Streaming in 2018 — The State of the Stream
With 2019 now in full swing, the team here at StreamElements (working with our friends at Stream Hatchet ) wanted to take a look back at streaming in2018. Which streams earned the most views? Did Fortnite continue the decline that began last summer? How has IRL changed since the “big bang” that splintered the fastest growing category on Twitch?
Read on to find out…
For those of you following our reports closely, you’ll notice YouTube Live is continuing its slow encroachment on Twitch. The platform still has a long way to go to catch up to Amazon’s streaming powerhouse, but YouTube Live is proving that it is way too early to count it out:
- In 2018, YouTube Live viewing hours grew by 104%, compared to Twitch’s 25% growth
- Even more impressive: YouTube Live gained nearly as many viewing hours in 2018 as Twitch (506m vs. 414m)
- While still a distant 3rd, Microsoft’s streaming platform Mixer is still growing its viewer base — ending the year with 179% more hours viewed.
2019 may be the year that Twitch sees a brand new batch of top stars emerge, as the Top 100 streamers saw their viewership drop while nearly everyone else’s rose:
- For the first time ever, channels falling outside the “Top 100” actually beat the stars in hours viewed, particularly the streamers ranked between 101–1000.
- Those in the 101–1000 group gained 128.9m hours from the start to the end of 2018, while those further down the ladder saw even more significant growth (+43%)
Looking at the “Top 100 vs. Everyone Else” this growing gap becomes even more dramatic. But maybe it’s not all doom and gloom for the stars of Twitch:
As the chart above shows, the Top 100 stars may be losing total hours viewed, but the viewers that remain are fiercely loyal, watching their streams for 10–15 minutes longer per session than viewers of any other group.
One of our most surprising findings in the Q3 report was the fact that Fortnite, while still the undisputed champion of Twitch, may actually be losing steam.
Even though some mocked us (we see you @nickchester ), the numbers don’t lie — Fortnite’s downward trend in hours viewed didn’t stop in Q4, in fact, it actually picked up steam, losing nearly 15% of its viewership from “peak Fortnite” back in Q2 2018.
The lists above are self-explanatory, but here are some additional stats on the games which dominated Twitch in 2018. Just to call out some of Twitch’s biggest movers in 2018:
Finally, once again IRL continues to be one of Twitch’s fastest-growing categories, making IRL streaming one to keep a close eye on in future:
During 2018, IRL racked up more than 480 million hours watched and continued to move up in the overall rankings, claiming the #3 slot for the year.
In what seemed like a dramatic step, Twitch actually broke up IRL into 8 distinct categories, setting each of these sub-categories off into the wild to fend for themselves. As it turns out, “Just Chatting” was the strongest category by far, collecting more than 86% of all IRL channel hours viewed. In a distant second came ASMR, and then Food & Drink.
As always, we are proud to be a part of this community and know we will continue to see it grow in the months and years to come.
No matter what, StreamElements will be there, ready to help you achieve your fame and fortune.
Streaming in 2018 — The State of the Stream was originally published in StreamElements – Legendary Live Streaming on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.