YouTube Gaming? Not in Germany (and maybe other countries)

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 27, 2015

Google launched YouTube Gaming yesterday on the Web and as dedicated applications for Android and iOS. The applications are limited to the US and UK at the moment while the web version is accessible by users from all over the world.

YouTube Gaming is Google's answer to the popular game streaming platform Twitch which Amazon bought last year.

After Google failed to acquire Twitch, decision were made to integrate live game streaming capabilities directly on YouTube.

YouTube is a popular destination for pre-recorded gaming videos and supports live streaming as well for some time.


The new YouTube Gaming intertwines those on the site and in applications. When you open the startpage of the service on the Internet you are bombarded immediately with several colorful showcases.

Popular games are highlighted in a sidebar on the left, there is another sidebar on the right highlighting featured channels, and a middle area that lists live gaming streams and popular videos on YouTube that are gaming related.

The actual video page is a cross between Twitch and YouTube's regular video offering. You find live comments on the right of the video for instance and the usual stats and stuff below it.

YouTube Gaming offers several interesting features. Search focuses on gaming for instance which means that you won't get non-gaming related content displayed in the results when you search for Quake, Call of Duty or Unreal.

Not in Germany

The party ends immediately if you are connecting to the site from Germany (and maybe other countries).

As soon as you click on a live link, and it does not matter which, you receive the error message "Live Streaming is not available in your country due to rights issues".

This means that YouTube Gaming is largely inaccessible from Germany. While there is no explanation given on the site, it is likely that the blocking has something to do with Google's ongoing legal battle with GEMA, a state-authorized collecting society in Germany over music video compensation on the platform.

live streaming not available

The only videos that people from Germany can play on YouTube Gaming are pre-recorded videos that are showcased on the site as well.

It is unclear if people from other countries are also blocked from watching live streams on YouTube Gaming or if this block is exclusive to Germany.

Only users from the US and UK can install the official application from Google Play or iTunes as it is geo-restricted.

YouTube Gaming? Not in Germany (and maybe other countries)
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YouTube Gaming? Not in Germany (and maybe other countries)
YouTube Gaming is a new live game streaming service that offers live game streams and access to pre-recorded videos.

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  1. ilev said on August 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    The WEB version is inaccessible as well with “404 Lorem ipsum other castle, arrow to the knee set up us the bomb.” page.

  2. Gabriel said on August 27, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I’m from Brazil and work fine.

  3. DonGateley said on August 27, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    This has confused me. Are this and Twitch for playing games or for watching the play of games?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 27, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      This is only for watching other people play or talk about games.

      1. DonGateley said on August 27, 2015 at 10:30 pm

        Thanks, Martin. For someone like me who doesn’t think he is interested in games this could be a mind changer.

  4. bla said on August 27, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Fuck GEMA!!! And Fuck GEZ tooooo!!!

    1. JohnMWhite said on August 28, 2015 at 1:25 am

      This is the sort of thing that does more harm than good when it comes to protecting intellectual property rights. While the world moves on and individuals try to share their experiences with one another, some middle-man blocking their path to demand a toll simply sours the relationship.

  5. Derek said on August 28, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Stuff GEMA where the sun don’t shine, I’m a English expat living in Germany in fed up with GEMA and all its dirty tricks , so I’m forced to use a VPN to connect with my home country. GEMA is not helping singer / song writers is forcing people to use alternative option’s.

  6. flo said on August 28, 2015 at 9:33 am

    This time is is related to even more. Not only GEMA (yeah, f*ck those guys). Youtube users would need a license (Rundfunkstaatsvertrag) for streaming to over 500 users.
    Somehow I feel that due to overregulation and monopolies, Germany is stagnating from many technological points of view. Broadband and mobile internet being a good example of that…

  7. Ben said on September 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Nothing to do with GEMA.
    You basically need a license issued from the state to do live streaming (because the old laws could also be applied to this stuff).
    I hope google will use it’s lobbying power to change this bullshit.

  8. Johny Rae said on September 14, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    They are having trouble with live streaming because the U.S. is having political turmoil with Germany. If you don’t believe me, google it. It’s a tatic the U.S. uses to piss other countries off. Even at the lower levels. Nothing gets excluded. Germany wants to be a$$holes, the U.S. can too.

  9. Karthik said on April 2, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Its Isn’t available In India…What About that…

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