StreamElements reports uptick in viewership for Facebook Gaming and Twitch in Q2

COVID-19 has more people watching streams.

Image via Twitch

Twitch and Facebook saw strong growth during Q2 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic that kept many people inside due to social distancing guidelines brought about by governments around the world, according to StreamElements and viewership analytic firm Arsenal.

In their quarterly report, StreamElements and Arsenal reported that Twitch saw a 60 percent year-over-year boost in hours watched for June. Meanwhile, Facebook Gaming, which just partnered with Mixer to bring in content creators amid the platform’s closure, saw a 200 percent year-over-year jump to 334 million hours watched in June, up from 111 million.

Image via StreamElements

For Twitch, the boost in hours watched to 1.5 billion in June is a notable increase from the first month of the calendar year when the platform had around one billion hours watched. While various forms of content showed growth on Twitch, Just Chatting, which was the platform’s top category, was perhaps the most impactful. 

Image via StreamElements

Growing 94 percent from January, Just Chatting’s 167 million hours watched in June came from a combination of consistent growth by the category as well as an increase in viewers who are looking to the internet for entertainment amid the pandemic.

Image via StreamElements

Meanwhile, the release of games like Activision’s battle royale Call of Duty: Warzone and Riot Games’ tactical shooter VALORANT supplemented Twitch’s 56-percent growth in viewership quarter-over-quarter.

While Warzone gave the platform a nearly 70-million hours watched boost in June compared to January, VALORANT brought in around 47 million hours watched itself as well for June.

As social distancing restrictions start to lift in many places, online livestream viewership could see a bit of a market correction toward the back half of the year. But with many people just being introduced to streaming as a main source of entertainment, it’s unclear how much of a decline to expect in Q3 or Q4—if there will be any decline at all.