7 min read

October 27, 2021

Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet Q3 2021 Live Streaming Industry Report

  Key Takeaways For the first time, Facebook Gaming overtakes YouTube Gaming in hours watched. Facebook Gaming is the only platform to...

 

Key Takeaways

  • For the first time, Facebook Gaming overtakes YouTube Gaming in hours watched.
  • Facebook Gaming is the only platform to experience an increase in hours watched in Q3'21.
  • Twitch’s “Just Chatting” was the most-watched category across all live streaming platforms.
  • For the first time, Twitch experienced a year-over-year decrease in the number of unique channels streaming on the platform.
  • YouTube Gaming is improving streaming functionality and placing big bets on streamer acquisition.

Twitch

Throughout 2021, Twitch managed to retain much of the momentum it gained at the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns; however, we’re starting to see the overall growth of the platform begin to decline.

Total Hours Watched

  • Viewers watched 5.79 billion hours of content on Twitch in Q3, an 11% decrease from 6.51 billion hours In Q2.
  • Year-over-year, Twitch experienced a 22% increase in terms of hours watched.
  • Twitch represents 70% of the market share for hours watched compared to Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming.

Total Hours Streamed

  • Twitch streamers broadcasted 222.9 million hours of content in Q3, an 8.3% decrease from the previous quarter.
  • Since its all-time high of 264.9 million hours in Q1'21, Twitch has seen a 15.9% decrease in the number of hours streamed to the platform (the most significant decrease in its history).
  • Year over year, Twitch has seen an 8.5% increase in hours streamed.
  • Compared to Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming, Twitch represents 89.7% of the market share for hours streamed.

Unique Channels

  • Twitch had 10.4 million unique channels streaming in Q3, down 9.6% from 11.4 million in Q2.
  • For the first time, Twitch experienced a year-over-year decrease in the number of unique channels streaming on the platform from 10.6 million channels in Q3'20 to 10.4 million channels in Q3'21.

Average Concurrent Viewership

  • An average of 2.62 million concurrent viewers watched Twitch in Q3'21, a 13% decrease from the previous quarter.

Facebook Gaming

Facebook Gaming is the only streaming platform to experience an increase in hours watched this quarter. Moreover, for the first time, Facebook Gaming has overtaken YouTube Gaming in terms of hours watched.

While some of this can be attributed to the popularity of Facebook Gaming among international audiences (for more information, please read our report on the top content creators in Q3'21), they have also been busy improving the live streaming functionality of its platform.

They recently added “Co-streaming,” which allows users to stream with one another while letting viewers choose which stream they want to view. They have also been busy taking steps to protect their creators. The platform announced that it is broadening protection for its streamers who want to use copyrighted music in the background of their live streams by including “Level Up” creators.

Among other initiatives meant to drive community connection like the launch of Streamer Fan Groups, programs like Facebook’s Black Creator Program signal a strong investment in supporting the next generation of Black creators. Overall, Facebook Gaming is improving its platform, and the growth experienced this quarter is evidence that the company streaming platform is heading in the right direction.

Total Hours Watched

  • Viewers watched 1.29 billion hours of content on Facebook Gaming in Q3, a 9.2%% increase from 1.184 billion hours In Q2.
  • Year-over-year, Facebook Gaming experienced a 59% increase in hours watched.
  • Facebook represents 13.8% of the market share for total hours watched compared to Twitch and YouTube Gaming.

Total Hours Streamed

  • Live streamers broadcasted 17.1 million hours of content on Facebook Gaming in Q3, a 17.8% decrease from 20.8 million hours in Q2.
  • Year-over-year, Facebook Gaming experienced a 125% increase in hours streamed from 7.6 million hours streamed in Q3 2020.
  • Facebook Gaming now represents 6.9% of the market share for hours streamed.

Unique Channels

  • Facebook Gaming had 440,000 unique channels streaming on its platform in Q3, a 48% decrease compared to the previous quarter.
  • Since its peak in Q1'21, unique channels streaming to Facebook Gaming have decreased 71%.
  • Year-over-year, unique channels streaming on Facebook Gaming increased 64.2%.

Average Concurrent Viewers

  • An average of 585 thousand concurrent viewers watched Facebook in Q3'21, an 8% increase from the previous quarter.
  • Year-over-year, average concurrent viewership on Facebook Gaming has increased 59%

YouTube Gaming

In contrast to platforms like Twitch and Facebook Gaming, which drive viewership mainly from dedicated content creators, YouTube Gaming’s top channels are mainly professional esports events. For more information, please read our report on the top content creators in Q3.

Even though esports are among the most-watched channels on YouTube Gaming, they have a vested interest in iterating on and improving the platform for individual creators.

They recently acquired live streamers, TimTheTatman and DrLupo. Both of whom were among the top content creators on Twitch just a few months ago. As new viewers and streamers possibly migrate from other platforms because of these creators, we’ve seen YouTube start to improve the platform’s functionality as a whole.

Valkyrae revealed that YouTube is working on gifted members and another feature similar to Twitch Prime. Moreover, Theatre Mode offers a new option for mobile viewers, allowing them to have both gameplay and chat on the screen while watching from their phone.

Total Hours Watched

  • Viewers watched 1.13 billion hours of content on YouTube Gaming in Q3, a 12.6% decrease from 1.294 billion hours In Q2.
  • Year-over-year, YouTube Gaming experienced a 32.5% decrease from 1.924 billion hours watched in Q3'20.
  • YouTube Gaming now represents 15.7% of the market share for total hours watched.

Total Hours Streamed

  • Live streamers broadcasted 8.4 million hours of content on YouTube Gaming in Q3, a 5.6% decrease from 8.9 million hours in Q2.
  • Year-over-year, YouTube Gaming experienced a 32.8% decrease from 12.5 million hours watched in Q3'20.
  • YouTube Gaming Live represents 3.4 % of the market share for hours streamed.

Unique Channels

  • Five hundred forty-seven thousand unique channels streamed to YouTube Gaming in Q3, an 8.4% decrease from 597,000 channels in Q2.
  • Year-over-year, YouTube Gaming experienced a 40.1% decrease from 913,000 channels in Q3'20.

Top Esports Watched in Q3 2021

Top Categories Watched in Q3 2021

Top Publishers Watched in Q3 2020

Top Live Streaming Content Creators in Q3 2021

We recommend visiting our blog for a detailed analysis of the top streaming categories and the top content creators driving growth on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming.

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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