LONDON—People aren’t just streaming TV shows and movies, live streams of video games grew substantially in 2020, and after the first quarter, 2021 is off to an even better start, as a total of 8.8 billion hours were watched across the three major game streaming platforms.
Compiling data from Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming, 123scommesse.it (opens in new tab) reported that 2020 hit 27.9 billion hours watched for live video game streaming, 78% more than before the pandemic. As COVID-19 still lingers, the 8.8 billion hours watched in Q1 2021 represents an 80% jump year-over-year from Q1 2020.
Twitch was the far-and-away leader of live video game streams in 2020, with a total of 18.4 billion hours watched throughout the year, including 5.4 billion hours watching in Q4 2020. Twitch has already hit a third of its total 2020 hours in the first three months of 2021, with a reported 6.3 billion hours watched. That is nearly double what it did in Q1 2020 (3.2 billion)
While sharing a smaller portion of the market, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming also saw growths in Q1 2021. YouTube Gaming had 1.4 billion hours of watched streams, up from 1.1 billion year-over-year. Facebook Gaming had 1.1 billion hours, an 83% year-over-year increase from its Q1 2020 numbers of 600 million.
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