Post-pandemic hangover: Twitch sees year-over-year dip in hours watched for August

Will YouTube catch up?

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Image via Twitch

The popularity of game streaming has grown tremendously over the past five years, but it seems to be hitting a point of stagnation in 2022.

In August, Twitch recorded a slight year-over-year decline in viewership to 1.865 billion hours watched, down from 1.87 billion in 2021, according to StreamElements and data from Rainmaker.gg. The figure is still demonstrably better than the two previous years, though. The platform had 999 million hours watched in August 2019 and 1.468 billion in August 2020.

The platform’s growth came due, at least in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic that kept many people from going out during the summers of 2020 and 2021. Meanwhile, the war between Twitch and other streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook for viewers has led to some personalities taking lucrative deals.

Image via StreamElements

While neither Facebook nor YouTube has been able to match the overall viewership of Twitch yet, YouTube has steadily looked to improve its live gaming content by signing former Twitch stars to exclusive contracts. This summer, the platform added LilyPichu, Myth, FaZe Swagg, and Fuslie.

StreamElements did not have year-over-year data for YouTube, but the platform has seen a steady rise in viewership over the past few months, leading to 305 million hours watched in August. However, Twitch had a similar trajectory in terms of total hours watched, increasing similarly.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s viewership declined from the summer’s beginning through August. With 399 million hours watched, the platform had a notable drop from last year when the platform had 567 million hours watched in August 2021.