Twitch has hit a brand new milestone for Q1 2019, hitting 2.7 billion hours of content viewed – up 38 per cent year-over-year (YoY).
StreamElements’ and StreamHatchet’s State of the Stream quarterly report stated that January 2019 was also a record-breaking month for Twitch, marking 948 million viewership hours despite rival YouTube Live’s viewership doubling from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, and Microsoft’s Mixer platform quadrupling from 22m to 89m across the same period.
“Much of Twitch’s incredible growth in Q1 2019 (compared to Q1 2018) is down to its longtail,” the report states, referring to the channels outside of the Top 1000 streamers which account for 43 per cent of Twitch’s overall views. “Twitch’s longtail was the fastest growing segment in Q1 2019, recording better growth than the top 100 streamers.
“Twitch’s longtail recorded 540 million viewership hours in Q1 2019, an increase of 180 million compared to Q1 2018 (360 million average viewership hours). In Q1 2019, the longtail was responsible for 20% of Twitch’s viewership hours.”
We reported yesterday that the same report also showed that while Apex Legends set the record for viewership hours of a single game on Twitch – peaking at 40 million hours watched in the second week after it was first released – by March the peak viewership dropped by 75 per cent to 10 million hours. Over the same period, however, Fortnite saw a temporary drop in view count at Apex Legends’ debut, but it quickly recovered and has remained stable at around 20m hours viewed ever since, suggesting Apex Legends might not be enough to knock Fortnite off the battle royale top spot just yet.
Interestingly, research from Streamlabs – the broadcast software behind 41 per cent of all Twitch streamers – reported back in January 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.