Twitch’s Staggering Viewership Records Firmly Places it as an Industry Leader

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The Takeaways:

  • Twitch smashed its previously set records for hours watched, hours streamed, unique channels, and average concurrent viewership.
  • Twitch grew from three billion total hours streamed in Q1 to five billion in Q2 2020 – an increase of 62.7%.
  • The total hours streamed on Twitch increased by 58.7% from the previous quarter and increased by 80.1% year over year.
  • Valorant was the most-watched game on Twitch in a single quarter with 534 million hours, beating Fortnite which peaked at 399 million hours in Q2 of 2018.
  • Twitch did miss its 2019 ad revenue target of $500-600 million, bringing in an estimated $300 million.

What It Means:

This places Twitch as the undisputed leader of the live streaming industry, far out-performing Youtube Gaming Live, Facebook, and Mixer combined.

Microsoft-owned Mixer announced in late June that they would be closing their live-streaming service and partnering with Facebook Gaming instead. Twitch’s continued dominance as a market leader is likely to attract ex-Mixer streamers looking for a new platform.

The Future of Live-Stream Gaming:

Last month’s reports indicated that Twitch could start streaming Premier League football matches to which Amazon owns the rights. Here users would interact online while watching live games. These recent developments indicate the potential for news kinds of programming entering the streaming space.

However, as a heavily user-generated platform, there is mounting pressure on Twitch for its failure to protect members of its community from abuse and harassment. Whilst the focus of both users and the media has been on Facebook’s inability to act in these areas, Twitch will need to act fast if it is to change an ad revenue story that has already struggled to meet expectations. Although Twitch was on track to deliver $300m in ad revenue in 2019, a 28% YOY increase, it still fell well short of the $500-600 million range target set for the year.

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