Twitch saw 1.1 billion hours of content watched in March, an increase from the previous month of 20% and the highest peak since the streaming platform launched in 2011, according to livestreaming services provider StreamElements and its analytics partner Arsenal.gg.
Up from 928 million in February, Twitch’s boom is thought to be largely due to the ongoing global pandemic that is forcing people to self-isolate. Still, the habits gamers develop now could sustain past the pandemic.
“While this 20% growth has gotten a huge boost by stay-at-home mandates, now that more viewers and creators are discovering the power and appeal of live social video, we expect the medium to maintain some of this new momentum beyond the current crisis,” said Doron Nir, chief executive of StreamElements.
Nir added that he anticipates new Twitch users will have time to experiment with and grow to enjoy the platform during the quarantine, and that many of those users will continue to subscribe even when the stay-at-home orders are eventually lifted.
According to earlier reports from analytics firm StreamHatchet, other platforms are also experiencing a bump. Total hours watched on YouTube Gaming went up 13% from the last quarter, and Facebook Gaming saw a 20% increase. The news comes roughly a week after The Hollywood Reporter noted Verizon saw video game usage during “peak hours” grow 75%.
Twitch did not comment on the figure and declined to share specific viewer statistics with TheWrap.