Twitch Competitors: Ranking Its 5 Biggest Rivals (2024)

Twitch is a live-streaming platform used mainly by people to broadcast video gameplay. It also caters to music, art, cooking, and casual chatting channels. Aside from live streaming, users (often called “twitchers”) may also watch videos on demand at Twitch.

The company, headquartered in San Francisco, California, was founded in 2007 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear. Twitch is accessible on the Web, as well as on its Android and iOS app. It is also available on gaming consoles or smart TVs.

Users and content creators can interact through comments, emotes (emojis), and “cheermotes” (animated stickers). Creators may also accept donation bits (the app’s digital currency) from their followers.

Twitch works on a “freemium” model, which means that all users can use its basic features for free, but only those who pay for a subscription can access extra perks. The company’s income mainly comes from premium subscriptions, digital currency sales, merchandise, and ads.

Several big companies have tried to replace Twitch, like Meta’s Facebook Gaming, Microsoft with Mixer, and Tencent with Penguin Esports. But to no avail; Twitch remains at the top. The platform is so popular that it’s often called the “undisputed gamers’ streaming app”, boasting a market share of more than 70 percent.  

Twitch was founded by childhood best friends Kan and Shear, who grew up just a few blocks away from each other. The two went to Yale for college, where they also started an online calendar business called Kiko in 2005.

Unfortunately, Kiko was outshone by Google’s then-newly launched Calendar. So instead, they auctioned off Kiko for $258,000, which eventually helped them start another venture. After a series of other businesses, they launched in 2007.

Initially, it was created to casually show Kan’s day-to-day life, like a reality show. then started to allow other content creators. After only a few months, the platform housed more than 30,000 channels.

As time passed, the company found its greatest success in gaming, which led to its rebranding to Twitch in 2014. 2014 was also the year in which Amazon acquired it for roughly $1 billion. 

In 2021, Twitch generated around $2.6 billion in revenue. Per estimates, over 140 million Twitchers are on the platform, enjoying content from 11 million streaming channels. Based on Twitch’s previous data, users watch Twitch videos for over 1.8 billion hours per month.


The methodology used to rank Twitch competitors is based on various data points. Information such as the revenue, number of viewers, number of channels/hosts, total hours of video consumed, and anything else relevant is being considered. 

This analysis only looks at the live-streaming competitors of Twitch to ensure comparability. Therefore, the competition in pre-recorded video broadcasting is excluded (although some below-listed companies also operate in those industries).

Lastly, we will also exclude indirect competitors of Twitch. Examples would be social networking sites that have live-streaming features. Twitch is available worldwide; thus, game-streaming competitors across the globe are considered.

So, without further ado, let’s look closely at Twitch’s top 5 competitors

1. YouTube Gaming

Headquarters: San Bruno, California

Founder(s): YouTube 

Year Founded: 2015

YouTube Gaming is Google’s entry into the live-streaming industry. Aside from Twitch, it is the most popular platform gamers use to interact with their audience. It tries to bring some of Twitch’s features to the table.

Although YouTube has always been the top player in video streaming, the company launched a separate app in 2018 to cater to the growing number of online game enthusiasts.

With over a thousand gaming channels on YouTube having more than 1 million subscribers, it’s no wonder the tech giant has gained so much market share. The new streaming platform gained 11 million downloads in three years.

YouTube Gaming and Twitch are essentially the same. The YouTube Gaming app’s success is partly due to its algorithms, which show relevant channels based on users’ interests. Meanwhile, Twitch shows the most popular streams at the top.

Another aspect is user-friendliness. Streamers can pause and rewind a live recording on YouTube Gaming in particular. The app also has a higher quality option (up to 2160p) than Twitch, which only goes up to 1080p.

On the other hand, only Twitch offered paid subscriptions back then. It wasn’t long before YouTube provided the same with its Paid Membership feature. It lets channels offer exclusive membership to their subscribers, which grants them access to certain content.

Despite its success, the platform was prematurely shut down in 2019, as many YouTube users still preferred to use the main app. This did not mean the company’s end, as YouTube simply integrated the gaming section into its app. Thus, it would still be able to cater to gaming fans.

YouTube Gaming is now just another vertical on the main site, with all of the app’s features still there. In 2021, the Google-owned company earned $28.8 billion in revenue. As of now, there are 30 million channels in the app, including the estimated 431,000 gaming-dedicated hosts.

