At a time when many musicians, artists, teachers, and creators of all types are finding themselves stuck at home, we are seeing a significant rush of users turning to online streaming platforms to connect with others. In March alone, Streamlabs’ monthly active user base increased by over 30%. Live streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming are also experiencing a major surge in growth this quarter.

This quarter, Streamlabs is joining forces with the leading provider in game-streaming analytics Stream Hatchet. Thank you to them for providing the data that helped formulate these insights.

Points to consider:

  • Twitch reached all-time highs for both hours watched, hours streamed and average CCV
  • Twitch surpassed 3 billion hours watched on the platform for the first time
  • The average CCV on YouTube Gaming Live is at an all-time high, increasing by 15.5% since the previous quarter
  • Year-over-year, Facebook Gaming experienced massive increases; hours watched tripled, hours streamed doubled, average CCV quadrupled
  • More users are streaming on Mixer than Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming combined. Mixer also had the second most hours streamed trailing only behind Twitch
  • Each platform experienced a significant increase in the number of hours watched from February to March
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Hours watched in Q1

From February to March, watch hours on Twitch increased by 23%, YouTube Gaming Live increased 10.7%, Facebook Gaming increased 3.8%, and Mixer increased 14.9%

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Twitch

One positive aspect that has come out of 2020 is the charitable contributions from live streamers. Charity live streams can happen on any streaming platform, but as the market leader, Twitch sees the most activity in the space. We’ve seen streamers come together to raise money for the Australian bushfire, and Twitch even hosted their own benefit called Stream Aid to raise funds for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization. All of this activity means more eyes on the platform, and it seems to be at least one reason they are maintaining their growth.

Total hours watched:

Total hours watched on Twitch is at an all-time high. The platform experienced a 17% increase in hours watched compared to the previous quarter and represents 65% of the market share compared to the other platforms. Twitch also surpassed 3 billion hours watched on the platform for the first time, a substantial milestone.

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Total hours streamed:

While the number of hours streamed on Twitch was slowly declining throughout 2019, it has since bounced back. This number has increased by 20% from the previous quarter and is now at an all-time high at 121 million hours.

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Unique Channels:

The number of unique channels on Twitch in Q1 2020 has increased by 33.3% compared to the previous quarter.

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Average Concurrent Viewership:

The average concurrent viewership on Twitch increased by 19.5% since last quarter, reaching a new all-time high.

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YouTube Gaming Live

In January it was announced that Activision Blizzard esports will be broadcast exclusively on YouTube. Now Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, and Hearthstone esports will no longer appear on Twitch. This acquisition represents a major commitment to the live streaming space from YouTube, and it seems to be paying off.

Total hours watched:

YouTube Gaming Live experienced a 13% increase in hours watched compared to last quarter, representing 22% of the market share.

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Total hours streamed:

YouTube Gaming Live experienced a 14% increase in the number of hours streamed on the platform compared to the previous quarter.

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Unique Channels:

The number of unique channels on the platform increased by 4.3% compared to the previous quarter.

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Average Concurrent Viewership:

The average CCV on the platform is at an all-time high, increasing by 15.5% since the previous quarter.

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Facebook Gaming

Facebook Gaming is one platform many creators are gravitating towards. Recently, the company launched a dedicated home for gaming content in the Facebook app and expanded their Level Up Program. But Facebook isn’t just for gaming. With an increase in the number of people at home, Facebook seems to be benefiting as many use the platform in myriad ways; from virtual concerts to live zoo safaris to cooking demos and even Mass with the Pope.

Total hours watched:

The total hours watched on Facebook Gaming increased by 20.4% compared to last quarter and represents 11% of the market share. What’s more, year-over-year growth increased by 236%.

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Total hours streamed:

The number of hours streamed on Facebook Gaming increased by 11% compared to last quarter. Year over year growth increased 131.5%.

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Unique Channels:

Facebook Gaming experienced a 33% increase in the number of unique channels streaming to the platform compared to last quarter. Year over year, that number has increased by 376.1%.

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Average Concurrent Viewership:

The average concurrent viewership on the platform has increased by 23% compared to last quarter. Year over year growth increased by 236%.

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Mixer

While Microsoft’s Mixer may be trailing behind other streaming platforms in terms of hours watched, many creators are still streaming to the platform. Mixer is in second place when it comes to hours streamed, trailing only behind Twitch. What’s more, the platform recently received a substantial website refresh and a new Xbox experience, which could help increase their numbers in the coming months.

Total hours watched:

Hours watched on the platform decreased by 7.3% compared to the previous quarter.

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Total hours streamed:

Total hours streamed increased by 1.2% compared to the previous quarter.

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Unique Channels:

The number of unique channels on the Mixer increased by 4.1% compared to the previous quarter.

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Average Concurrent Viewership:

The average concurrent viewership on Mixer decreased by 5.3% compared to last quarter.

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Top Esports Watched in Q1 2020

Lastly, this report wouldn’t be complete without a look at the top esport events that happened in Q1. Awesome Games Done Quick 2020 came in first with 22.1 million hours watched, LEC 2020 Spring Season followed close behind with 20.9 million hours watched, and LCK 2020 Spring Season came in third with 17.7 million hours watched

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Top Publishers Watched in Q1 2020

Riot Games was the most-watched publishers across all platforms, topping out at 462.7M, an 8% increase from last quarter. Epic Games fell to third place compared to the last quarter, while Valve took the second position.

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Top “Games” Watched in Q1 2020

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Overall, 2020 is off to a strong start for the live streaming industry. As people stay inside, we are seeing all streaming platforms experience healthy growth as more people utilize live streaming to connect with others.

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