VStreaming vs VTubing: What's The Difference? - Dere★Project

VStreaming vs VTubing: What’s The Difference?

If you’ve ever gone down the rabbit hole that is the world of VTubing, you may have noticed that some people call themselves VTubers, and others call themselves VStreamers. Maybe you’ve wondered what the difference is between a VTuber and a VStreamer. And it’s understandable – there are a fair number of terms that are exclusive to this hobby, after all. So today, we’re here to figure that out.

vtuber vs vstreamer

So, is there really ANY difference?

If you want the short answer, then no, there isn’t much of a difference between VStreaming and VTubing. For the most part, VStreamers are the same as VTubers. They are people who make use of virtual avatars to produce entertaining content through live streams, videos, music, etc. They come in 2D and 3D forms and have many themes. There are dog VTubers, cat VTubers, wolf VTubers, fox VTubers, demon VTubers… heck, there might even be a bacon VTuber somewhere out there. Who knows?

So there. That’s settled now, right? Well… not quite.

The discussion becomes much more interesting once you separate the V from VStreamers and VTubers. What you end up with are two terms that are completely different from each other, even though they’re in the same content creation realm. Let’s discuss both in detail.

Streamers vs. YouTubers

As mentioned, when you remove the V from VStreamers and VTubers, you’re left with Streamer and Tuber (in this case, YouTuber). While both terms are associated with people who create content on the internet, there are some key differences between the two.


Pokimane, one of the most popular streamers in the world.
Pokimane is a streamer – one of the largest, in fact.

The biggest difference is that streamers create most, if not all of their content in real time. They go live on streaming platforms such as Twitch, Kick, Bilibili, and others. While most streamers play video games, there is a huge variety of activities that people livestream. These include music (e.g. singing, playing instruments, music production), art (both digital and physical), ASMR, etc. A lot of streamers spend time just chatting with their viewers. Some even go live while traveling to show the viewers their experiences in another place.

There are even streams that fill very specific niches. Some examples of these are cooking, co-working, and tarot reading. Believe it or not, sleeping is also a legitimate livestream category and people do tune in to see other people get some shut-eye. There are also streamers who keep a lot of animals as pets, and stream what they do in their habitats. Of course, they’re well-fed and well-taken care of.

Some great examples when it comes to streamers are Shroud, Ninja, Pokimane, and Kai Cenat. Their main source for content is streaming on Twitch. While they have YouTube channels, most of the content there either consists of clips from Twitch or recaps of their streams.


PewDiePie, one of the biggest Youtubers out there.
At this point, who watches YouTube and doesn’t know about PewDiePie?

Now, let’s talk about YouTubers. The term itself is coined from the largest video repository in the world – YouTube. Anyone who regularly uploads videos to the site can be considered a YouTuber, technically speaking. While YouTube recently introduced live streaming a few years back, the bulk of its content consists of videos uploaded on the platform.

These videos cover pretty much any topic you can think of. Do you want to listen to some music with its matching video? That’s easy to find. Are you looking for walkthroughs of your favorite video game? There’s probably a YouTube video for that. Need to know how to properly dice an onion or cook the best scrambled eggs? Use the search bar, and you’ll definitely find something. Does this also extend to niche content? You bet it does.

Some good examples of YouTubers would be PewDiePie, Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, and Internet Historian. Outside of independent content creators, companies and brands from all over the world also make use of YouTube for various purposes. Some advertise their products, some post blogs and videos highlighting their daily operations, and others provide news or useful information.