Unfortunately, the app doesn’t report the number of game-streaming viewers anymore. Before it was taken down, YouTube Gaming already had 200 million daily users. In 2021, over 1.13 billion hours were streamed in Gaming, which translates into 377 million hours consumed per month.

Youtube Gaming is, by far, the only platform that came closest to Twitch. While the latter has more views, YouTube Gaming beats the top streaming app in terms of users.

Sources: Statista, Statista, The Social Shepherd, The Verge, Think With Google

2. Bigo Live

Headquarters: Mapletree Business City, Singapore

Founder(s): David Li and Jason Hu

Year Founded: 2014

Bigo Live is a live broadcasting social media app that covers various categories– lifestyle, social, entertainment, and many others. But the most popular topic consumed on the platform is gaming.

One thing that sets Bigo Live apart from Twitch is that the former tends to be focused more on Asia. Bigo Live has also benefited from the fact that Twitch is banned in China, which happens to be one of the biggest streaming markets in the world.

While Twitch wasn’t initially a big platform in China, it suddenly caught authorities’ attention in 2018. Apparently, it was the only app that broadcasted Asian Games from Jakarta.

And with many locals interacting through Twitch, the highly-censored country took down the app. Thus, since 2018, Bigo has had one less competitor in the most populous country.

The platform may only be a portion of Twitch, but Bigo has demonstrated that it can play a role in the market. Since 2015, Bigo Live has been getting more or less 50,000 new log-ins daily in Southeast Asia alone. 

Li Xueling, who also adopts the Western name David Li, started the company under YY Inc., which the business tycoon also owns. Essentially, YY Inc. is an ecosystem of video streaming platforms. Now known as JOYY Inc., it is also the parent company of Huya, aka Nimo TV (another game-streaming competitor).

During its first two years, Bigo served as a free phone service. In 2016, the management turned it into a live-streaming platform, targeting users 18–25 years of age. Even though there were already plenty of competitors when Bigo entered the scene, the company was able to establish itself through localization.

Consumers’ habits, culture, religions, and politics were considered. As a result, Bigo Live moves quickly through Southeast Asia, a highly cultural region. By comparison, Twitch hadn’t been able to take off in Asia until 2016.

In terms of features, however, Bigo Live is more likely to be a “multi-genre” platform than Twitch, even though Twitch also shows other types of content.

However, Bigo Live is only accessible via Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. Xbox, PS4, and other devices aren’t available. Still, Bigo Live boasts 1.8 million users who watch 62 million hours of streaming videos every month. The platform houses over 2,500 hosts.

BIGO Live makes most of its revenue from in-app purchases. It helps to gamify the experience for users, who can purchase virtual gifts to reward their favorite hosts. The average spending of its paying users was around 320 U.S. dollars during the last quarter of 2021. In the same year, Bigo generated $2.3 billion in total revenues.

Sources: Bigo Host, Bigo BlogsJOYY Press Release, Stream Charts, Statista, Tech in Asia, Venture Beat, Vulcan Post

3. Tango

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Founder(s): Uri Raz and Eric Setton

Year Founded: 2009

Tango is a live-streaming app focusing on making friends and connecting to influencers. While the previous companies on this list are dominated by gaming content, Tango Live features various creators (called artists) who may or may not be gamers.

Initially, Tango started as a messaging and video chat platform. But with the growth potential in the live-streaming industry, the app was transformed into a whole new look in 2018, focusing more on user-generated broadcasting.

Tango focuses on building communities, connecting to families, and making friends. Although gaming can be live-broadcasted here, Twitch has far more features that make game-streaming easier. 

However, Twitch hosts are required to have a Creator Dashboard. Tango, on the other hand, allows users to simply tap the record button to go live. As a user-generated content app, Tango provides more convenience for creators.

Streamers can make money through the Tango platform by offering premium content and subscriptions and selling, buying, and trading Tango Cards. Streamers can also earn money through the Partner Program and Friend Referrals.

The platform is available in English, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Hindi, and Vietnamese. Tango has more than 450 million registered users worldwide and employs nearly 300 people in its six global offices. It is also the no. 2 social-networking app in India.

