9 min read

Apr 29, 2022

Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet Q1 2022 Live Streaming Industry Report

Get the latest industry data for Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming

Last Updated on May 04, 2022

The market for live streaming appears to be slowing down. While stats for Twitch are higher than the previous quarter, platforms like YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming have seen a slight decrease in viewership. Overall, compared to this time last year, the industry is seeing a decline in hours watched, hours streamed, average concurrent viewers, and unique channels.

This report attributes the decline to a few factors:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is winding down in many parts of the world, and people are returning to work and school, which leaves less time for leisure activities like live streaming.
  • The global economic situation is still uncertain, and many people are cutting back on spending, which includes spending on live streaming platforms and services.
  • There is a growing number of options for entertainment and gaming, including new live-streaming platforms like Trovo, which may be siphoning off some viewers from the established platforms.

The question now is whether this is a temporary dip or the start of a more permanent trend. Continue reading for additional insights from the report.

Key Takeaways

  • All platforms seeing a decline in growth compared to this time last year.
  • Twitch is the only platform to experience growth compared to the previous quarter.
  • “Just Chatting” is Twitch’s most-watched category since Q3 2020.
  • Total hours watched across all platforms remained stagnant compared to the previous quarter (8.057 billion hours in Q4 2021 Vs 8.061 billion hours in Q1 2022)
  • Year over year, the total hours watched across all platforms decreased by 8.06% (8.77 billion hours watched in Q1 2021) 

Twitch

Twitch has seen its first uptick in hours watched since Q2 2021. While pinpointing the exact cause of this growth is difficult, it’s worth noting that the platform is making a number of changes designed to appeal to a wider range of users.

For example, in a new update, Twitch streaming returned to the Xbox dashboard. In addition, the launch of Amazon Luna also includes a Twitch integration allowing native support for one-click broadcasting. While it’s impossible to say how much of an impact this had on Twitch’s recent growth, it’s certainly possible that some people using these services switched back to Twitch or started streaming for the first time.

What’s more, recent high-profile events like QTCinderella’s record-breaking StreamerAwards, and Twitch Rivals’ Fortnite Streamer Bowl III have also helped to boost the platform’s popularity.

Lastly, the streaming community has rallied in support of Ukraine, with many popular streamers doing charity streams to raise money for aid and relief in Ukraine. Streamlabs, a leading provider of tools and features for streamers and content creators, has also helped raise over $1 million for the people of Ukraine through its fundraising platform, Streamlabs Charity.

Looking ahead, it’s hard to say for sure if Twitch will continue to grow given the industry’s overall downward trend, however, it does seem likely that the platform will remain strong as more and more content creators continue to join the streaming community.

Total Hours Watched

  • Viewers watched 6.13 billion hours of live streams on Twitch in Q1, a 7.5% increase from 5.7 billion hours in Q4 2021.
  • Year-over-year, hours watched declined 3.3%, from 6.34 billion hours in Q1 2021.
  • Twitch represents 76% of the market share for hours watched compared to YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming.

Total Hours Streamed

  • Twitch streamers broadcasted 229 million hours of live streams in Q1, a 12% increase from Q4 2021.
  • Year-over-year, hours streamed on the platform declined 13.6%, from 265 million hours in Q1 2021.
  • Twitch represents 91.5% of the market share for hours streamed compared to YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming.

Unique Channels

  • Twitch had 10.9 million unique channels streaming in Q1, a 14.7% increase in unique channel streaming on the platform from 9.5 million in Q4 2021.
  • Year-over-year, unique channels on the platform declined 12.8%, from 12.5 million channels in Q1 2021.

Platform Average Concurrent Viewership

  • An average of 2.8 million concurrent viewers watched Twitch in Q1, a 7.7% increase from Q4 2021.
  • Year-over-year, average concurrent viewership decreased 3.4% from 2.9 million concurrent viewers in Q1 2021.

YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming has experienced its lowest number of hours watched since Q1 2020. While we’ve seen this downward trend across all live streaming platforms, this decrease may be partially attributed to the loss of Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s head of gaming. Three months ago, Ryan announced he’ll enter the web3 space as the CEO of Polygon Technology Studios. While we can’t say for sure, it’s possible that this change in leadership contributed to YouTube Gaming’s decline in Q1.

That’s not to say the platform isn’t innovating. In February, YouTube announced its commitment to the metaverse. In a blog post, the company briefly explained they are looking to bring more immersive experiences to gaming. “The first area in which you can expect to see an impact is gaming, where we’ll work to bring more interactions to games and make them feel more alive. It’s still early days, but we’re excited to see how we can turn these virtual worlds into a reality for viewers.” Exactly how this might tie into the live streaming gaming community remains to be seen, but it’s clear that YouTube is looking to be immersive experiences that could potentially draw in new viewers in the future.

Furthermore, YouTube Gaming is working hard to maintain its position as a top destination for gamers. In recent months, the platform has made a number of moves to attract and retain top streamers. Additionally, major streamers reaffirmed their commitment to YouTube Gaming. In May, popular stream Valkyrae re-signed with YouTube, signaling a vote of confidence in the platform. These moves show that YouTube Gaming is serious about being a leader in the streaming space.