Advantages and Disadvantages

While both streaming and YouTubing are viable in terms of content creation, each has certain advantages and disadvantages. There are some topics and types of content that suit streamers better, and the same goes for YouTubers. Let’s talk about what I think are the advantages and disadvantages of both:


Streaming has these advantages over YouTubing:

  • Interaction: Streamers are able to chat with their viewers in real-time, and vice versa. Some streamers even allow their chat to control parts of the stream through commands that the streamer sets up. This generates unique situations that can’t be replicated by other forms of content creation.
  • Relatability: Somewhat related to the first advantage, streamers can voice out their thoughts and opinions in real-time. Their viewers get a better glimpse of what their personality is like. Some feel like they can directly relate to a streamer’s situation or struggles. It makes the entire viewing experience more personal, more “human”, and some people really enjoy that.
  • Availability: Because they create content the moment they go live, streamers have more availability to watch than other YouTubers. While you may see YouTube uploads from your favorite channels every once or twice a week, some streamers (especially those who commit to it full-time) are available to watch every day, so viewers have more content to enjoy.

Subsequently, these are some disadvantages that streaming has:

  • Inconsistent Quality of Content: While streamers always have content on the ready as long as they’re live, the quality of the content itself can be a concern. The streamer is responsible for keeping their viewers engaged. Viewers may tune out of someone’s stream if they aren’t interactive enough. There’s also the possibility of streams becoming repetitive and stale (that also happens to YouTube videos but to a lesser extent).
  • Time Investment: Streamers go live for a long time, and it’s a huge time sink for both the streamer and the viewer. Others just don’t find it fun to watch people play games or do certain activities for hours. They may wait until someone posts a clip or a shortened version of the stream, highlighting the most entertaining parts. It may take the streamer a while to create these highlights.
  • Negativity: Active viewer participation is a perk streamers enjoy, but it is a double-edged sword. Streamers must also deal with bots (and their spam), negative comments, and backseating. It can negatively affect the streamer’s mood, which in turn affects the quality of the stream itself. Some streamers end prematurely due to these comments. There are even cases of “hate raids”, where a group of people target a streamer and send inappropriate messages to them.


Now, let’s move on to YouTubing. What advantages does it have? Well…

  • Presentation: With YouTubing, there are countless ways to present your content to viewers. Most videos uploaded to YouTube have some form of editing done to them, be it subtitles, added graphics, cuts and transitions, etc. Besides editing, thumbnails can make or break videos – a catchy title or thumbnail can mean the difference between 100 views and 100,000 views.
  • Variety: This is somewhat related to the first advantage. There are numerous types of content you can do as a YouTuber, far more than streamers. You can succeed with just short one-minute videos, and you can also succeed by doing hour-long documentaries. You can even succeed just by uploading your streams and their highlights (famous streamers have YouTube channels for that exact purpose). Some channels analyze media, and some make walkthroughs or specific how-tos. The possibilities are nearly endless.
  • Brevity: On average, YouTube videos are drastically shorter than live streams. That makes them appealing to more people, especially now that short-form content is on the rise. Not everyone can sit through hours of someone live streaming. Some people are only able to keep up with content creators through these shorter videos. Also, these videos give off a better impression of the streamer because they condense all the important events that happened on a stream.

Okay, so now let’s talk about the main disadvantages of YouTubing:

  • Discoverability: Getting people to watch their content is one of the first major hurdles most new creators experience. This applies to both streamers and YouTubers, but generally, live-streaming sites have more ways of highlighting newer creators. Also, live streaming has a tight-knit yet very supportive community that makes building connections so much easier.
  • Saturation: This is somewhat related to the first point – YouTube is extremely saturated with videos across all topics you can think of. You’ll be competing with more established channels for views. So, your video needs to stand out. You need to give people a reason to watch your video. That’s a lot to ask for someone who’s just starting out as a YouTuber.
  • Also Time Investment: Like streaming, YouTubing is also a huge time sink. However, YouTubers spend that time differently compared to streamers. Editing videos can take a long while, and it’s pretty common to see some YouTubers take weeks, even months to upload a new video. Even if you put in your best effort and take months to create your YouTube masterpiece, it’s still at the mercy of the algorithm. The views your video gets may not be proportionate to the amount of time you spent working on it. And that can be demotivating for some.

How does this all relate to VStreamers and VTubers?

