Streaming Platform Data

The Latest Industry Data for Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming

While each major live streaming platform is growing in terms of viewership, you may find that one platform is a better fit for you. If you already make content on YouTube it may make sense to live stream there. If you are already involved with groups on Facebook, it may make more sense to stream to that platform. Each platform has its own benefits, but it never hurts to take a deeper look into the data to understand how each platform fares against each other. This article will break down some of the latest industry data available to give you a better understanding of each platform’s strengths and weaknesses. If you’re still unsure which platform is right for you, this article should help you formulate your opinion.

Overall Industry Data

The COVID-19 lockdowns accelerated the growth of the streaming industry significantly. Both hours watched and viewership across all major streaming platforms combined nearly doubled year over year.

In 2020 viewers watched 28 billion hours of content across all major streaming platforms (Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming). That’s up from 16 billion in 2019.

Streaming Hours watched 2019 vs 2020 - Graph represents data from Twitch, Youtube, Facebook and Mixer combined

Viewership across all platforms reached 8 billion hours in Q4 2020. That is nearly double the 4 billion hours watched in Q4 2019.

Hours Watched 2019 vs 2020 per Quarter - Graph represents data from Twitch, Youtube, Facebook and Mixer combined

Streamers broadcasted 916 million hours of content across all platforms in 2020, a 45.4% increase from 629 million hours streamed in 2019.

Hours Streamed 2019 vs 2020 - Graph represents data from Twitch, Youtube, Facebook and Mixer combined

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.

Hours Streamed 2019 vs 2020 per Quarter - Graph represents data from Twitch, Youtube, Facebook and Mixer combined

As you can see, year over year, the live streaming industry is experiencing monumental growth. More people are watching live streams than ever before. While this means there is a larger potential audience, the fact that there are more people streaming than ever too means there is more competition as well for new streamers.

Twitch Key Stats

Twitch broke many records in 2020. They broke their viewership records in the first quarter of 2020 amid coronavirus lockdowns, surpassing 3 billion total hours watched in a single quarter for the first time. In the second quarter, Twitch saw a massive 62.7% increase in hours watched from Q1 2020 to reach 5 billion hours watched in the second quarter. Despite experiencing a slight dip in viewership in Q3 2020, they came back stronger than ever in Q4 breaking an all-time viewership record at 5.4 billion hours watched.

Twitch Total Hours Watched per Quarter

Year-over-year, the number of hours streamed to Twitch increased by 127.7%, from 101 thousand hours in Q4 2019 to 230 thousand hours in Q4 2020.

Twitch Total Hours Streamed per Quarter

Overall, Twitch is expanding in part by diversifying the content on it platform. Twitch’s “Just Chatting” category was the most popular live stream category across all live platforms in Q4 2021. The rise of “Just Chatting” gives them a competitive edge over other platforms that focus more on gaming.

The 2020 presidential election showed creators like Hasan rival news networks in viewership. Politicians and businesses that embrace these channels are already seeing success. This will legitimize content creators and live streamers with audiences that have been slower to adopt.

If you are a streamer that is focused on IRL/Just Chatting content, Twitch may be the best platform to stream on.

YouTube Gaming

In 2020, YouTube Gaming 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.

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.

YouTube Gaming Live Hours Watched per Quarter

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.

YouTube Gaming Live Hours Streamed per Quarter

The difference in hours streamed vs watched, shows that there is a huge audience on YouTube Gaming with a small number of streamers broadcasting on the platform. This could be great for new streamers looking to capture an audience, as there seems to be a largely untapped audience on the platform right now.

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).

Facebook Total Hours Watched per Quarter

In addition, streamers broadcasted 14.5 million hours of content to Facebook Gaming, a massive 96% increase year over year.

Facebook Total Hours Streamed per Quarter

In December of last year, Facebook Gaming introduced an IRL equivalent. Given the success of Twitch’s “Just Chatting”, we may see more creators utilize this category and introducing a whole new type of content to viewers, attracting new streamers in the process.

To sum everything up, each platform is undergoing dramatic growth. Twitch has been putting a concerted effort into expanding beyond just gaming and their just chatting category is the most popular category across all streaming platforms. If you are trying to focus on IRL content, Twitch may be the platform for you. However, there is a lot of competition on Twitch. YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming both have big audiences and less competition. This could mean you may have a higher chance of establishing yourself on these platforms. We recommend trying each platform and seeing which one you prefer. You may find an audience responds well to your content on one platform vs the other. At the end of the day, creating engaging content is going to take time and effort, so don’t expect to build an audience overnight. Take your time, and stream for the love it. Eventually, you’ll find an audience and wants to support you.