Streaming Platforms Decline In Viewership

Amiel Rose Andres - May 15, 2022
Streaming Platforms Decline In Viewership

Total viewership on livestreaming platforms has decreased year over year, with Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube Gaming all experiencing a decline of 8.06 percent from 8.77 billion hours viewed in Q1 2021 to 8.061 billion hours watched in Q1 2022.

According to the newest study from Steamlabs and Stream Hatchet, Twitch was the only platform of the three to exhibit any rise in viewership from Q4 2021, with fans registering 6.13 billion hours viewed, up 7.5 percent from the previous quarter’s 5.7 billion hours. Twitch’s first complete quarter of gain since Q1 2021, however it was still a 3.3 percent dip from the previous quarter’s record-breaking 6.34 billion hours watched. 

Twitch still accounts for roughly 76 percent of total hours watched on major livestreaming platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. Hours streamed fell 13.6 percent year over year, from 265 million hours in Q1 2021 to 229 million hours this quarter. During the same time period, the number of unique channel streamers fell by 12.8 percent, from 12.5 to 10.9 million. During the first quarter of 2022, the platform had 2.8 million concurrent viewers.

With 808 million hours viewed, Just Chatting remains Twitch’s most popular genre, followed by Grand Theft Auto V and League of Legends, with 534 and 517 million hours watched, respectively. 

Despite the platform’s dedication to strengthening its livestreaming infrastructure for artists and trying to retain top talent to attract viewers, YouTube Gaming had its lowest total hours watched since Q1 2020 to start 2022. 

In Q1 2022, YouTube Gaming recorded 1.13 billion hours watched, a 7.4% decline from Q4 2021’s 1.22 billion hours but only a small improvement over Q1 2020’s stats and a 12.4% year-over-year decrease. When compared year-over-year and to Q4 2021, YouTube, like Twitch, suffered significant drops in total hours streamed, unique channels broadcasting content, and average concurrent viewership. 

Out of the three platforms, Facebook Gaming has had the most recent increase, although this did not last in Q1 2022. Even after integrating Reels and attempting to push its own version of short-form content in the gaming area, it observed drops in line with YouTube. In terms of overall performance, Facebook Gaming suffered the biggest dip, decreasing from 1.14 billion hours seen in Q4 2021 to 803 million hours watched in Q1 2022, the first time it fell below the billion hours mark since Q1 2021. The number of unique channels streaming on Facebook Gaming has decreased by 78.2% year over year, while average concurrent viewing has decreased by 24% and hours streamed has decreased by 35.9%. 

Outside of platforms, League topped esports viewership, with the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) alone attracting 44.2 million hours watched, helping Riot Games secure the title of top publisher with 912 million hours seen in Q1 2022.