Twitch continues to dominate live streaming with its second-biggest quarter to date

Technology 1 week ago TechCrunch 16

Twitch continues to lead rivals including YouTube Live, Facebook Gaming, and Microsoft’s Mixer when it comes to live streaming video. Despite experiencing its first decline in hours watched in Q2 2019, the Amazon-owned game streaming site still had its second-biggest quarter to date, with over 70% of the hours watched during the quarter.

According to a new report from StreamElements, Twitch viewers live-streamed a total of 2.72+ billion hours in Q2 — or 72.2% of all live hours watched — compared with 735.54 million hours on YouTube Live (19.5%), 197.76 million on Facebook Gaming (5.3%), and just 112.29 million hours (3%) on Mixer.

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Combined, the total hours watched across all four platforms was 3.77 billion in Q2.

While none of Twitch’s rivals are nearly catching up, YouTube Live did have a good month in May, breaking its own record with 284 million hours watched then. Overall, YouTube Live’s hours watched improved in Q2 as a result while Twitch saw a slight decline.

Facebook Gaming is also gaining steam. It’s now the third-biggest live streaming platform, having passed Microsoft Mixer.

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Despite its traction, Twitch doesn’t have much of a longtail when it comes to stream viewership. That’s a problem it has faced for some time, as newcomers complained they spent years broadcasting to no one in hopes of gaining a fan base, with little success. Twitch has tried to remedy this problem with various educational efforts as well as product features like Raids and Squad Streams, for example.

However, the new report finds that the majority (almost 75%) of Twitch’s viewership still comes from people tuning in to the top 5,000 channels. Out of the 2.7 billion hours watched in Q2, these top 5,000 channels drove 2 billion of those hours watched.

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In addition, the average concurrent viewership (viewers watching at the same time) of the top 5,000 channels increased by 12% in Q2 2019, compared with Q1. The top 200 channels have the highest concurrent viewership with 10,590 people watching together, on average.

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Also in the quarter, viewership of top titles like Fortnite, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive declined in while vlogging — aka “Just Chatting” — grew, along with other titles.

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Esports, meanwhile, still draws in big numbers but represents only a small slice of the overall pie.

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The full report, which takes a look in other trends, including which streamers are gaining and losing popularity, is available here.


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