Video games are kind of a big deal, and recently, watching video games has become kind of a big deal too. While the concept seems strange to some, it really isn’t that different than not being athletic but still enjoying watching sports or not being literate but still enjoying watching people read books from the window of the library until you are shooed away by the elderly security guard. The biggest site for video game streaming is Twitch, a live streaming video platform responsible for streaming pretty much all of the competitive gaming you could ever want to watch. The company Qwilt recently performed a study quantifying just how big Twitch was in regards to online streaming and the answer they discovered was really, really, really big. And then still bigger than that.
Some of the numbers here are absolutely staggering. 43.6% of all live streaming traffic by volume in the US occurs on Twitch. I don’t mean gaming traffic or WoW traffic or watching everyone play Pokemon at once traffic, but ALL live streaming traffic in total. Its second closest competitor is the WWE with 17.7%, a number that Twitch absolutely chokeslams into oblivion. The rest of the top ten combined barely add up to more than Twitch, and even big sites like ESPN are only pulling in 6.3% of the total volume. That’s right; e-sports has nearly seven times the viewing audience of real sports online, or at least real sports streamed by ESPN.
Some of the other numbers on this are equally mindblowing. From the report itself:
- 12 billion minutes of gaming are watched every month
- 45 million unique viewers per month
- 58% of viewers watch more than 20 hours per week
- Average daily watch time: 106 minutes
These number are straight from the report. I’ve read them multiple times and have had multiple people come in to verify my eyes weren’t broken in a bad way. I don’t understand how the average daily watch time is 106 minutes. I don’t spend that much time playing video games every day, and I write for a gaming website. More than half of all viewers watch almost a day’s worth of gaming on Twitch per week? These are comedy numbers made up by statisticians that forgot to put together the report in time. “Uh…72%…of male viewers, watch for two minutes…every…uh…minute?”
Feel free to pour over the entirety of the report here, which has the breakdown by country as to where Twitch places overall compared to other, general non-streaming entertainment sites (hint: it does very well!). There are also more comedy statistics in there that are either insane or randomly made up on the spot. There is also some tech speak and what sounds like a sales pitch for…something computer-y related, so we will forgive you if you don’t read the entire thing. If you don’t feel like looking at it, here is all you need to know: Twitch is huge. And it’s going to get bigger.