Live Streaming Grew More Than 70% In 2020

Live Streaming Grew More Than 70% In 2020

Live streaming on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming grew by a whopping 78.4% year-on-year in 2020; according to the latest data shared by Streamlabs in partnership with Stream Hatchet. The report focuses on the fourth quarter specifically; but also provides a look at the entire year.


Last year – and so far, this year as well – will certainly linger in the memories of most people; due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced many of us to stay home for extended periods of time. Naturally, many have had to turn to indoor activities during the year; and that has certainly been a boon for streaming platforms. A total of 27.89 billion hours were watched throughout 2020, up from 15.63 billion in 2019. All three of the major live streaming platforms grew massively throughout the year; with Microsoft’s Mixer having thrown in the towel during the summer.



Amazon’s Twitch grew the most in terms of raw viewership; obviously because it was already the most popular platform by far. 18.41 billion hours of content were watched on Twitch, 67.36% more than the 11 billion hours in 2019. YouTube grew 96.5% from 3.15 billion hours watched to 6.19 billion; and Facebook Gaming went from 1.09 billion to 3.1 billion, a 184% increase.

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It’s also worth noting that the most popular “game” across all platforms is Just Chatting, meaning it’s non-gaming content. The category beat out both League of Legends and Among Us in popularity in 2020, with over 682 million hours watched. Neither of the runner-ups passed 500 million hours.



In terms of market share, the last quarter of 2020 saw Twitch leading the pack, as usual, with 65.8% market share and 5.44 billion hours watched. YouTube Gaming seemed to absorb most of the market share that was held by Mixer in the first quarter; and stands at 23.3%, while Facebook Gaming is third with 10.9% of hours watched. Overall, though, the relative position of each service has remained unchanged. Twitch’s leadership is even more apparent among creators; with 90.2% of hours streamed (not watched) in the fourth quarter being on the platform. Facebook Gaming actually takes second place here with 5.7% of streaming time, while YouTube accounted for just 4.1%. 2020 was an exceptional year in many ways, so it will be interesting to see if live streaming platforms can keep similar levels of engagement post-pandemic.



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