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Twitch’s Lead in the Live Video Streaming Market is Increasing, New Data Shows

  • Jackson Reynosa - SUBTA
  • Apr 15, 2021
  • 4 minute read

Twitch surpassed 2 billion monthly viewed hours last month, according to The Amazon-owned company sits atop the live video streaming market, with five times more hours watched than its closest competitor, Facebook Gaming. 

Twitch has 7 million creators broadcasting streams to 30 million daily site viewers. At a minimum of $4.99/month, users can subscribe to their favorite streamers for enhanced gaming content, premium chatting features, and ad-free viewing. Twitch gives streamers half of the earnings while keeping the rest.

The company’s recent success can be attributed to its customer acquisition and retention strategies, plus a surge of usership throughout the pandemic. Twitch is embracing audience trends, adopting engaging content onto its platform, and prioritizing safety for its online community.

Using Audience Trends to Increase Customer Acquisition

At the beginning of quarantine, users turned to Twitch for a new entertainment outlet, and many stayed for the site’s enticing features. The platform’s viewership hours have doubled since March 2020. The company’s success can be seen through its live video streaming categories — a topical list that coincides with ongoing trends. 

Just Chatting, a category without any gameplay, hosts over 380,000 average concurrent viewers (people watching at one time). Many streamers use Just Chatting in between games, or when they feel inclined to have a more intimate moment with their audience. The two most popular gaming categories, Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and League of Legends, attract 250,000 and 210,000 average concurrent viewers respectively.

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Twitch continues to capitalize on popular gaming trends to retain users. A resurgence of interest in GTA V pushed the game to become the second most popular category on the platform with over 190 million monthly hours watched. Twitch streamers repopularized the game, as the ability to play and watch it from a new perspective drove activity to the site. 

A new trend of Sleep Streaming has also driven more attention to the platform. This streaming category features a broadcaster sleeping on camera while an audience tunes in. The craze has even been referred to as virtual “slumber parties” by many users. Popular streamers Ludwig Ahgren and Matthew Rinuado combined for 2 million total watched hours of sleep streaming.

“Because these seemingly mundane things are happening live, anything can happen at any time and communities have rallied around supporting these streams and celebrating both frequent and infrequent occurrences during them,” says Stream Elements’ CEO Doron Nir.

Increasing Customer Retention with Engaging Content

The company’s success is also dependent on its “drops” — games in beta that are made accessible to watch and play on Twitch prior to their initial release. Twitch allows users to gain prior access to new releases if they link their gaming account to their twitch account. 

In April 2020, Twitch dropped a beta-version of Valorant, which would later drive 334 million hours of viewership to the site. 

Social games have also proven to be incredibly successful on the platform. Simple indie games, like Fall Guys and Among Us, have attracted millions of viewers and players who wish to partake in the fandom. Inclusive, community-oriented games like this have enabled Twitch to tap into an entirely new audience of social media users

Additionally, Esport broadcasts have attracted and retained users to the site. In a Q3 2020 report, the top five Esport events on the platform garnered over 140 million hours viewed.

The Company Prioritizes Safety in its Platform

Twitch’s platform became incredibly popular during the pandemic’s start, and it’s finding new ways to stay at the top of the streaming industry despite restrictions loosening up across the world. With a new monthly viewership record, the platform hopes to gain more revenue and users in Q2 2021.

As more people are logging onto Twitch than ever before, the company will look to maintain the safety and integrity of the site. Twitch has seen more activity within its interactive features, as thousands of chat messages are sent every second.


In January 2021, the company made an initiative to crack down on hateful conduct and harassment on the platform. Just last week, Twitch extended this initiative by addressing user safety off the platform as well — this includes more investigation, de-verification, or termination of accounts that don’t follow Twitch’s community guidelines both on and off its platform.

“We are taking this step to better ensure that Twitch is as safe, inclusive, diverse, and positive an environment as, together, we can make it,” the company states.

Twitch controls over 70% of the video live stream market share. The company is embracing the world’s gradual reopening and believes its customer acquisition and retention strategies will propel it to shatter more viewership records.

Key Takeaways:

  • Twitch surpassed 2 billion hours of viewership in March 2021 and controls 72% of the video live stream market share.
  • The company has embraced viewership trends, adopted new games, and fostered a safer online community to acquire and retain users. 
  • While Twitch’s growth was spiked by quarantine, the company’s growth has persisted in Q1 2021.

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