Twitch growth stalls as streamers turn to YouTube and Facebook

New research from Streamlabs – the broadcast software behind 41 per cent of all Twitch streamers – reports that Q4 2018 saw Twitch’s slowest growth all year as streamers increasingly turn to YouTube and Facebook to stream their live content. It also reported that for the first time since it launched in September 2017, there was a 5 per cent drop in quarterly active users streaming Fortnite, now thought to be 2.25 million.

The hours of streamed content and the number of unique streamers for its biggest rival, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, also decreased, dropping by 26 and 25 per cent respectively.

YouTube Live boosted its quarterly active streamers by 21 per cent, while Facebook Live increased its quarterly active streamers by 23 per cent. Mixer streamer growth, on the other hand, appears to have stagnated, but its concurrent viewer count increased by a whopping 195 per cent in 2018. Monthly active users streaming via mobile devices also saw a boost, increasing by 266 per cent this year.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was one of Streamlabs’ most live streamed games this quarter, clocking up 5.42 million hours, while League of Legends had a total of 4.45 million hours streamed. Unsurprisingly, Fortnite reigned supreme, though, amassing a staggering 19 million hours throughout the year. Overwatch continues to see consistent numbers all year, too, the number of hours of live streamed content increasing slightly quarter over quarter from 2.16 million to 2.17 million.

The research also states that since 2017, there’s been a 41 per cent increase in the number of tips given to streams. The number of monetised channels – defined as a channel that has made $>0 in revenue – also increased by 60 per cent year over year.

"As we take a look back on the year, we have a lot to be thankful for," wrote Streamlabs’ Ethan May. "As we look onward into 2019 there is a lot of exciting growth, expansion, and development, not just for Streamlabs, but for the live streaming industry as a whole."

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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