If you’re a fan of streaming, then you’re most likely a fan of Twitch. The streaming service has become one of the most popular in the world, especially in the United States. In fact, Twitch is forecasted to pass 40 million American viewers by next year, according to market research company eMarketer.
“Twitch is by far the largest platform for streaming video game content, well ahead of YouTube, Mixer and Facebook Gaming,” Forecasting analyst Peter Vahle said. “As the pioneer in this space, Twitch has built a loyal and engaged audience by allowing viewers to directly interact with their favorite streamers.”
Twitch’s viewer base should continuously grow through 2023, according to eMarketer’s data. In three years, the forecasted viewer count is around 47 million people in the U.S. alone. Though this is an astounding number, there’s also data showing that Twitch’s growth has started to slow down.
Twitch had a viewer increase of 23.5 percent from 2018 to 2019, but only saw an increase of 14.3 percent heading into this year. If these trends persist, Twitch’s growth will continue to decrease due to an increase in competition from Microsoft, YouTube, and Facebook.
Over the past year, Twitch has seen a handful of its most popular streamers leave the platform to sign with new websites, like Mixer and YouTube Gaming. Big names like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, and Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang have all went their separate ways, while also bringing a big portion of their viewership with them.
Their departure marked a low point for Twitch. The platform saw a 9.8 percent decrease in hours watched, lowering the number to 82.7 million hours, according to a Newzoo study. This was also the lowest number of hours watched on the platform since the third quarter of 2018.
Twitch has started to combat this issue by signing a handful of its larger, full-time streamers like Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo, Saquib “Lirik” Zahid, and Timothy “TimTheTatman” Betar. But the platform still needs to find a way to expand the service to attract more talent and viewership.