Sources: Expanded Ramblings, Startup Info, Tango Blog, Yahoo Finance

4. Nimo TV

Headquarters: Manchester, Connecticut

Founder(s): Huya Inc., under JOYY Inc.

Year Founded: 2018

Nimo TV (also known as Huya Live) is a live game streaming app that belongs to a family of digital media platforms. The company was founded under Bigo Live’s parent company.

The platform usually goes by the name Huya Live in China and adopts “Nimo TV” as its global brand. Even though Nimo isn’t as popular in the West as Twitch, a sizable portion of its user base comes from China, Brazil, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Nimo TV (in this case, Huya) is among the largest game-streaming apps in China. Also, the latest reports showed that more than 60% of their users came from Brazil. Overall, the NYSE-listed company has a strong presence in China and Latin America.

The company’s history isn’t a long or particularly complex one. The then already-existing JOYY Inc. (also known as YY) decided to launch its video streaming service on a different platform in 2014, an industry that was already booming.

Huya quickly grew in China, where it was even dubbed the country’s Twitch. Thus, four years later, the management created another subsidiary under Huya. The subsidiary was then launched as Nimo TV in neighboring countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, as well as in Brazil, Mexico, and other Latin American countries.

Twitch has categories other than gaming, but Nimo TV is only for mobile and PC gamers. However, player-hosts can share other random daily updates in their “live.” Also, Twitch’s home page gives more highlights to channels, while Nimo TV puts more emphasis on the game you’d like to watch.

Currently, over 1.4 million people actively watch games on Nimo TV, but the number of hosts isn’t disclosed. People consume 370.4 million hours of Nimo’s videos on average every month. 

Unfortunately, in April 2022, Nimo announced that it would stop its operations in 14 countries following the Chinese government’s sanctions. These sanctions include reducing gaming time for users under 18 years of age. It caused significant investments like Tencent’s to be canceled, forcing Nimo to cut expenses.

Sources: Esports Insider, Chinese Alpha, Huya Investor Relations, Labs News, NASDAQ, Stream Charts, TechNode

5. Omlet

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Founder(s): Ben Dodson, Ian Vo, Monica Lam, and TJ Purtell

Year Founded: 2012

Omlet Arcade is a gaming and live-streaming community. It does more than just broadcast games. For instance, the service lets users connect and play on the same server, regardless of geographical location.

The company began as a research project for a group of computer science students at Stanford University. At first, it was called MobiSocial. Led by Monica Lam, the team wanted to limit the pervasive control of giants like Facebook over social networking.

They realized that real-time messaging should be the heart of social networking. Online mobile messaging like WhatsApp and WeChat were less popular during that time. Thus, the idea was somehow fresh. However, MobiSocial wasn’t able to take off quickly.

The debut of Pokemon Go in 2016 was the company’s turning point. Everybody knows how huge Pokemon Go boomed during that time, with millions of people worldwide playing it. Lam and her co-founders saw this as an opportunity to compensate for Pokemon Go’s lack of a social layer.

After only a week of Pokemon Go’s launch, MobiSocial was relaunched as Omlet Arcade. They created a platform that lets Pokemon Go players interact with viewers while playing. It works by drawing over half of the game’s screen. Eventually, Omlet Arcade made other online games available on the platform.

Omlet works much like Twitch. The key difference is the Omlet Connect feature, which offers a much more leveled-up gaming experience. For one, Omlet Connect provides an instant way to connect a mobile phone to a personal computer (for easier streaming).

In addition, Omlet Arcade is also more community-based. Users can join and come together in virtual groups based on their interests and goals. Omlet Communities are like Facebook Groups or Reddit’s Subreddits that let like-minded people share thoughts or even help each other in a game.

Information about the company is limited, and the latest estimates about its number of users were still in 2020– around 2 million unique streamers monthly during that time.

Similar Web shows Omlet is currently ranked 70 in the gaming category. The ranking was based on several factors, including web traffic and social media engagement. By comparison, Twitch is ranked number 2 in the same category.

Sources: Crunchbase, Similar Web, The Wise Marketer, Venture Beat

It's me, Trisha! A 20-year-old business analyst at a boutique consulting firm in Singapore and a contributing author to the Why Startups Fail newsletter. I deliver insights, analysis, & lessons learned from Southeast Asia's biggest failed startups.