Good news, fans of live-streamed gaming: YouTube Gaming is now available for Android from Google Play. YouTube announced that it would be releasing a dedicated app for watching gaming-related live streams and videos hosted on the platform several months back, shortly after Amazon acquired competitor Twitch for nearly $1 billion. Downloading the app from the Play Store is limited to US and UK residents initially.
For those who have used Twitch to watch gaming content on the go, much of the YouTube Gaming experience on Android will be quite familiar. Organization of content by specific game, the pop-out video player, inline chat, support for Google Cast — they all transfer over. The new vertical app pulls in all gaming-related videos and live streams from YouTube, and viewers can get personalized recommendations of what to watch based on their subscriptions and the games they collect.
Feature parity should be the easy part for the Google-owned video giant, so the real challenge then will probably be in going above and beyond Twitch for both viewers and creators alike. YouTube takes a significant portion (45%) of the revenue that creator’s generate from content on the platform, and hasn’t traditionally been the most transparent and forthcoming with those who have concerns they’d like the company to address.
At the same time, however, Twitch has a much higher requirements that must be met before a creator can monetize their content at all — namely that you need roughly 500 concurrent viewers to your streams on an average basis, versus YouTube’s only real requirement that you regularly upload content that doesn’t infringe on anyone’s copyrights.
It’s anyone’s idea how this will shake out — YouTube being the place where regular people are turned into mainstream celebrities, the destination for passing time watching random videos, and Twitch now being the place people go to find live-streamed gaming, which is also starting to create its own celebrities. With YouTube’s renewed attention on investing heavily in making its talent happy, it should be an interesting battle to watch. We often see incumbents in a space release new products that seem destined to squash the rising stars, only to have their product fizzle out due to a lack of focus or something else. Maybe that’ll happen here! Viewers will go wherever their favorite creators are, though, so it all seems to come down to who has that talent.
The web portal doesn’t seem to be live yet, but if you want to bypass Google’s Play Store, you can directly download the app APK.