During the COVID-19 pandemic, platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming have achieved viewership like they never saw before with viewers staying inside to stay safe. Over the course of the last year, we’ve seen an explosion of popularity in streaming and viewership of it. That may slow down as pandemic restrictions loosen up, vaccines are more widely available, and people start going out again, but for at least Q2 2021, Twitch has reported a third consecutive quarter of record viewing.
This information comes from a report by Streamlabs and its analytics and data partner at Stream Hatchet. According to the report, Twitch achieved its third-straight quarter of record viewership in Q2 2021 with 8.99 billion hours of livestream productions watched on the platform - a 2.5 percent increase over Twitch’s Q1 viewership. Facebook Gaming also saw growth with a tripling of hours that have been streamed in a year. Among all platforms, the common contributing factor was Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online, which was the top-viewed game across all platforms combined.
Despite the continued positive growth of livestreaming viewership throughout Q2 2021, Streamlabs’ report also suggested a slowing trend. Viewership has not grown like it did previously and has, in fact, slowed down across Facebook Gaming and Twitch. This is likely due to COVID-19 vaccinations being widely distributed, pandemic restrictions loosening, and potential viewers becoming active outside of their homes again. It will be interesting to see if viewership can stay sturdy through the coming quarter, but with these factors in mind, it seems unlikely.
Either way, Q2 2021 was still a good time for livestreaming and Twitch viewership according to Streamlabs. Even if it viewership tapers off with COVID-19 restrictions lessening, we can’t imagine viewership will drop like a stone. Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the situation and observe stats and trends in coming months.