverViper, Oct 29, 2017
    4. Jack Muskrat
      That is definitely an idea. At least regarding switching scenes, etc. I did, a long time ago, make an overlay that included the chat log but wasn't really feeling it because it felt like it took away from seeing the game. So I'm choosing to keep my on-screen stuff to a minimum. At least for now.
      Jack Muskrat, Oct 29, 2017