There may be a war happening between different streaming platforms as companies fight to make deals with content creators, but so far in 2020, all four major platforms saw year-over-year growth in January, according to research by StreamElements.
StreamElements, in partnership with livestream data company Arsenal.gg, released its monthly “State of the Stream” report today. It reported that total hours watched for the industry are up 17 percent from January last year, reaching 498,854,355 hours watched, up from 342,386,869.
“When you look at the amount of hours watched in January compared to a year ago and see the 17% rise, it’s clear that livestreaming is maintaining its trajectory toward being a powerful arm of the games industry,” StreamElements CEO Doron Nir said. “While some platforms are growing faster than others, the increasing size of the pie ensures there are enough slices to go around. From a creator’s perspective, it’s going to be about revenue, community, and the best tools to engage fans and monetize their channels.”
The increase in hours watched across the industry was split between all four major platforms: Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming, and Mixer. As one might expect, Twitch was well ahead of the pack, boasting 842,533,849 hours watched, up from 802.4 million in January last year.
While every platform saw its viewership increase, Facebook saw perhaps the most notable jump. Last year, the platform had less viewership than Mixer with just 25 million hours watched in January. But last month, Facebook had more than four times the hours watched with over 110 million.
Though Mixer saw growth as well, the platform didn’t see nearly the same type of proportional growth that YouTube and Facebook had. The platform’s 30.4 million hours watched was a slight improvement from January last year when Mixer had 29.8 million hours watched.
The news might be surprising considering how much effort Mixer has put into locking down some of Twitch’s most popular content creators. Last January, Mixer didn’t have shroud or Ninja. But even with them this year, the platform saw fairly small improvements on hours watched.
In terms of game viewership, Escape from Tarkov burst onto the scene in January. An in-game drop event with Twitch catapulted the game to be the third most-watched category on Twitch. The game’s 262 percent increase in viewership was unmatched by any other title.
While League of Legends and “Just Chatting” sat at the top of the Twitch charts for the month, each seeing an increase in viewership, Fortnite saw viewership decline 19 percent since many top content creators left the game to instead play EFT.
“Fortnite may have dropped a lot in hours watched over the last couple of years, but those hours were dropping from a very high peak,” Nir said. “Based on its current numbers, it’s still a massive juggernaut in terms of its viewership, so if they continue to release fresh content and host new events, it will have a significant shelf life.”
On the content creator front, EFT also ruled the month. Summit1g and Pestily sat at No. 1 and No. 2 in terms of hours watched. Additionally, other influencers in the top 10 like DrLupo, xQc, Tfue, and Dr Disrespect, spent a notable amount of time playing the game.