Finally, after years of begging and pleading from the streaming community, Twitch is rolling out video uploads to the popular video game streaming site.
For years now, streamers at Twitch have been able to stream live content only. That means daily live-streams to create a viable audience, which can be pretty grueling.
The only place to upload video content was YouTube. In fact, on YouTube streamers could easily choose to either live-stream or upload video content. That wasn’t an option on Twitch, making YouTube more attractive to many.
Now all that’s changing.
Of course, YouTube desperately needs as much competition as it can get, and Twitch uploads are a great first step in providing that sort of competition. Competition with YouTube is especially important lately, with YouTube’s numerous controversial decisions about censoring content with violence, swearing, and so forth, and the deeply unpopular YouTube Heroes program (the video introducing that program has over 800,000 dislikes to just over 25,000 likes.)
Indeed, Amazon is poised to create an alternative video service to YouTube that goes well beyond just gaming. They’ve already established Amazon Video, a direct competitor to services like Netflix. Twitch is a direct competitor to YouTube’s gaming-related content. It would be easy for Amazon to take this all one step further and start allowing other video content that goes beyond video games as well.
Just in terms of gaming, though, Twitch uploads could be a game-changer. I can see some streamers leaving YouTube behind in the current climate and moving exclusively to Twitch, but only now that uploading is a reality.
Many content creators simply don’t do live-streams that much, so Twitch was never a sensible home for their content.
Twitch uploads threaten to change all this, and that’s terrific. Competition is the lifeblood of a healthy economy, whether we’re talking about craft beer, banking, or video game streaming. Twitch uploads finally make Twitch a complete package for viewers and streamers alike, and offer up a real alternative to YouTube.
There are some limitations on Twitch uploads that aren’t present on YouTube, of course. For instance, the uploading file size is limited to 10GB. Videos are also limited to 1080p and 60fps. Format-wise you can only upload H.264 MP4 video with AAC audio. But this is just the beginning of the service, and we should expect to see it grow over time.
It’s also possible that this won’t change as much as we think it will. YouTube content creators may stick with what’s been working for them. Twitch may remain largely a live-streaming space. One way or another, though, this does open the doors for more competition and more varied content.
Here’s what Twitch says you can expect from the new service, which is currently in Open Beta:
- Upload videos to Twitch from your video manager!
- Uploads are saved indefinitely — no expiration dates
- Notify your followers when you publish a new video or post directly to your channel feed
- Download your Past Broadcasts and Highlights to make new content
- Stats for each video, so you can see your growth over time
You can read more in-depth material about the service in this guide.