Key Takeaways

  1. Viewers watched 27.9 billion hours of content across all platforms in 2020, up 78.5% from 15.63 billion hours in 2019
  2. In Q4 2020, viewership across all platforms reached 8.26 billion hours, nearly double the 4.16 billion hours watched this time last year
  3. Hours watched on YouTube Gaming doubled in 2020 compared to 2019 (6.19 billion vs. 3.15 billion)
  4. Facebook Gaming nearly triples the number of hours watched in 2020 vs. 2019 (3.1 billion vs 1.09 billion)
  5. Twitch sets another record for most hours watched in one quarter with 5.44 billion hours

All Platforms Year in Review

The live streaming industry continues to set recording-breaking numbers. At the start of the global pandemic, numbers across all platforms sky-rocketed. The value of live streaming was thrust front and center as people turned to platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook to connect and interact with others.

The numbers below suggest that the live streaming industry is sustaining the momentum it gained earlier this year. Despite a slight decrease in Q3, viewers watched a record 8.26 billion hours of content in Q4 alone, closing the year with a massive 27.89 billion hours watched in 2020.

Hours Watched

  • Viewers watched 27.89 billion hours of content across all platforms in 2020, up 78.44% from 15.63 billion hours watched in 2019.
  • Year-over-year, viewership across all platforms in Q4 2020 reached 8.26 billion hours, nearly double the 4.16 billion hours watched in Q4 2019. Quarter-over-quarter, hours watched is up 14.2% from 7.23 billion hours in Q3 2020.

Hours Streamed

  • Streamers broadcasted 916 million hours of content across all platforms in 2020, a 45.4% increase from 629 million hours streamed in 2019.
  • In Q4 2020, streamers broadcast 255 million hours of content across all platforms. That is a 75.9% increase year-over-year, from 145 million hours in Q4 2019 and a 12.8% increase from 226 million hours in Q3 2020.

Twitch

Twitch continues to reign supreme as the de facto leader in the streaming industry. While they are historically known for their gaming content, Twitch is also attracting creators outside of this category. From broadcasting live NFL games, adding a dedicated music category, and a greater interest in political content, Twitch is continuing to expand beyond gaming to bring a more diverse audience to the platform.

Total Hours Watched

  1. In 2020, viewers watched 18.41 billion hours of content on Twitch. That is up 67.36% from 11 billion hours watched in 2019.
  2. Viewers watched 5.44 billion hours of content on Twitch in Q4, a 14.76% increase from 4.64 billion hours In Q3.
  3. Year-over-year, Twitch’s growth has more than doubled compared to the 2.66 billion hours watched in Q4 2019.
  4. Twitch now represents 65.8% of the market share for hours watched, up 2.2% from last quarter.

Total Hours Streamed

  1. In 2020, streamers broadcasted a total of 761 million hours of content to Twitch, up 76.2% from 431 million hours streamed in 2019.
  2. Live streamers broadcasted 230 million hours of content on Twitch in Q4, an 11.65% increase from Q3.
  3. Year-over-year, the number of hours streamed to Twitch increased by 127.7%, from 101 hours in Q4 2019 to 203 hours in Q4 2020.
  4. Twitch now represents 90% of the market share for hours streamed compared to Facebook and YouTube.

Average Concurrent Viewership

  1. The average concurrent viewership (CCV) on Twitch reached 2.5 million viewers in Q4, increasing 16.3% from Q3’s 2.15 million average CCV.
  2. Year-over-year, the average CCV on Twitch has doubled compared to Q4 2019’s 1.2 million average CCV.

YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming continues to make impressive moves in the streaming industry. This year they acquired top talents like Jack “CouRage” Dunlop and Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter. In addition, the Call of Duty League announced all games will be broadcast exclusively on YouTube. The increase in hours watched on the platform seems to suggest these moves paid off as they continue to bring new viewers to the platform.

Total Hours Watched

  1. In 2020, viewers watched a total of 6.19 billion hours of content on YouTube Gaming. That is up 96.5% from 3.15 billion hours watched in 2019.
  2. In Q4 2020, viewers watched 1.92 billion hours of content on YouTube Gaming, which, compared to the 1.68 billion hours watched in Q3, is a 14.3% increase.
  3. Year-over-year, YouTube Gaming has more than doubled the number of hours watched on the platform. In Q4 2019, viewers watched 953 million hours, compared to Q4 2020s 1.92 billion.
  4. YouTube Gaming now represents 23.3% of the market share for hours watched in Q4 2020.

