Twitch users across the globe spent over 1.5 billion hours on the live-streaming platform, according to new data from gaming analysis firms StreamElements and Arsenal.gg.
StreamElements’ customary quarterly census of live-streaming viewers found that Twitch viewership grew 56% from first quarter to second quarter of 2020. On an annual basis, Twitch’s viewer base was up 60% from this time last year. Total hours spent on the platform throughout the quarter peaked at 1.8 billion.
The analytics outfit also measured Facebook Gaming’s growth, which grew 75% from first quarter to second quarter of this year. The platform experienced 200% annual growth compared to June of last year — in total fans watched 334 million hours of content on Facebook Gaming.
StreamElements also found that while livestreaming is growing during the pandemic, interest in non-gaming content is also on the rise. Several fringe categories on Twitch, like its music, travel and Just Chatting (a room for casual conversations on Twitch) channels experienced a growth in users throughout the second quarter. This is likely due in part because widespread orders nationwide are still keeping people indoors and isolated.
“Non-gaming content has played a notable part in the growth of livestreaming, such as the Just Chatting category spending its second month at the top of Twitch’s viewership chart and Music now in the top 20 for the past 3 months,” StreamElements CEO Doron Nir told TheWrap.
“We are also seeing other novel categories experiencing a rise in viewers such as outdoor streams where people can watch animals in nature. This is probably cathartic for people quarantining at length indoors who are looking for a change of scenery and speaks to the broadening appeal of the medium,” Nir added.
StreamElements also found that behind the Just Chatting category, Riot Games’ multiplayer game “League of Legends” was the top-watched game on Twitch in June, with 135 million hours watched, a 44% increase in hours watched since the beginning of this year. Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V” took the No. 3 spot with 96 million hours streamed on Twitch in June.
The majority of top streamers identified in the StreamElements report were from outside the U.S. — The top four streamers in June based on hours watched were from Portugal, Canada, Spain and Australia. Nir said this is evidence that livestreaming is continuing to become a “global phenomenon.”
“The top 4 streamers on Twitch all hail from outside the US with Spanish, Portuguese, and French speakers all in the top 10,” Nir said. “Facebook Gaming has also tapped into the global community with a lot of momentum from acquiring talent in Asia and Latin America.”