Twitch users watched 20 billion minutes of videos per month in 2015
The video game streaming platform is the biggest in the world. Founded in 2011, the site was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for almost $1 billion—and for good reason. Twitch has been the epicenter of the video game streaming revolution, even as it’s powered the boom in the esports industry. Millions have watched streaming events like the League of Legends, Dota 2, and Hearthstone world championships on Twitch, helping grow esports into the almost $1 billion industry it is today.
For the past few years Twitch has released a retrospective of the previous year, showing the growth of the platform and its user base. Last year, Twitch users streamed 241 billion minutes of video—or 459,000 years' worth, according to Twitch. If you break that down, it’s around 20 billion minutes of video per month, up from 16 billion in 2014.
Viewership for 2015 was highest in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the U.K., France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Russia, and Taiwan. There are even people in Antarctica that need their fix of video game streamers.
One of the biggest takeaways is the rise of mobile—both for viewers and streamers. Mobile viewership accounted for 35 percent the total, compared to 56 percent on web. Multiplayer online battle arena game Vainglory, meanwhile, became the fastest-growing mobile title, with more than 4 million minutes of the game watched by the end of December.
Twitch also increased its partnership numbers in 2015, with around 13,500 partners across the world making at least some of their income through their streams. Partners get a percentage of money from subscribers to their channel, as well as special invites to events like PAX.
The company also launched its first ever convention, TwitchCon, which brought 20,000 people to San Francisco, while 1.9 million people watching the panels, demos, and gameplay online.
And throughout the year, streamers raised $17 million for charity.
There was at least one surprise from the list of top 10 most-watched games, with newly released H1Z1 (Jan. 15, 2015) coming in at number six.
Most-watched games list for 2015
League of Legends
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
World of Tanks
World of Warcraft
In October, Twitch launched a special stream of the legendary PBS painting show, The Joy of Painting, starring the late Bob Ross. To coincide with that Twitch released a special emote—one of the icons users can post in the site's boisterous chat rooms. That emote, called KappaRoss, came in at number 10 on the emote power rankings for 2015, appearing in chat 3.8 million times during the “Joy of Painting” marathon alone.
Emote power rankings for 2015
In other words, a public television star from two decades ago became one of Twitch's biggest storylines in 2015. That shows the site's ability to reinvent culture, even as it invents its own. And if Sesame Street doesn't find its way to Twitch in 2016, we'll be sorely disappointed.
Image via Max Fleishman