Total Hours Watched

  • Viewers watched 1.13 billion hours of live streams on YouTube Gaming Live in Q1, a 7.4% decrease from 1.22 billion hours in Q4 2021.
  • Year-over-year hours watched declined 12.4% from 1.29 billion in Q1 2021.
  • YouTube Gaming represents 14% of the market share for hours watched.

Total Hours Streamed

  • Live streamers on YouTube Gaming Live broadcast 8.7 million hours of content in Q1, a 1.14% decrease from 8.8 million hours in Q4 2021.
  • Year over year, YouTube Gaming Live experienced a 10.3% decrease in hours watched, from 9.7 million hours streamed in Q1 2021.
  • YouTube Gaming Live represents 3.5% of the market share for hours streamed.

Unique Channels

  • 494,000 unique channels streamed to YouTube Gaming Live in Q1, an 8.5% decrease in unique channel streaming on the platform from 539,000 channels in Q4 2021.
  • Year-over-year, YouTube Gaming Live experienced a 25.9% decrease from 665,000 channels in Q1'21.

Platform Average Concurrent Viewership

  • An average of 523,000 viewers watched YouTube Gaming Live in Q1, a 5.1% decrease from Q4 2021.
  • Year-over-year, average concurrent viewership decreased 17.8% from 636,000 concurrent viewers in Q1 2021.

Facebook Gaming

It wasn’t long ago Facebook Gaming was the only platform experiencing growth. While we are seeing a decrease in hours watched, streamed, and unique channels this quarter, Facebook Gaming continues to build new tools and features to attract streamers back to their platform.

According to a spokesperson from the company, “Live gaming video also continues to be a priority for us. This quarter we’ve implemented several improvements to how we detect and mitigate non-gaming content on our gaming surfaces. We’re taking a very proactive approach to limiting the distribution of this kind of content on Facebook Gaming, and while this has resulted in a reduction of total reported live Watch Time, it’s an important step to ensuring anyone who comes to Facebook Gaming is met with the best experience possible.”

In February, Facebook Gaming introduced Reels. Between TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels, short-form video content is exploding in popularity. It’s clear Facebook recognizes the opportunity for short videos to boost engagement and drive growth in the platform.

Additionally, they expanded Streamer Fan Group access to Level Up creators. Intially launched in June to partnered creators, Stream Fan Groups are designed to help:

  • Increase engagement and growth: Make it easy for fans to connect with the creator while they are live or offline.
  • Improve community communication: Connect and discuss specific topics in hashtag-organized conversations and rooms
  • Play with others: Find and play with other group members.

Hours Watched

  • Viewers watched 803 million hours of live streams on Facebook Gaming in Q1, a 29.6% decrease from 1.14 billion hours in Q4.
  • Year-over-year hours watched declined 24.2% from 1.06 billion in Q1 2021.
  • Facebook Gaming represents 10% of the market share for hours watched.

Hours Streamed

  • Live streamers on Facebook Gaming broadcast 12.5 million hours of content in Q1, a 10.7% decrease from 14 million hours in Q4 2021.
  • Year over year, Facebook Gaming experienced a 35.9% decrease in hours streamed, from 19.5 million hours streamed in Q1 2021.
  • Facebook Gaming live represents 5% of the market share for hours streamed.

Unique Channels

  • 335,000 unique channels streamed to Facebook Gaming in Q1, an 9.2% decrease from 369,000 channels in Q4 2021.
  • Year-over-year, Facebook Gaming experienced a 78.2% decrease in unique channel streaming on the platform from 1.54 million channels in Q1 2021.

Platform Average Concurrent Viewership

  • An average of 372,000 viewers watched Facebook Gaming in Q1, a 28% decrease from 516,000 viewers in Q4 2021.
  • Year-over-year, average concurrent viewership decreased 24% from 489,000 concurrent viewers in Q1 2021.

Top Esports Watched in Q1 2022

Top Categories Watched in Q1 2022

Top Publishers Watched in Q1 2022

About Streamlabs

Founded in 2014, Streamlabs is a leading provider of live streaming tools and a brand of Logitech. Streamlabs offers dozens of features that professional live streamers use to broadcast, better engage with their fans, grow audiences, and improve monetization. Streamlabs is a brand of Logitech International. Founded in 1981, and headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Logitech International is a Swiss public company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (LOGN) and on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (LOGI). For more information on Streamlabs, please visit streamlabs.com or follow Streamlabs on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Discord.

About Stream Hatchet

Stream Hatchet is the global leader in live-streaming gaming viewership analytics across all major video distribution platforms. The organization provides robust consumer insights to leading publishers, brands, agencies, and teams..Stream Hatchet is a wholly owned subsidiary of Engine Media Holdings, Inc, a publicly-traded company under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: GAME) (TSX-V: GAME). Engine Media provides premium social sports and esports gaming experiences, as well as unparalleled data analytics, marketing, advertising, and intellectual property to support its owned and operated direct-to-consumer properties while also licensing these serves to enable its clients and partners.


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