Gaming video content worldwide - Statistics & Facts
The industry of watching other people play video games continues to surge in popularity. In 2021, the most popular categories on video streaming platform Twitch generated billions of hours of viewing time, with games taking up almost all of the top spots. 2020 was an exceptional year for the entire gaming industry, and the pandemic-induced wave of lockdowns also boosted the appeal and demand for live streaming like never before. Whereas large parts of the streaming industry have normalized again at the end of 2022, streaming and gaming video content are still a core part of the gaming experience for many.
Twitch is the arguably the most recognizable platform for watching gaming video content worldwide. The Amazon-owned platform allows users to experience their favorite gamers in action while interacting with them via live stream chat. Like many of its competitors, Twitch saw a meteoric rise in viewership following the onset of the pandemic, but what makes the platform stand out is that it retained impressive audience numbers even after lockdowns were lifted in many parts of the world. After three record-breaking quarters, Twitch viewership reached an all-time high of over 6.51 billion hours in the second quarter of 2021. As of the third quarter of 2022, watchtime hours have decline to a still respectable 5.71 billion. While gamers and gaming fans have always been the main driver of platform growth, Twitch also fuels engagement by expanding its non-gaming content, and in 2021, Just Chatting was the biggest category on the platform.
YouTube and Facebook Gaming
While Twitch accounts for the largest share of the gaming video content market, YouTube and Facebook have also seen a increase in gaming video viewership during the pandemic but have not been able to keep the momentum like Twitch did. In the second quarter of 2021, viewership on Facebook Gaming surpassed 1.18 billion hours, before declining to 382 million hours in the third quarter of 2022. The number of hours streamed on Facebook Gaming has also more than tripled since the onset of the pandemic but have dropped again since then. This pursuit race is not only fueled by Facebook’s expansion into IRL territory via its Hanging Out hub, but it is also enabled by YouTube Gaming’s declining viewership numbers. Following a peak in viewership in late 2020, the number of hours watched on the video-sharing site has almost plummeted to pre-pandemic levels, albeit still performing stronger than Facebook.
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