Streamer Ben “DrLupo” Lupo has signed a deal to stream exclusively on YouTube Gaming, following in the footsteps of other well-known streamers like Jack “CouRage” Dunlop and Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter in moving from Twitch to YouTube. Lupo’s first YouTube Gaming stream will take place on August 31st.
Lupo already has a sizable presence on YouTube, with more than 1.7 million followers. But in switching to the Google-owned platform, he’s moving on from his large audience on Twitch, where he has 4.5 million followers.
A Loaded PR representative declined to comment on the terms of Lupo’s YouTube Gaming deal. In December 2019, Lupo signed a deal with Twitch that was reported to be worth millions of dollars per year. The Amazon-owned streaming service acknowledged Lupo’s departure with a tweet, saying that “we wish you nothing but the best in everything that comes next.”
While big-name streamers aren’t signing splashy exclusivity deals quite as often as they used to in the wake of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins’ defection from Twitch to Mixer, that’s likely in part because Mixer was shut down by Microsoft in June 2020, meaning the potential number of places to go is one platform fewer. (Blevins, for example, has returned to streaming exclusively on Twitch.)
Both Dunlop and Hofstetter have seen success since moving exclusively to YouTube. However, Twitch sees vastly more hours watched than both YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming combined, making up nearly 75 percent of total hours watched across all three platforms in the first quarter of this year, according to a Streamlabs report. That means Lupo may not see as much viewership on YouTube Gaming as he does on Twitch.
But in signing this exclusivity deal, it seems Lupo sees opportunity with Google’s platform. And in a statement, he suggests the platform will also help him as he “expand[s] my brand through other entertainment initiatives,” so perhaps there’s more that YouTube is offering Lupo we just aren’t aware of yet.
Update August 30th, 1:33PM ET: Added tweet from Twitch.