Twitch hit a major milestone in the first quarter of 2019: The streaming website accumulated 948 million hours watched in January and quadrupled last year’s figure, according to a StreamElements and Stream Hatchet report.
The top 1,000 channels are responsible for 57 percent of viewership hours. Viewership for the top 100 channels dipped last year, but since the start of 2019, it’s bounced back dramatically. The biggest channels have seen a growth of 70 million hours in total, with the top 100 channels accounting for 20 percent of the platform’s viewership.
There were different top streamers for each complete month in 2019, however. None of those, interestingly, were Tyler “Ninja” Blevins—but he did remain in the top five throughout the year. Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek has stood out above the crowd instead so far this year, skyrocketing in February and claiming over 15 million hours watched. In January, Turner “Tfue” Tenney came on top, and Jaryd “Summit1g” Lazar in March.
One of the biggest factors leading to the growth of the platform has been the release of the battle royale game, Apex Legends. It has, however, since declined in viewership, with Fortnite taking back the throne. Apex peaked at 40 million hours watched per week in February, an all-time high for Twitch. But it’s since dropped 75 percent of its peak viewership to 10 million hours watched. Only two of the top 20 streamers focused on the game in March, compared to 10 in February.
The most surprising story of the year, though, is the comeback of GTA V. With the help of the roleplaying mod, it made it into the top three games in March, closing in on Fortnite.
Around 84,000 streamers played GTA, and fans watched over 60 million hours. This is a big jump from February, which was under 20 million hours. The biggest GTA streamer has been Summit1g, who beat out his fellow GTA streamers by a considerable margin.