Twitch Breaks Viewership Records Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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At a time of global panic amid the coronavirus pandemic, people are actively practicing social distancing. In that regard, online entertainment platforms have come in handy. In that respect, Amazon’s Twitch streaming platform hit all-time highs in hours watched, streamed and concurrent viewers.

Twitch debuted in 2012 and since that time, this is a first for the platform which topped 3 billion hours watched over the first quarter of 2020. In this period, the streamer accounted for 65% of total streaming hours watched and 72% of total hours streamed. It, moreover, topped competitors like YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming and Microsoft’s Mixer platform.

Apart from this, Twitch also saw a notable increase from the last quarter – both in hours watched and streamed. Both numbers had been on a downward path in 2019, going as low as 2.7 billion and 100 million respectively. However, these looked up in 2020, with going up to 3.1 billion and 121.4 million. On the other hand, concurrent viewers went from 1.2 million to 1.4 million.

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However, Twitch wasn’t the only platform which saw a notable rise in viewers and streamers as more and more people started to social distance and stay at home. YouTube Gaming’s live streaming services peaked at 1 billion, a 13% rise from the previous quarter. Additionally, this accounted for a 22% of the total market share. Hours streamed also increased to 14 million, a 14% rise.

Facebook Gaming also saw a dramatic bump in the first quarter – peaking at 553.7 million, up more than 20% in total hours watched on the platform. It accounted for 11% of the total market share. Moreover, hours streamed was also up by 11% to 4.9 million. Both these numbers represent a major increase for Facebook Gaming, 236% for hours watched and 131% for hours streamed.

Microsoft’s Mixer, however, wasn’t as lucky. It saw a decrease in hours watched – down more than 7% from the previous quarter. It, moreover, accounted for just 2% if the total market share. The total number of hours streamed, on top of that, was up just 1% to 28.3 million.

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This data reflects a previous report which stated that US video game usage during peak hours saw an increase of 75% since social distancing and quarantine went into effect.

The data comes from Tel Aviv-based StreamElements. It develops tools and services for streamers worldwide.

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A wide variety of streamers across all platforms are trying to distract themselves and others from the current events and creating a fun space for community and conversation. Moreover, they have also seen an increase in their own audience numbers in the weeks since social distancing started. Thus, Twitch has become a place for people to come together and chat with friends or to just find a distraction amidst these distressing times. With the increase in viewership, many streamers, focusing on different things, have also decided to do monthly benefit streams for their viewers.

Notably, video streaming also increased by 12%.

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