That Twitch is a heavyweight in the arena of social platforms is undeniable. That it has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, with data that far exceeds what it registered before the pandemic, too. The same if his influence is affirmed both inside and outside the networks, something that Luis Enrique demonstrated well during the World Cup in Qatar. And yet, despite all that, Twitch seems to be facing a new stage with one foot on the brake.
At least that’s how their latest statistics reflect it.
a bit of context. Since its launch, in 2011, as a derivative of the Justin.tv platform, Twitch has experienced more than remarkable growth thanks to the success of its commitment to streaming entertainment, especially that starring gamers. Twitchtracker calculates that at the beginning of 2014 its average audience was 290,265 simultaneous viewers, data that in January 2015 had increased by 72% and 179% for 2017. In January 2019 it moved at 1.27 million, with maximums that almost double that number.
Such a progression did not take long to attract the interest of Amazon, which in August 2014 confirmed that it had taken over the successful streaming platform for 970 million dollars, ahead of Google. Just a month before, Twitch boasted 55 million users and more than 15,000 million minutes produced.
The COVID boom. Although its growth had been more or less constant since its inception, the great “boom” of Twitch came with the pandemic. In December 2020, its average number of simultaneous viewers was over 5.2 million and the aggregate playback time was around 1.9 billion hours.
Other sources, such as Business of Apps, Statista or Finbold, account for the increase in activity registered that year —coinciding with the confinements—, which reflects a considerable increase in the volume of broadcast hours consumed and active streamers. And for example, a button: if in January 2020 Finblod counted 3.94 million active creators, at the end of that year the figure was already around 9.24. At the beginning of 2021 it was close to 9.9 million.
Change of trend? For months there have been signs that point to a stagnation in the growth of Twitch, although with caution and based on the fact that fluctuations are not uncommon in the network’s progression curve and its data is still much higher than what it handled. before the pandemic. The Twitchtracker audience shows that for most of 2022 its curve was below that of 2021. And in 2023 the same thing seems to be happening.
An example: the average number of viewers for March 2021 was 2.93 million, that of last year was 2.6 and the data for 2023 on Friday marked 2.41. Regarding the number of hours viewed, the maximum was achieved in May 2021, with 2.3 billion. During most of 2022 it remained below the data of the previous year. Twitchtracker saw an increase in minutes watched in 2022, but drops in unique creators, concurrent viewers, and concurrent streamers.
And what is reading? The Twitchtracker data shows that in terms of average channels and simultaneous viewers, 2022 closed below 2021 and at least in this last section the data for 2023 is slightly lower than last year. Over the past few months, the platform has registered some relevant developments, such as changes in payments to creators or the ban on unlicensed slot machine streaming and page turning.
In addition, of course, to the competition from other platforms, such as YouTube Gaming, TikTok or Kick, which some already see as a serious competitor for Twitch. The platform has not been spared either from the cuts applied by Amazon, which have also affected AWS or the advertising area.
Top image: Caspar Camille Rubin (Flickr)
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