As many of you may know, I primarily stream all of my artwork on Picarto. While I don't see this changing any time soon, I did decide that it was time to end my premium subscription there and wanted to share my thoughts on why.
Why I Use Picarto...
What separates Picarto as a streaming service from the rest is that it focuses heavily on artists, hosts a wide range of variety of art types, and also allows mature content. This is extremely important to me as most larger streaming platforms are more focused towards gaming and against mature content which does restrict what I can and can't stream. At the end of the day, Picarto's greatest strength is the freedom to stream my art with practically no restrictions.
As I began to use Picarto more and more, I ended up getting a Premium account to support the platform and take advantage of the site's premium features. After having a premium account for over 2 and a half years, I can honestly say it's not worth it for me.
Are Premium Features Premium?
Of all the premium features, I found the most useful one was the ability to multistream with other artists. It allows you to share your audience with others who may have similar interests and only the host needs to have a premium account to multistream. While a good feature, I don't multistream with others often at all.
The next feature worth mentioning is the ability to have private streams. This is really nice is you're wanting to limit your audience to a specific set of people. While I'll probably miss this feature the most, like multistreams, I didn't really use this feature often.
Beyond Mutistreams and private streams, there's really no other useful premium features. Sure, you can have your own personal emotes, run raffles and polls in chat, and have custom banners but these things don't really help you as a streamer. This became very clear to me once I started streaming on Twitch.
While Twitch lacks private streams and multistreaming is for Partners only, it has a lot of streamer friendly tools designed to help you engage with your community better. You can use chat bots to moderate and promote things to your community, store recordings of streams for up to a month, allow users to make clips of your streams, raid others to help bolster their communities, automatically host your friend's stream on your own page, see when someone subscribes or follows you, see statistics of your streams, offer different levels of subscriptions and offer emotes for each tier for members of your community to use, fill out fully customizable panels below your stream, the list goes on...
... and unlike Picarto, I can do all of that for free.
I know Twitch is a much larger platform than Picarto but it is frustrating that the site has so few features to offer and shows little interest in growing. While I'll still continue to use Picarto to stream my artwork, I simply can not justify spending $15 a month for two useful features.