Okay, we just typed up a whole storm highlighting streamers and YouTubers. How about we go back to talking about VStreamers and VTubers? There’s a good reason why both terms are interchangeable – VStreamers/VTubers are unique in that they take the best aspects of both streaming and YouTubing, which makes the viewing experience one–of–a–kind. I’ll explain further, having watched a fair number of them myself.

The Best of Both Worlds

VTubers combine the best of both streaming and YouTubing – and that led to Pekora being #1!

In my experience, most, if not all VTubers/VStreamers both do livestreams and upload offline content on YouTube or other sites. There’s a larger emphasis on the former, but that’s because that’s how a lot of new VTubers start. Actually, new VTubers are incentivized to “debut” to help kickstart their content creation career. They create their social media accounts and generate interest by posting frequently. Then, they show off their models and continue to create more hype until it’s time for them to actually stream. Both indie and corporate VTubers do this, and the formula works. Debuts aren’t required, but that’s just one example of how VTubing weaves in both streaming and YouTubing.

VTubing also combines the pros and cons of both streaming and YouTubing. With VTubers, you get the open communication and unique interactions that streamers get, while also getting a lot of variety in terms of content like YouTubers do. Streams, collaborations with other people, song covers, YouTube shorts, and the list goes on. A VTuber’s model represents the “better presentation” aspect – being an anime character is always a great way to lure people in to watch your content. However, VTubers also have to deal with the negativity that comes with being a content creator. There’s also the fact that because VTubing has become a global phenomenon, the space has become saturated. If you want to become a VTuber, something about you needs to stand out, whether it’s your model or your content.

Still, VTubers exemplify the best of what streaming and YouTubing have to offer. There’s a VTuber for everyone, and we’re not just talking about the popular ones.

Do Other VTerms Exist?

Besides VTuber and VStreamer, other “virtual” terms were adopted into the scene, and here are the two most prominent:

Shigure Ui’s finest work. Yes, it’s *that* music video. Art is still her specialty, though, and she’s an example of a VArtist.

VArtist – These are VTubers and people in the VTubing scene who specialize in art. They either do fan art, portraits, character designs, stream overlays, emotes, etc. Some of them are Live2D artists, some are riggers, and sometimes they’re both. Though she considers herself an illustrator, someone who fits this bill would be Nachoneko – famously known as Gawr Gura’s character designer. Another example would be Shigure Ui, who happens to be the character designer of Hololive’s Oozora Subaru as well as the character designer for OsaMake and WIXOSS DIVA(A)LIVE.

The Multiverse Monarch is AmaLee’s VTuber persona, and she does a lot of song covers – with this one being both recent and popular.

VSinger – This is a term used to refer to VTubers whose primary content is singing. These include singing streams, doing song covers, and even posting their own original songs. They are a fusion of VTuber and “utaite” (vocalists who primarily perform covers of anime, game, or Vocaloid songs) cultures. A great example of this is the Multiverse Monarch, or the VTuber persona of AmaLee. She’s been making covers as early as 2010, and delved into the VTubing scene in December 2021. Fun fact that you probably know already: She voiced Marin Kitagawa in the English dub of My Dress Up Darling!

The term “VTweeter” also exists in some circles, but it’s used in a negative light. It refers to people who use VTubing as a means to post scathing remarks and controversial opinions online. These VTweeters are often seen with the “pre-debut” label, indicating that they have never streamed or made any other forms of content.

Wrapping Up

There we have it. That was a fun little dive regarding a question that, at the surface, seems pretty easy to answer. I will maintain again that VStreamers and VTubers are practically the same, but it’s always good to take a look into why these terms are the way they are. If nothing else, I certainly hope you developed a much deeper appreciation for VTubers. I know I did.

In fact, I got pretty inspired writing this – maybe it’s time I go to the deepest parts of the rabbit hole and become a VTuber myself. Who knows? Either way, thanks for reading!

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