5 min read

Oct 29, 2018

Live Streaming Q3'18 Report — 40% of Twitch Using Streamlabs Desktop, PUBG popularity on the decline, Mixer &…

➤➤ Highlights for Q3'18, TL;DR

Last Updated on January 28, 2022

➤➤ Highlights for Q3'18, TL;DR

40% of all Twitch streamers using Streamlabs Desktop in nine months, making it the fastest growing software ever in the history of live streaming

Streamlabs quarterly active users count breaks two million for the first time; 20% increase quarter over quarter

Twitch up 23% in active streamers since last quarter (1.37M to 1.63M); Mixer up 31.7% in active live streamers since last quarter (53K vs 70K)

Facebook live sees 55.3% increase in active live streamers this year (45K vs 70K)

Fortnite has 5.2x more hours of live streamed content this quarter than runner-up League of Legends (19M vs 3.6M); total number of hours streamed for Fortnite increased 128% this year

PUBG popularity is on the decline with a 30% decrease in hours streamed this year

Streamlabs has processed more than 34M in tips to content creators, for a total of 106M across all platforms this year

Joining the ranks with YouTube and Facebook, Twitch, the undisputed champion of live streaming, has now been blocked in China. Despite not having access to this potentially huge market, this setback has not slowed the industry giant. At least not yet. We have put together our latest quarterly report, and we found that there has been considerable growth across all live streaming platforms, including impressive numbers from Mixer and Facebook Live. Twitch has seen a 23% increase in streamers from Q2 to Q3, Fornite continues to reign supreme as live streamers flock to the game, and last but not least, Streamlabs has achieved some notable milestones including a record number of active users.

Streamlabs is the fastest growing live streaming software . . . ever

2018 is shaping up to be a monumental year for Streamlabs. We are now the fastest growing software ever in the history of live streaming. In nine months, over 40% of all Twitch streamers are using Streamlabs Desktop.

For the first time, Streamlabs’ quarterly active users broke two million. That is a 20% increase from last quarter (1.7M). And it is not just us. Overall, the live streaming sector is seeing some serious traction. This year, our research has shown that live streaming has become a $10.1bn industry with over 15M live streamers, and it is only getting bigger. In 2019, we predict it will reach $13.1bn with over 19M live streamers. And Streamlabs is just one example representing that growth.

Platform Trends: Mixer and Facebook Live Show Impressive Growth

The continued growth of Twitch is nothing short of amazing. Over the last quarter, the platform has seen a 23% increase (1.37M vs 1.63M) in active live streamers. After surpassing 1M average concurrent live streamers for the first time last quarter, they have continued to sustain impressive momentum. This quarter they are averaging 1.11M concurrent viewers.


Mixer is continuing to see steady growth as well with nearly 70,000 active live streamers using the platform, up 31.7% from last quarter. The average number of concurrent viewers on Mixer increased 13.1% since last quarter to just over 22,000 viewers. This growth may be attributed to the buzz surrounding the fact that Mixer was able to lock in some serious partnerships. It was announced that Forza would be implementing a stream-to-win feature that will allow players to unlock specific rewards and bonuses for streaming Forza Horizon 4 on Mixer. This partnership marks the first Microsoft game to be deeply integrated with the live streaming service. It will be interesting to note just how much this partnership affects the stats surrounding Mixer, so be sure to check back next quarter for our updated report.

Facebook Live has seen an impressive hike in users. This quarter, active live streamers using the platform soared 55.3% from 45,600 to just over 70,000 active live streamers when comparing Q3 to Q2. Several interesting developments could have played a part in this trend. Facebook has made it its mission to create more interactive content on the website, from things like watch-party, which allows groups of users to watch videos together and comment, to the acquisition of Vidpresso to give more tools to live video users. For folks in the UK, the partnership with Eleven Sports giving them rights to stream one European football game per week for free certainly seems to have helped improve viewership, as well.

PUBG Losing Steam, Fortnite Still King

It comes as no surprise that Fortnite is still by far the most live streamed game.

The number of hours live streamed for Fortnite has increased 128%, this year. To put that into perspective, Fortnite has 5x more hours of live streamed content than runner-up League of Legends (19M vs 3.6M) this quarter.


On the other hand, the popularity of PUBG is on the decline, with just over 3.2M hours streamed this quarter it is now the third most live streamed game behind League of Legends. That is nearly a 30% decrease since the beginning of the year. This is an interesting development to note considering last year they broke the record for most players online at the same time. Several factors could have played a part in this. PUBG is notoriously buggy, hackers are making the game increasingly unplayable, and the servers are unstable. Coupled with the fact that the Battle Royale genre has exploded in recent months and gamers have many more alternatives now, it’s no surprise that PUBG is slipping in popularity.

World of Warcraft Mounts A Comeback

World of Warcraft is becoming one of the most live streamed games this quarter. This is likely due to the release of the seventh expansion pack for the game. 158,200 unique users live streamed over 2,780,000 hours in Q3. This makes it the fourth most live streamed game this quarter, just beating out Overwatch.

Speaking of Overwatch, growth seems to have stagnated for the game. While there has been a 9.6% increase in live streamers since last quarter, the total hours live streamed has decreased by 3%.

It is interesting to note that while WoW may have more hours streamed than Overwatch, they seem to be coming from a smaller, more dedicated group of people, as WoW has nearly 100,000 less unique streamers.

Streamlabs Pays Out 106M in Tips To Content Creators This Year

Tipping remains a lucrative opportunity for live streamers. We have paid out $275 million since we started in 2015, and expect to pay $145m in 2018. We processed more than 34M in tips in Q3, for a total of 106M across all platforms this year. That is a 41% increase in tips year over year.

We are so excited to see what the future of live streaming has in store, and we can’t wait to crunch the numbers next quarter. We are already seeing a sustainable amount of people streaming Black Ops 4, and there are so many more great titles coming out. From Red Dead Redemption 2, Battlefield 5, and Fallout, we are thrilled to see how the release of these games shakes up the industry, so be sure to follow us here to stay up to date on the latest numbers. If you have any questions or comments drop us a line on Twitter and Facebook.

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