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YouTube Live Growing Far Faster Than Twitch, Finds Streamlabs

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The young upstart YouTube Live is growing quickly, while Twitch has much slower growth. According to quarterly data from Streamlabs, a company that makes tools for live streamers, YouTube Live's active monthly streamers grew by 330 percent in the last 5 months. In the same period, Twitch grew by only 19 percent. Looking at just the last 6 weeks, YouTube grew by 36.6 percent and Twitch by 4.1 percent.

Streamlabs has a unique data set, since it markets its tools to dedicated streamers trying to grow followers and revenue, as opposed to casual users who only live stream occasionally.

Growth rate is only part of the story, as Twitch is simply much larger than YouTube Live. In March, Streamlabs was used by roughly 260,000 monthly active streamers on Twitch, but only 76,000 on YouTube. That's why Twitch streamers generate far more money (in tips from fans). Streamlabs collected $22.6 million in tips for Twitch streamers in Q1 2017, but only $0.94 million for YouTube streamers.

"More pro or semi-pro broadcasters choose to stream on Twitch given the opportunity to make more income, pay their bills, and pursue livestreaming as a viable career," says Ali Moiz, Streamlabs' CEO, in a blog post.

Streamlabs found that long-term viewers spend far more on tips than do new viewers. That's certainly a key reason why YouTube Live streamers earn less: That platform is new, and viewers don’t have the same long-term connection with fans. 

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