A look at Twitch viewership patterns over the holidays

TL;DR - With the annual slump in the availability of esports content at the end of the year, Twitch viewership skews more heavily towards individual personalities on the platform.  The top streamers rounding out the last few weeks of 2018 were Shroud, Ninja, yogscast, tfue, and summit1G. From a content perspective, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Just Chatting were far and ahead the leaders, with Fortnite commanding nearly 30 million more hours watched than League.  Clearly with children being out of school on break, it was Fornite’s time to shine even brighter.

Full story - https://esportsobserver.com/holiday-2018-twitch/

YouTube and Facebook see strong growth as Twitch falters in Q4

TL;DR - The fourth quarter of 2018 was the slowest for Twitch in terms of active streamer growth - a contributing factor to overall platform health.  While Twitch saw 8% growth, YouTube and Facebook experienced 21% and 23% respectively. On the whole, YouTube was up 75% in 2018 whereas Facebook grew 91% for the year.  Granted, Facebook is barely a slice of the pie so a surge in streamers on the platform will register more soundly than it would on either Twitch or YouTube. Still, that’s solid growth however you slice it.  Mixer’s streamer growth has all but stopped, but it continues to increase viewership - up a staggering 195% in 2018. There was also a slight decrease in the number of streamers playing Fortnite, the game’s first drop since its BR mode launched.  PUBG was the biggest loser in the BR space in 2018, down 47% in hours streamed and 56% in total streamers.

Full story - https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-01-10-streamlabs-twitch-growth-slows-as-streamers-turn-to-youtube-and-facebook

Speculation emerges Amazon is working on new game-streaming service

TL;DR - Two job postings by Amazon looking for engineers to create “cloud games” may be a tip that Amazon is looking to take a different angle with game distribution.  To be clear, this is in regards to selling games, not live-streaming content which Twitch already handles for Amazon. It would be much more like a PlayStation Now, or Microsoft competitor once it’s completed in 2020.  We’ll be keeping our eyes on this one.

Full story - https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/10/report-amazon-to-double-down-on-gaming-with-a-new-streaming-service/

Hi-Rez renews its esports streaming deal with Mixer

TL;DR - Mixer and Hi-Rez Studios have extended their exclusive streaming deal for the SMITE Pro League, SMITE Console League, and the Paladins Console League.  New to the deal is the addition of the Paladins Premier League which will debut on Mixer further down the road.

Full story - http://www.globallegalchronicle.com/hi-rez-studios-esports-video-streaming-deal-with-microsofts-mixer/

Path of Exile streamer sets new streaming record

TL;DR - PoE streamer Zizaran last week broke the standing 30-day streaming record when he clocked over 500 hours live.  He beat the previous record, only about a month old, by just over 100 hours. Giantwaffle held the title briefly, coming in just shy of 403 hours.  Zizaran’s insane record means he had to stream almost 17 hours per day. He managed to fit in a couple of 30+ hour streams in the process, with his longest at nearly 39 hours!

Full story - https://www.gamerevolution.com/news/479569-twitch-streaming-record-path-of-exile

Chinese streaming platform Huya hits 100M user mark

TL;DR - You wouldn’t know the Chinese government has been aggressively cracking down on online content by looking at Huya’s numbers.  The streaming platform now boasts over 100 million monthly active users, just 40 million shy of Twitch’s monthly unique viewer count.  The company seems to have bounced back from a net income loss during its 2017-18 fiscal schedule, posting a net income of $8.4M in the three months ending September of last year.  The Chinese streaming market continues to be a lucrative one - expected to hit $4.9B in revenue by 2022. Tencent is the company’s second largest shareholder with a near 35% stake.

Full story - https://www.scmp.com/tech/article/2180973/chinas-twitch-huya-surpasses-100-million-monthly-active-users-despite-beijings

Epic Games announces official tournament system for Fortnite

TL;DR - The game’s new in-game tournament system will bring leaderboards and a multiple knockout mode to the popular battle royale mode of the game (sorry StW players!).  A member of Epic’s esports team mentioned on the game’s subreddit last week that players can expect the new system to go live sometime this month. Fortnite’s tournament schedule will be lighter than normal in the weeks leading up to the release as everything is prepped.  You may recall Epic used an early version of this new system for The Winter Royale tournament back in October.

Full story - https://dotesports.com/fortnite/news/epic-games-says-it-will-add-a-new-tournament-system-to-fortnite

In case you missed it…

Data is love.  Data is life. There may be a bit more to it, but numbers tell stories and despite how you feel about that, you can’t argue the numbers.

Stream Hatchet pulled together a brief but interesting report on the year-over-year changes on Twitch, from 2017 to 2018.  You can catch the write-up they did here.

In short, there was some shuffling of top channels but overall the top channels got a lot bigger.  There was a 3x increase in hours watched on the top channels in 2018. It was also a year that we saw peak concurrent viewership hit numbers virtually unimaginable just a year prior.  Of course we can’t forget Ninja’s legendary peak of 614K, but Riot Games pulled a close second at 570K.

Two esports channels claimed spots in the top 5 last year as well.  Riot Games made a return appearance and Blizzard’s OWL channel slide into the #4 spot.  That’s a channel that should continue to see love from Twitch, especially since the streaming platform paid a slick $90M for the exclusive rights.

It’s a 2-minute read and well worth the time.  

We’ll be back next week with the unbelievable 114th edition of the Roundup!