Amazon-owned Twitch hit a new viewership record in October, up 14% in one month to 1.6 billion hours of live-streamed video watched, according to data from StreamElements and its analytics partner, Arsenal.gg, published on Forbes. The service’s viewership has nearly doubled since the same month last year.
“Notably, the record October comes after months of elevated viewing levels during the pandemic, and at a time when many parts of the country were at least temporarily opening back up,” said Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements, a provider of live-streaming tools.
The record viewership also reflected a continuing shift on the gamer-centric site to other topics now lumped under the “Just Chatting” section. “This section, once something of an afterthought amid sections devoted to e-sports and hugely popular individual games, is now likely to be Twitch’s most popular destination for the year,” Nir noted.
As with pretty much all the rest of the United States media landscape, October viewership on “Just Chatting” got a big boost from politics and the U.S. presidential campaign, particularly commentary by the section’s most popular streamer, HasanAbi. “HasanAbi led the ‘Just Chatting’ category in October thanks to his ability to convey political commentary in a manner more relatable than pundits on network TV. His success speaks to how traditional media and brands need to be where the next generation of viewers are, whether it be Twitch, YouTube, or other similar platforms, and not expect these viewers to come to them,” Nir assured.
While Twitch has seen huge growth in the past year – up 99% since October 2019’s 839 million hours watch to 2020’s 1.6 billion – it’s not the only live-streaming service seeing big numbers. In fact, Facebook Gaming has signed several prominent streamers in the past several weeks, and has also seen far higher viewership during the pandemic. Though October was down somewhat from the previous five months, overall October streams still attracted more than 300 million hours of viewership, up 118% from the same period last year.
Traditional media and brands need to be where the next generation of viewers are, whether it be Twitch, YouTube, or other similar platforms, and not expect these viewers to come to them” Doron Nir CEO of StreamElements