Streams of the unbelievably popular battle royale game “Fortnite” peaked on Twitch in July, with 151 million hours of streamtime watched that month, according to a report released Thursday by SteamElements. Watch time fell 20 million hours in August, and another 25 million last month. The report, a special edition released for TwitchCon (which starts Friday) also reveals that Activision Blizzard titles are overtaking Epic Games in terms of Twitch watchtime per publisher, with five of the top 20 most watched games coming from the publisher of “World of Warcraft” and “Overwatch.”
“World of Warcraft” reached impressive new heights in viewership over the past quarter, likely due to the release of the Battle for Azeroth expansion released in August. On Twitch, “World of Warcraft” streams viewership is up 232.5%, with 87 million hours of game streamtime watched.
“Fortnite,” though, continues to be the most-watched game overall.
Popular on Variety
Twitch is still the dominating streaming platform, but YouTube has grown in popularity, gaining 10% more of total live stream hours watched since March. Then, YouTube Live accounted for 15% of hours, and by September claimed a share of 25%, with more than 226 million hours across the service for the month.
It could be speculated that some Twitch users made the switch after the platform announced it will no longer offer ad-free viewing to Twitch Prime members in August. However, Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements credits the increasing popularity of YouTube Live to the growing audience for game streaming, and not because of any loss of viewership from Twitch.
“I don’t think the increased popularity of YouTube Live is ad-related,” Nir stated in a comment to Variety. “There is no loss of viewership on Twitch, so it’s not like they are losing the market to YouTube.”
“I do think YouTube creators are starting to realize the potential of live-streaming (more dynamic, better audience engagement, more income per hour of work) and that’s what is largely driving them to stream more on YouTube,” Nir added. “It’s also important to note that Twitch does not allow its stars to stream on YouTube and Twitch at the same time, so these are basically different creators. All in all, this is simply the market growing, and this amazing content-creation category getting more love from creators across both platforms.”
Twitch still claims a massive 813 million hours watched last month.
Far behind both services is Microsoft’s Mixer, which claimed almost 14 million hours watched for the month of September.
Finally, since Twitch got rid of the IRL label in August in favor of offering more specific sub-categories, such as “ASMR,” “Food & Drink,” and “Makers & Crafting,” the categories have continued to grow to reach the third most-watched spot on the platform.