Live streaming platforms are taking off in a big way. An increasing number of people are starting to prefer real-time interactions on live streaming platforms over traditional social media networks. It is leading more viewers worldwide to turn their attention towards live-streaming gaming, fashion, sports coverage, music concerts, and everything else under the sun.
This article will take a closer look at the channels driving the growth of major live-streaming platforms, including Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube Gaming. Moreover, we will look at the top games watched across these live streaming platforms and the creators responsible for generating the most views.
Thank you to Stream Hatchet, the industry leader in game-streaming analytics, for providing the data that aided in developing these insights.
Top Categories Watched Across Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube Gaming
It’s no surprise that most of the top Twitch channels focus on video game content, including Valorant, League of Legends, and Warzone, among others.
What is surprising is that despite the emphasis on video gaming content, “Just Chatting” was the most-watched category across all live streaming platforms in Q3, with 707 million hours watched.
The fact that “Just Chatting” is the most-watched category tells us an increasing number of gamers are using Twitch as a way to hang out with friends and interact with their community directly, rather than just for gameplay.
And given that esports drives the most viewership on platforms like YouTube Gaming (keep reading below for more info), this unexpected data point reinforces the idea that viewers want content beyond what’s being provided by streaming just video game content.
Facebook Gaming has taken steps in the right direction by introducing their “IRL” tag, called “Hanging Out.” And while it is possible to “IRL” stream on YouTube, viewers can’t browse a complete list of live streams by category, games, or tags, making discovery a problem. In this way, Twitch has the advantage as there is no limit to how you can search for live streams on their platform.
Top Channels on Twitch
The top ten Twitch channels accounted for 290.7 million hours of watch time in Q3 2021, or approximately 5% of total Twitch watch hours.
Leading the pack is xQcOW with over 48 million hours watched, closely followed by Gaules with 36.5 million hours watched and Loud_coringa with 32.85 million hours.
Top Channels on YouTube Gaming
As mentioned above, many of the top channels on YouTube Gaming include professional esports events from Overwatch League, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Official, Free Fire — Brasil, and PUBG Mobile. This is in stark contrast to other platforms like Twitch and Facebook Gaming, which drive viewership mainly from dedicated content creators.
While the functionality of browsing live streams on YouTube Gaming is somewhat limited at the moment, that doesn’t mean they aren’t making improvements. YouTube has a vested interest in iterating on and improving the platform. 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 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.
Top Channels on Facebook Gaming
While gaming-focused content creators drive Twitch viewership, and esports leagues primarily drive YouTube Gaming Live viewership, international streamers are among the majority of the top streamers on Facebook Gaming. Of the top ten channels, Im Venmon is the only primarily English-speaking channel.
The top ten Facebook Gaming channels accounted for 49 million hours of watch time in Q3 2021, or approximately 4% of total Facebook Gaming watch hours.
Like YouTube, Facebook is making efforts to improve 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.
Moreover, Facebook is taking to steps to protect its creators from potential copyright strikes. 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.
Top “Just Chatting” Streamers
As discussed above, “Just Chatting” is the top category across all live streaming platforms in Q3. It beat out every other category across Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming combined, with over 707 million hours watched in Q3.
To further explore this trend, we looked at the top ten “Just Chatting” streamers. In this list, we see a variety of personalities, but leading the pack is HasanAbi, who, in November of 2020, rivaled major news networks for his coverage of the presidential election.
In Q3, HasanAbi accumulated over 20 million hours of viewing time, nearly all of which came from the Just Chatting “category.”
AdinRoss was the second most-watched “Just Chatting” streamer with 11.26 million hours watched.
xQcOW was the third most-watched “Just Chatting” streamer in Q3, with 11.2 million hours, or 23% of his total watch time.
Top “Grand Theft Auto” Streamers
Despite being eight years old, Grand Theft Auto has recently seen a resurgence in popularity thanks in part to the growing trend of role-playing servers.
Despite a slight decrease in hours watched this quarter, GTA was still the second most-watched category across all live streaming platforms. We broke down the top Grand Theft Auto streamers from last quarter to dive deeper into this trend.
Number one is loud_coringa, with over 29 million hours of Grand Theft Auto watched, or approximately 90% of his total watch hours.
xQcOW comes in at number two with 16.22 million hours watched, or 33% of his total watch hours.
Buddha comes in at number three 12.73 million hours watched.
Top “League of Legends” Streamers
As the third most-watched game in Q3, we wanted to take a deeper look at the creators driving the most views.
Loltyler1 was the most-watched league of legends streamer in Q3, followed by Noway4u_sir, and Sardoche at number three.
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. Sideqik is a market innovating influencer marketing platform enabling targeted creator discovery, activation, and measurement across all major social platforms. Both Stream Hatchet and Sideqik are wholly owned subsidiaries 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