Total Hours Streamed

  1. In 2020, streamers broadcasted a total of 54.9 million hours of content to YouTube Gaming. This number remains consistent with the total number of hours live-streamed in 2019 at 55.4 million hours.
  2. In Q4 2020, live streamers broadcasted 738,000 hours of content on YouTube Gaming, a 19% decrease from 913,000 hours in Q3.
  3. Year-over-year, the number of hours streamed to YouTube Gaming decreased by 10%, from 826,000 hours in Q4 2019 to 738,000 hours in Q4 2020.
  4. YouTube Gaming now represents 4.1% of the market share for hours streamed compared to Twitch and Facebook.

Average Concurrent Viewership

  1. The average concurrent viewership (CCV) on YouTube Gaming reached 871,000 viewers in Q4, increasing 14.8% from 759,000 average CCV in Q3.
  2. Year-over-year, the average CCV on YouTube Gaming doubled compared to Q4 2019, which experience 432,000 average CCV.

Facebook Gaming

Facebook Gaming also experienced impressive growth in 2020. The total number of hours watched in 2020 was nearly 3x as much as the number in 2019 (3.1 billion hours vs 1.09 billion hours). In addition, streamers broadcasted 14.5 million hours of content to Facebook Gaming, a massive 91% increase since Q3.

Total Hours Watched

  1. In 2020, viewers watched a total of 3.1 billion hours of content on Facebook Gaming, which is up 184% from 1.09 billion hours watched in 2019.
  2. In Q4 2020, viewers watched 901 million hours of content on Facebook Gaming, a 10.5% increase compared to 815 million hours watched in Q3.
  3. Year-over-year, Facebook Gaming has nearly doubled the number of hours watched on the platform. In Q4 2019, viewers watched 460 million hours, compared to 901 million hours watched in Q4 2020.
  4. Facebook Gaming now represents 10.9% of the market share for hours watched in Q4 2020.

Total Hours Streamed

  1. In 2020, streamers broadcasted a total of 33.5 million hours of content to Facebook Gaming. This is a 186% increase compared to the 11.7 million total hours broadcast to Facebook Gaming in 2019.
  2. In Q4 2020, live streamers broadcasted 14.5 million hours of content to Facebook Gaming. This represents a massive 91% increase in hours watched compared to the 815 million hours from the previous quarter.
  3. Year-over-year, the number of hours streamed to Facebook Gaming increased by 96%, from 460,000 hours in Q4 2019 to 901,000 hours in Q4 2020.
  4. Facebook Gaming now represents 5.7% of the market share for hours streamed compared to Twitch and YouTube.

Average Concurrent Viewership

  1. The average concurrent viewership (CCV) on Facebook Gaming reached 408,000 viewers in Q4, increasing 10.6% from 369,000 average CCV in Q3.
  2. Year-over-year, the average CCV on Facebook Gaming increased 96%, from 208,000 average CCV in Q4 2019 to 408,000 average CCV in Q4 2020.

Top Games Watched in Q4 2020

Twitch’s “Just Chatting” category was the most popular live stream category across all live platforms. While platforms like Twitch are known for their gaming content, The rise of “Just Chatting” shows creators see the value in diversifying their content. It gives streamers a place to interact with their viewers, focus less on gameplay, and concentrate more on connecting with their audience. Compared to Q3 2020, “Just Chatting” grew 31% from 522 million hours to 682 million in Q4 2020.

Top Esports Watched in Q4 2020

The 2020 League of Legends World Championship was the top event of the year.

Top Publishers Watched in Q4 2020


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 monitors live-streaming gaming viewer data across all platforms around the world and provides precise analysis for leading brands, esports teams, leagues, and sponsors. Stream Hatchet is a business unit within the larger Engine Media, a company focused on accelerating new, live, immersive esports and interactive gaming experiences for consumers through its partnerships with traditional and emerging media companies. The company is traded publicly under the ticker symbol (TSX-V: GAME) (OTCQB: MLLLF).

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