Q1 2021 Live Game Streaming Trends

Tl;dr: Live streaming hours watched across Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming increased 80% in Q1 year-over-year.
Q1 2021 Platform Viewership

This week, Stream Hatchet released their Q1 2021 Live Game Streaming Trends report. One of the biggest takeaways was the 80% year-over-year growth in combined hours watched from Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming. The jump was massive compared to the Q1 2019-2020 increase of about 36%. Twitch generated the largest portion of the combined 8.8B hours watched with about 6.3B of their own. The Amazon-owned live streaming platform widened the Q1 gap between itself and the other western platforms but YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming still saw impressive growth. YouTube Gaming increased by about 24% while Facebook Gaming surged with an 87% increase.

The large jump in live streaming viewership can partially be attributed to the new lifestyle under the COVID-19 pandemic. When other entertainment options like sports and nightlife shut down, many people turned to live streaming and video games. Because of this, the mass media adoption of live streaming was accelerated leading to increased viewership for the platforms. Twitch, being the leader in space, received a bulk of the new traffic resulting in 97% growth year-over-year. 

The key for live streaming and gaming will be retaining those viewers throughout 2021. As the world begins to heal from the pandemic, the industry will be challenged with various externalities. However, if Q1 2021 is any indication, gaming might have cemented itself as a staple in pop culture. Check back at the end of Q2 for the next Stream Hatchet Live Game Streaming Trends report!

To download Stream Hatchet’s Q1 2021 Live Game Streaming Trends report, please follow the link here.