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Livestream viewership kept growing in March despite loosening pandemic restrictions

Both Twitch and Facebook Gaming experienced massive year-over-year growth in March 2021 according to StreamElements and Rainmaker.gg's latest reports.

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One might think that as some nations begin to loosen restrictions on travel, gathering, and general leisure activity, livestreaming viewership might take a bit of a hit. It was, after all, the case that as the COVID-19 pandemic came into full effect in 2020, Twitch and other livestream viewing skyrocketed. However, the latest report from StreamElements and Rainmaker.gg suggests that stream viewership is not dropping. On the contrary, it’s continuing to thrive.

StreamElements and its analytics partner Rainmaker.gg released their latest State of the Stream report of viewership for March 2021 on April 9. According to the report, Twitch set record viewership in March with over 2.055 billion hours of livestreams watched by fans. Facebook Gaming was no slouch, either. After a bit of a dip in February following a strong January, Facebook Gaming saw just under 400 million hours of viewership in March. This is in spite of the fact that restrictions, especially in the US, have begun to loosen in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems to suggest that many are still making a routine out of enjoying Twitch on a regular basis.

A look at the previous months on both Twitch and Facebook Gaming show that both livestreaming platforms saw a rather hefty increase in viewership from February to March.
A look at the previous months on both Twitch and Facebook Gaming show that both livestreaming platforms saw a rather hefty increase in viewership from February to March.

As for what folks are watching, Grand Theft Auto 5 also skyrocketed in viewership in March 2021. This could be attributed to the fact that GTA5 just got a huge update that reduced loading times throughout the game, making the whole experience far more streamlined. Put this on top of the fact that there’s a bunch of recently released content for Grand Theft Auto Online in the Cayo Perico update and there’s still plenty of reason to watch the shenanigans players are up to in GTA5.

It will be interesting to see the reports that lay ahead as vaccinations for COVID-19 continue to roll out and restrictions continue to be loosened bit by bit. That said, if March was any indicator, it seems livestreaming on Twitch and other platforms is as engrained in our regular lives as ever.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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