Twitch Remains the Number One Streaming Platform in Q2 2019
Though Twitch experienced a slight decrease in viewership for the first time during Q2, it still came out as the number one streaming platform of the quarter and achieved its second largest quarter yet.
According to a study by StreamElements, 70% of all livestream hours watched in Q2 were on Twitch, which amounts to about 2.72 billion hours. Approximately 2 billion of those hours were spent watching the top 5,000 streamers on the platform, a group that includes names such as Ninja, Tfue, and Shroud. Those three personalities stayed in the top five most watched channels for every month in the quarter, while other streamers like Asmongold, LIRIK, and xQcOW entered the top five for the first time. Notably, Tfue garnered more views than his fellow Fortnite streamer Ninja, who is better known to the public thanks to his streams with celebrities like Drake and his appearances on TV.
Individual streamers had significantly more viewership than esports or brand channels. Within the top 200 channels on Twitch, individual streamers accounted for 72% of total watch time, while the remaining 24% went to channels for the ESL, Overwatch League, and Riot Games. StreamElements, in fact, found that viewers tend to watch esports games outside of professional tournament contexts. This has important implications for brands, as it suggests partnering with individual streamers would achieve better brand engagement than partnering with esports organizations.
As streamer popularity levels shifted, so did the viewership numbers of certain games. The battle royale genre saw a decrease in viewership, with Fortnite dropping by 2.7% from Q1 and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) dropping by 4.26%. Since Fortnite’s decrease was fairly small, it is still the most popular game on Twitch with 300 million hours watched. PUBG, meanwhile, sits at 65 million viewership hours.
Valve’s titles were viewed less, too. Dota 2 had 120 million viewership hours, a decrease of 19.01% from Q1, while Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s viewership went down by 19.98% for a total of 90 million viewership hours. Likewise, Riot Games’ League of Legends lost some viewership. It was watched for 284 million hours, a 5.96% drop from Q1.
On the other side of the spectrum, Blizzard games performed well. Overwatch viewership hours increased by 15.46% to hit 84 million hours. Hearthstone viewership hours increased by 47.60%, hitting 79 million hours. Out of Blizzard’s titles, World of Warcraft had the greatest growth, reaching 89 million viewership hours for a 64.1% increase from the first quarter.
The game with the greatest viewership growth by far is Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), which saw a whopping 152% increase in viewership thanks to a surge of interest in a roleplaying mod for the game. This mod allows players to take on the identity of one of the many types of characters in the game, from criminals to cops and everything in between. Streamers such as LIRIK and Sodapoppin popularized the mod, acting out their roles on private servers using voice chat. GTA V, as a result, skyrocketed into the third most viewed game on Twitch for Q2.
Some viewership growth on Twitch for the quarter didn’t even involve video games at all. The “Just Chatting” stream category, which is akin to life vlogging, grew by 7.1% and reached 180.1 million viewership hours. Its increased popularity lines up with the growing effort to push other non-gaming streams on Twitch, such as showing episodes of Bob Ross’ “The Joy of Painting” show and airing reruns of old anime. From these trends, it is clear that Twitch is becoming more diverse in its content and is taking on more elements of social media.
But will this diversification help keep Twitch ahead of its competitors in the future? While Twitch is growing, other streaming platforms are growing as well. In May, YouTube Live broke its previous viewership record, hitting 284 million hours. Facebook Gaming, which achieved 200 million viewership hours, managed to pass Mixer, which had 112 million viewer hours. Though these competitors are still nowhere near the numbers Twitch has, time will tell whether they can successfully challenge Twitch in the streaming market.
Sponsoring on streaming platforms can be a great way for brands to reach the elusive millennial demographic. To learn more about how Abacus3 can help your brand grow through streaming, call one of our experts at 972.323.6354.